Apparently, so did a lot of people, and that’s exactly the outcome I was hoping for.
Many conservatives, with whom I sympathize (especially for pro-gun reasons) are frustrated and disappointed. They are blaming Gary Johnson voters and voters who, like me, stayed home.
But, let’s be real.
Mitt Romney wasn’t going to lead America into a red, white and blue renaissance of manly patriotism. No, while his rhetoric was clumsily tuned to appeal to white men, he couldn’t even come up with fake policy recommendations that were substantially different from anything Obama had to offer. He was never going to roll back special privileges or entitlements for women or minorities, and to maintain any chance in hell of getting elected to a second term with a growing Latino population, there was absolutely no chance that he would move to secure the borders or control illegal immigration. There is every reason to believe that, like Obama, he was going to be an interventionist war president. There is every reason to believe that, like Obama, he would reliably choose globalism over nationalism, big government over small government, and big business over small business.
Corporate interests fund campaigns, lobby groups, and the powerful political action committees that help determine which candidates end up on the ticket. In many cases, the same corporations play both sides and fund both campaigns. People are also starting to realize that foreign governments—even the kind of foreign terrorist organizations that the government pretends to fight—have a tremendous amount of lobbying power in Washington
When the system is so loaded that it can only produce superficially different candidates who obviously have no intention of representing your interests or even the interests of the nation they’ve been selected to lead, staying home is a vote of “no confidence” in the system itself.
Early estimates suggest that America has a “disengaged electorate,” and that voter turnout was lower in many places than it has been in a decade. Orchestrated partisan hysteria aside, for many it seems to be emotional but relatively inconsequential ballot measures—like those concerning the legalization of marijuana or same-sex marriage—that get people to the polls at all.
Some have said that young voters are turning out in higher numbers, but I’ll chalk that up to naiveté. They haven’t been burned enough times to know they are being lied to. Will they still believe in a few years?
Low voter participation is a sign that more and more eligible voters no longer believe that they can effect meaningful change through the American democratic process as it currently (dis)functions. If voter turnout continues to decline, and I think it will—especially as the doomed Republican Party cracks apart and sinks—it will be because voters have less and less confidence in the American system.
At Attack the System, Vince posted about the coming disenfranchisement of the non-urban voter, who lives in a very different America from the urban voter, but whose interests will be increasingly ignored by politicians focused on catering to the prevailing mores of high density areas. (Oregon, for instance, is considered reliably liberal, but the vast physical majority of the state votes reliably conservative. Hardy, decent Oregonian country folk are nothing like the pasty, dysgenic denizens of hipster Portlandia, but urban population centers Portland and Eugene have a lock on State politics.)
Vince wrote, “As the GOP loses it’s ability to capture national elections we will find more and more sympathy from the right on [pan-secessionist] critiques of the liberal empire and universalism. This sympathy and support will come from the populist right and refugees from political correctness.”
As more and more Americans lose faith in their system of government, my hope is that America will collapse from the inside and create a failed state. The kind of change that can compete with liberal globalist totalitarianism can only come from deep within that failed state.