The election is over. A socialist has been reelected after racking up 50% more debt than the country had when he entered office. At 7.9% unemployment – some sources cite a number double that – a stagnant economy, and promises of raising taxes, it leaves me asking how this happened.
The usual answers are easy, easy to come to. They are also easy to find plastered all over the Internet. Limbaugh, Hannity, Fox News and others will be making a lot of noise about this today. Media bias. The women vote. The African American vote. Food stamps. Unemployment extensions. Superstorm Sandy. Etc. And while these are real factors, they are merely symptoms of something that’s been going on for a long time.
The first sport my kids played was baseball. They started in T-ball, moved on to coach pitch, then to kid pitch. Actually, only one of my sons got past T-ball. The others didn’t much care for all the standing around. I had one son, however, who was quite good. He had a great throw; a very natural motion along with a great swing. Things that can’t be taught. He wasn’t a big kid, but neither was he small. And he was fast. The kid could run bases. He had talent.
But very early into coach-pitch it became clear that there wasn’t a level playing field. Kids who had the right fathers got to play the skill positions while the other kids were relegated to the outfield. This was repeated when the All Star teams were picked. It was never based on performance during the game but was entirely related to who your father was. After a few years my talented son, and a lot of others, dropped out and moved to other sports. They could see what was happening. These kids were being groomed for the next level. But sports don’t work that way and by high school only a few of the blessed kids were still playing baseball at all. A smattering went to junior colleges and even fewer moved on to college.
This is modern conservatism in a nutshell and can be summed up in a single word: nepotism. The same is largely true of modern Christianity, though in both cases the favoritism reaches past relatives into caste. In fact, having been immersed in both cultures for my entire life I can see no reason why anyone not born into conservatism or Christianity would want to become part of either, despite the demonstrable superiority of conservative and Christian principles. It is only made worse since, due to poor leadership, this superiority is rarely seen when these principles are applied.
Why is Barack Obama President of the United States today? It isn’t media bias. It isn’t anger on the part of women, or African Americans, or Hispanics, or greens. And it certainly isn’t because his policies have been effective. It is because the young Obama received support (translated- dollars) from fellow liberals who recognized his talent. At the same time the young and charismatic Barack Hussein Obama was being uplifted, conservatives were bankrolling their sons and daughters. Sure, a few of them have talent, but most are just, well… average. Average + spoiled is not a recipe for leadership. While talented conservatives are relegated to the outfield only to wither and drop out of active participation, talented liberals are given opportunities to pitch, stand at first base, catch, and play shortstop. When the teams finally meet on the field, the conservatives have nicer uniforms and a better bus, but they can’t compete with their more talented counterparts who were lifted out of the masses because of their performance.
Even more than ideology, people want to be part of something. When they aren’t allowed, they leave. And fans would always rather support someone who worked their way up from the bottom. Barack Obama is President today, more than any other thing, because the Conservative Christian Right put him there. There are a lot of conservatives and media pundits out there asking what went wrong. Asking why the Republican party doesn’t seem more inclusive. The answer, which will escape the marginally-talented leadership because of why they are the marginally-talented leadership, is really quite simple: it seems less inclusive because it is less inclusive, and people like me, who embrace the principles but reject the caste system, are left wondering where to turn.