Thursday, November 8, 2012

How to lose an election

I try to keep Oak Watch non-political.  That's not because I am apolitical.  I have deeply held political beliefs - many of them diametrically opposed to each other.  In the presidential elections from 2000 to 2008 I voted for candidates from three different political parties, each time with what I truly believed to be the long term best interest of the country at heart.  And because it amused me.

My avoidance of political commentary is primarily because the ebb and flow of politics has little effect on what's really important here:  Reawakening the masses to a basic appreciation of oaks as the Staff of Life and the need to convert from our soil-killing reliance on annual cereal crops back to a - in the words of the brilliant J. Russell Smith - permanent agriculture of food grown on perennial woody plants (e.g. acorns).

I think the only political comment I have made on this blog is when I mentioned that had Dewey really defeated Truman - as the morning dailies originally claimed he had - Dewey was planning to appoint J. Russell Smith to the post of Secretary of Agriculture. If only...

But I can't resist playing the pundit for a moment here.  I was wrong: I predicted a popular vote defeat but electoral college victory for President Obama.  There are some lessons here.

It appears that the best way to lose an election is to say that people who oppose you do so only because they want to sponge off the government; to cast yourselves as the party of doers and your opponents as the party of takers.  It seems like a handy way to feel better about yourself - "we're building this country and they are just leeching off of our hard work" - but it's probably not a particularly effective way to endear yourself to a rather large chunk of the electorate.

It also might be just a tad disingenuous in that one of our biggest welfare programs pays farmers to grow annual crops that pulverize and poison the soil - the real wellspring and source of this nation's wealth.  It speaks to a political truism:  If I get money from the government it's an incentive.  If someone else does it's a hand out.

From here the way forward for Republicans is clear:  They must nominate a young, born again, fiscally conservative, gay Latino woman.

I am expecting a phone call from Karl Rove any minute to serve as his adviser for 2016 (and I am guessing he'd enjoy that call a lot more than the, "Son, what did you do with the $100 million check we wrote to you to win the election for us?" calls he received the other night).

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