Have Republicans already lost? It’s beginning to feel that way.
Right now, I’m in the middle of a 2012 election hangover, where I wonder what exactly has happened to make this election cycle seem like a long journey of lambs to the slaughter. Somewhere between the frighteningly delusional Santorum campaign and Mitt Romney’s incapability of doing anything spontaneous, we are actually having a debate about if birth control should be banned or if women that use birth control are “sluts.” I’ve hit my limit here.
There’s an old episode of South Park that depicts Stan’s mother Sharon in a haze post 9/11, unable to move off her couch, comatose because she can’t seem to break herself away from the news cycle. That’s me; I am Stan’s mom. I wake up in the morning and come home at night in a daze as I watch the events of this election cycle unravel, unable to break myself away from the never-ending chatter from talking heads, pundits and analysts that really … are not telling me anything I don’t already know.
What happened after we lost in 2008—and why are we worse off now? It’s like the Republican Party decided to ignore calls from moderates for a more open-minded party and we’re going, full-steam ahead, in the opposite direction. For electing the next president of the United States, these are my options:
(1) Santorum, who is a lunatic, right-wing fringe candidate that is hanging on to his candidacy for no other reason than, once this election cycle is over, he knows no one will ever listen to him again. I half expect Santorum to start throwing a tantrum on stage after he loses yet another primary and scream: “If I’m not going to be the nominee, no one is!”(2) Then, there is Newt Gingrich, the over-blown relic of the 90s, with so much baggage and anger that he really should move to a country where he can be dictator.(3) Finally, there’s my boy Mitt—whom, yes, I support and no matter what, will vote for but…as his wife has even admitted “needs to unzip.”
Working on a campaign and running for president should be a visceral, emotional, passionate and intense experience. America is the greatest country in the history of the world and you, Governor Romney, are supposed to have a chance at becoming the next president of it. How about campaigning like it’s something that inspires you?
As I sit on my couch watching the commentators night after night, I am overwhelmed by a sense of panic that this election is quite possibly already over. There are too many questions and not enough answers: What is the point in waiting to see how the next seven months play out? How have Republicans already blown such a golden opportunity? Why has my party not come together and united for the greater cause, which at the end of the day is defeating President Obama? Why do Republicans continue to value “purification” and bloodletting over winning elections? What the hell is wrong with the Republican Party?!?
The right-wing conservatives are so entitled in their snobbery that no one is ever good enough for them, so the rest of us, especially moderates, must suffer. Apparently, we would still rather have a Democrat in office than a moderate Republican. We’ve botched this election cycle so badly, I’m scared it might be too late.
I’m also heartbroken. I am a young person who is optimistic and idealistic about politics and this election cycle should have been the one where we came together and turned our frustrations into a win. Instead, this election cycle has turned into a bad episode of reality television. I imagine most Democrats sitting back and watching it all play out—lighting up stogies and laughing at our dog and pony show. The 2012 election really should have been our time! Coming off of the failed promises of hope and change, unemployment being at an all time high, a huge populist movement from the Tea Party, this election cycle was ripe for the picking.
No matter what happens, I am voting for Mitt Romney. I think he is the best candidate, but I also think he is an absolutely miserable campaigner. So this is my siren call because I really don’t believe I am alone in my sentiments. Governor Romney, this is the eleventh hour. Once you clinch the nomination, you and your campaign need to start running for president like you’re fighting for your life. Give me grit, give me gravitas, go off the script and talking points. Fellow party members, demand better with me. Let’s stop giving the 24-hour news cycle and the pundits fodder to chew over. We need to focus on the failed policies of the Obama administration.