As we usually are around here, it appears that we are yet again.
In the post The Chuckie Cheese Generation, we proposed that culture was a greater factor than just demographics:
I’m finding just a shift in demographics hard to swallow as the true political change agent.
I believe that we must also recognize that there is another cultural/sociological challenge at hand.
It appears in the post-election analysis that, once again – and in numbers rivaling those of 2008, the youth vote went overwhelmingly for Obama. This was initially confusing to me as I asked myself this:
Do these people not understand that the full burden of this foray into socialism will fall on them?
Sure, I’m likely to get whacked with higher and confiscatory taxes but my career is in its last trimester. I’ll be 65 in 12 years. It will be the under 30 set that has to shoulder the economic decay that comes with crushing national debt, a universal healthcare system and a burgeoning welfare state that will support my age group and the reduced employment opportunities that come as a result of their decisions today.
If we can turn away from the elections for a moment, and the future of the Republican Party, a more fundamental problem exists. It is nothing less than the nature of the American culture. By the term “culture,” I am not referring to the social issues that usually come up when one talks about culture wars; i.e., abortion, gay rights, religion, etc. Rather, I am talking about the perception and outlook that stand beneath the way our American public define the very nature of civic life in our democratic capitalist society.
That is why I regularly borrow from the Left, as some astute observers of my previous column noted in some comments, the works of the Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci, and particularly his theory of cultural hegemony. As I wrote in my concluding paragraph, we have to “wage a war of position on the cultural front and to do all possible to challenge the ascension of a failed intellectual liberal ideology, whether it is in the form of Progressivism, liberalism or socialism.” I’m referring to the kind of work Fred Siegel carries out in a new book he has just finished writing, and which I had the pleasure of reading in manuscript form, on the nature of American liberalism. When it is eventually published, I believe it can have the kind of impact that great works of history like Richard Hofstadter’s books had in the 1940s and ’50s.
Siegel shows that from its very inception, liberalism was a flawed ideology whose adherents substituted its would-be virtues as a way of distancing themselves from most Americans and their workaday lives; an ideology based on a view whose believers saw themselves as superior to most Americans, including those who were merchants, workers, or regular folk, who could not be counted on to comprehend the backwardness of their beliefs.
And Jim Geraghty at NRO says that it is time to call off the Republican circular firing squad because Romney only lost the Electoral College majority by 407,000 votes in four states:
On Wednesday, I added up Obama’s margin in a few key states, to get a sense of just how agonizingly short the Romney campaign finished from 270 electoral votes.
Some of those straggling precincts have reported, and so here is an updated set of numbers, according to the results this morning on the New York Times’ results map:
Those four states, with a collective margin of, 406,348 for Obama, add up to 69 electoral votes. Had Romney won 407,000 or so additional votes in the right proportion in those states, he would have 275 electoral votes.
Obama’s margin in some other key states:
New Hampshire: 40,659
At this hour, 120,556,279 votes for Obama and Romney have been counted nationwide.
I was thinking about this today before I read Geraghty’s piece – according the Census Bureau, in 2011 we had 311,591,917 people in the US, 23.7% of which were under 18, leaving 237,744,633 people old enough to vote, That means that roughly 50.7% of the voting age population saw fit to vote and out of those, 50.4% voted for Obama or roughly 25.6% of the voting age population decided what America would be.
One quarter of America voted for Marxism and free stuff.