Mitt Romney wasn’t a bad candidate. He ran a fairly strong race. He made a few
errors. And he made many good moves.
Certainly he was adequate. And he
was probably the strongest Republican candidate among the primary field of
contenders. That is, he was the best man available to run against Barack
And he did a pretty good job.
Obama, on the other hand, was
a horrible candidate. He was mean and vindictive. He was contemptuous and
superficial. He ran on irrelevancies like abortion and a fictitious Republican
war against women. He didn’t give his supporters any reason to feel good about
Instead, he used class warfare to stir them to hatred of
Yet Obama won. And Romney lost.
In retrospect it
is possible that the race was over before it began. A strong case can be made
that Obama secured his reelection in 2009 when he bailed out the US auto
industry and so temporarily stanched the hemorrhage of jobs in Ohio and
Michigan. And maybe, with the youth of the 1960s now the Medicare recipients of
the 2010s and ’20s, there are simply too many Americans dependent on government
handouts to care about what happens in the future.
An equally strong case
can be made that Romney lost the election before he secured the Republican
nomination. He may have squandered his chances when he took a strong position
against illegal immigration in one of the early Republican primary debates and
so arguably made winning Florida, and perhaps Colorado, a mathematical
Many have argued that demography is destiny.
the American electorate has changed tremendously in the past decade. Government
dependency among the white working class has grown. Government dependency among
an aging population and a rising tide of single-parent families has grown. And
the Latino share of the vote has grown. Today some are arguing that Republicans
today simply cannot win the presidency, regardless of their
All of this is important because for the past four years, most
Republicans, and most non-leftists throughout the world, had been hoping that
the Obama years would be an aberration. They had hoped and trusted that he would
be a oneterm president. All the policies he enacted during that term, on
domestic and foreign policy alike, would be reversed by his Republican
successor, elected by voters who understood they had been taken in by a huckster
in 2008. The US economy – the anchor of US power and the engine of the
international financial system – would come roaring back.
international affairs, the US would reverse course. It would stop supporting the
rise of its enemies from the Middle East to Asia to Latin America. It would
embrace its allies. The former would be weakened. The latter would be secured
and strengthened. America would be safe and defended.
Alas, apparently it
could not be. The American spirit has been overwhelmed by the European model of
social democracy at home and appeasement and treachery abroad.
the dependency champions who celebrated on Tuesday night cannot stop the coming
storm. The greatest advantage Obama had going into the election was not
demography but the fact that the full consequences of his statist economic
policies and his pro-jihadist foreign policy have not yet been
Nationalized healthcare will only be fully implemented in 2014.
Americans will only begin watching old men and women die because the federal
government denied them lifesaving, but expensive, treatments a year from now.
They will only lose their doctors due to dwindling Medicare reimbursements in a
College students who got out the vote for Obama will only find
themselves doomed to low-paying jobs and a life of indebtedness as they fail
year in and year out to pay off their college loans, in a year or two. And by
the time they realize what it means to be saddled with a national debt of $16
trillion, they will be locked into a government-controlled economy that requires
them to keep their silence or lose their livelihoods.
THEN THERE are the
consequences of Obama’s foreign policies. The attack on the US Consulate in
Benghazi exposed the failure of his strategy of appeasing jihadists and had the
potential to sink his presidency by turning suburban voters against him in
places like Pennsylvania. But lucky for him, the Benghazi debacle was small
enough for the media to hide from the electorate.
Sure a US ambassador
and three others were murdered. But four is not a very large number.
it was over in a day.
It will be harder for Obama to contain the damage
of his foreign policy when Iran gets nuclear weapons and begins molesting US
shipping in the Persian Gulf as gas prices rise to $10 a gallon. It will be
harder for Obama to hide the effect of his foreign policy when American tourists
in Egypt are massacred or held hostage and Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood government
demands the release of the Blind Sheikh, Omar Abdel Rahman, the mastermind of
the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, in exchange for intervention.
will be harder for Obama to hide the dangers of his foreign policy when the
Taliban return to power in Afghanistan and al-Qaida rebuilds its training camps.
