We pray for President Obama
There’s a scene in the Broadway play, “Fiddler on the Roof.” The Jews in the little village of Anatevka in Russia earnestly ask their rabbi: Is there a blessing, or prayer, for the Tsar? The Tsar is an open anti-Semite whose troops menace the peaceful inhabitants of this little shtetl. Of course, the rabbi says. “May G-d bless and keep the Tsar – far away from us!”
We can also pray for President Obama. We can pray for his safety and for his family.
We can thank God for the peaceful and orderly way in which our elections on November 6 were conducted. No tanks in the streets. For all good government we can give thanks.
And we can pray for our country. Mr. Obama has won re-election in 2012 the way Harry Truman won re-election in 1948. Truman’s campaign was an ugly one. Truman waged class warfare. He blamed Wall Street for his economic woes.
Media accounts of Truman’s come-from-behind campaign in 1948 focus on Truman’s improbable victory. What they don’t tell us is that Truman’s next four years were a misery – a trial for the country and for him. The nation was racked by conflicts over the Korean War, the failing economy, corruption in government and Communist infiltration. Truman’s approval rating in his second term fell to 23 percent. Although he was not covered by the Twenty-Second Amendment that limited a president to two terms, President Truman announced early in 1952 he would not run for a third term. He didn’t dare.
Journalists show a grinning Truman the morning after the election holding up the Chicago Tribune: Dewey Defeats Truman! That photo is on permanent display at Washington, D.C.’s Newseum. It’s unintentionally funny: The picture shows how the media got it all wrong.
This Republican defeat was predictable. GOP strategists let President Obama have
14 states and 183 Electoral Votes, virtually without a contest. This is more than 2/3 of the total he needed to be re-elected, and he barely had to spend a penny.
The architect of this disaster put up no fight for Maine (4), Vermont (3), Massachusetts (11), Connecticut (7), Rhode Island (4), New Jersey (14), New York (26), Maryland (10), Delaware (3), Illinois (20), Washington (12), Oregon (7), California (55) and Hawaii (4). Not only did this give Obama an insurmountable head start, it also killed the GOP as a party in those states.
By pouring all their resources into just ten or eleven states, and leaving the others untouched, those strategists failed to craft a national majority. Even if they had won the race for Romney-Ryan, these red state/blue state alignments threaten the nation’s unity and taint a winner’s legitimacy.
Values Voters went all out on election day. What might have been a total wipeout for Republicans was averted only because Values Voters loyally trooped to the polls. These voters care deeply about religious freedom, the right to life and the defense of marriage. Many political groups seek government favors. This coalition seeks only to be left alone by government. They want to live their lives in peace and quiet in all godliness. They don’t cost taxpayers anything.
Today, of course, we hear the predictable calls for getting rid of values issues. Some Republican “strategists” will tell us they would have won if only, if only Romney and Ryan hadn’t been so pro-life or taken such a hard line stance on marriage.
This is untrue. Show us one ad done by the Romney-Ryan campaign or by the Republican National Committee that highlighted their support for unborn life and their defense of true marriage. Show us one ad that fought against President Obama’s unprecedented threat to religious freedom – the HHS Mandate for Obamacare.
We can show you many ads run by the winning Obama-Biden ticket that were targeted to pro-abortion, anti-marriage voters. When one side openly avows its positions and the other seems almost ashamed of its convictions, the result is not hard to predict.
If the Republican Party now listens to the siren song of the Beltway-based architects and the TV talking heads, if it abandons the Values Voters, it will go the way of the Whigs.
If they reject us, we will give our support to a new conservative party – a broader alliance with the Tea Party that will embrace minorities – especially Hispanics – and welcome other legal immigrants. They share our beliefs on religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the importance of marriage. A new majority can be built from such varied elements – Evangelicals, Catholics, Mormons, Lutherans and Orthodox Jews. FDR’s disparate coalition lasted for half a century. Ronald Reagan victories were gained with the solid support of Values Voters. If necessary, we can do this again.
Robert Morrison is senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council.