Conservative pundits are offering various postmortem reports following yesterday’s election, some of them appearing even before the patient was officially pronounced dead. My own analysis really isn’t worth a hill of beans, but the beauty of the blogosphere is that it doesn’t have to be to justify my sharing it.
As I see it, there’s a very simple explanation why the Republicans lost. Broadly speaking, the Republican Party represents conservatism (both socially and economically) and the Democratic Party represents liberalism. (If you don’t agree with this generalization, you might as well stop reading now.) Looking at the big picture of all the ballots held yesterday, not just the presidential election, it’s clear that America as a nation opted for moral relativism over economic realism. Over the last month I’ve closely followed the Twitter feeds of the Obama team and the Romney team, which gave a good indication of their core strategy to win over uncommitted voters. The Romney campaign (and Republicans in general) bet heavily on economic conservatism, and they lost. The Obama campaign (and Democrats in general) bet heavily on social liberalism, and they won. That pretty much tells you all you need to know.
The fact is that over the last half-century the center of gravity of American culture has been driven in a socially liberal direction under the combined influence of Hollywood, the mainstream media, public education, social media with its celebrity worship, and world opinion. America can no longer be honestly described as a conservative nation. The culture took a nose-dive well before the economy did.
This suggests that, broadly speaking, there are only two scenarios under which Republicans could expect to regain power. The first is for them to follow the lead of the European center-right parties (e.g., the UK’s Conservative Party) and to embrace social liberalism. The other is for a major spiritual revival to take place in the United States that would, among other things, fundamentally realign its cultural priorities. Needless to say, I favor the latter; but clearly it’s a scenario that no human organization — certainly not the GOP — could possibly engineer. The only way to hasten spiritual revival is through heartfelt repentance and fervent Spirit-dependent prayer. Indeed, if Christians in America haven’t already been praying fervently for revival in this land, regardless of political events, we deserve what happened yesterday — and more besides.
Some of my Christian readers may find this analysis naive and simplistic (and I can only imagine what non-Christian readers will make of it!). But I just call ’em as I see ’em.
Addendum: I see that my colleague Mike Kruger has posted his own thoughts on the election, which, I’m pleased to note, reflect the same basic perspective on events.