It will be harder for Obama to blame his failure on hapless American filmmakers
when Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is controlled by a Taliban-aligned government
that seeks a nuclear war with India. It will be harder for Obama to protect
America with a gutted, demoralized military, demobilized under his
Rather than contend with these calamities, Obama and his
statist, pro-Islamist supporters and advisers will blame their critics. Just as
they blamed – and jailed – an American filmmaker for Ambassador Stevens’s
murder, so they will blame overworked doctors, struggling hospital
administrators, “partisan” lawmakers and “Islamophobic, neoconservative
warmongers,” for the domestic decline and international mayhem Obama’s policies
will necessarily cause.
With the critical election lost, Republicans have
a very hard and thankless task before them. They have to do the hard work of
opposing his policies with dwindling resources. They have the job of energizing,
inspiring and expanding a base that is demoralized. They have the job of
explaining to wavering citizens why the Republican alternative puts America on
the right track.
Conservatives need to prepare the ground for their
return to power. They need to make the arguments for ending the welfare state.
They need to make the arguments for destroying the ascendant – and politically
savvy – forces of jihad at home and abroad. They need to argue against defense
cuts even as the Obamaappointed Joint Chiefs of Staff abandon strategic reason
for personal promotions.
And they need to write the books, produce the
movies, found the television stations, and prepare the school curricula that
will enable a future resurrection of the American dream.
AS MOST people
know, Israel, as the forward base of freedom in the Muslim world, is the first
target of the Obama-supported, ascendant forces of jihad. As a consequence,
Israel will be the first to feel the repercussions of Obama’s policies of
appeasement and empowerment of Iran and the Muslim
Certainly, this is a horrible situation. But just as
demographics have changed America, so they are changing Israel. Rising
anti-Semitism and economic decline in Europe have dramatically increased
immigration rates to Israel, and those rates will only grow as the situation on
the continent worsens. In contrast to the rest of the West, Israelis have become
more religious, readier to embrace the free market and more eager to compete in
talent and productivity. While Americans have joined Europe in dwindling
fertility rates, Israelis have matched the fertility levels of their Arab
Israel’s demographic and economic power have been largely
ignored and undervalued.
But the time has come to use them for all they
are worth. As America enters its age of dependency and decline, Israel must end
its age of dependency on America and begin to depend on itself. That does not
mean that Israel won’t cooperate with America. But as America’s foreign policy
becomes indistinguishable from Europe’s, Israel will increasingly need to take
its fate in its own hands.
We need to expand the size of the IDF ground
forces. We need to expand the size of the navy.
We should reinstate the
Lavi jet fighter project.
We need to expand our independent offensive
missile programs, developing a serious cruise missile arsenal. And we need to
promote a new generation of generals that is not psychologically dependent on
their American counterparts.
As for the Palestinians, and the
international, leftist anti-Israel cottage industry that supports and feeds off
of them, the time has come to take our demographic advantage for a spin. As we
decrease our psychological dependence on America, we need to increase our trust
We need to staunchly defend and assert our rights to our
land. And we must exercise our right to defeat those who deny our rights and
seek our national destruction.
In other words, we need to begin applying
Israeli law in Judea and Samaria.
True, talk is cheap. We can expect –
indeed we were warned to expect – for Obama to turn on Israel immediately after
Obama can be expected to dispatch his political advisers to
Israel to run the Left’s electoral campaign with the goal of defeating Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and paving the way for the return to power of the
socialist, appeasement-crazed Israeli Left. We can expect the State Department,
(under the guidance of New Israel Fund alumni) to renew its attacks against
Israel’s religious institutions and the Jews of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. We
can expect the US to abandon us at the UN. We can expect the US military to
undermine any Israeli strike against Iran.
No one said any of this will
be easy. But difficult is not the same as impossible. Within a year, the
consequences of Obama’s failed domestic and foreign policies will make him
weaker rather than stronger than he was in his first term. He will be hard
pressed to pressure Israel when the US loses its leadership role in the Muslim
Brotherhood- dominated Middle East. And Israel’s independence of action will
Our side suffered a massive loss on
But as long as we keep our minds and hearts focused on the
fundamental goodness and truth that guide our path, we will not be defeated. We
will endure, persevere and in due course, we will be vindicated.
my readers: I am currently writing a book in which I describe the strategic
course Israel and the US should take in relation to the Palestinians. To
complete my work in a timely fashion, I am taking a leave of absence from my
column until next spring.