It may have won Bill Clinton an election over George H.W. Bush, but the phrase “It’s the economy, stupid” couldn’t do the same for Romney.
If ever there was an election where that phrase could not have seemed more true, 2012 was it. With unemployment through the roof (above even what the Obama administration considered the “nightmare scenario” if his stimulus plan wasn’t passed, which it was), the national debt soaring to ridiculous heights, the Fed continuing its dangerous (and unsuccessful) campaign of quantitative easing (buying $85 billion per month of government securities), the economic picture was horrible for the incumbent and James Carville’s phrase seemed even more apt to be adopted by Romney/Ryan.
And yet, what were the stories of the 2012 campaign? Gay “marriage” victories, Obama wins in economically hard-hit states, essentially the triumph of social issues over economic issues. So what do Republican strategists suggest for the future? Conservatives need to cave on social issues. Is it not clear why conservatives are beginning to detest Republican strategists?
As much as you wouldn’t expect an economist to say this, I am more convinced than ever that it ain’t the economy. Sure, there is plenty of ground we can make up to get the U.S. back into a respectable position vis-a-vis economic freedom (from a 5th place international ranking in 2007 to 18th in 2010), and I guarantee that doing so would get us out of this recession faster than any stimulus plans or quantitative easings. But what do most Catholics (and I presume most readers of the CV blog) really want? High GDP growth?
No, we want our country and our constitution back. We want liberty protected within a culture committed to virtue. We want the infanticide and the eldericide(is there a better word for this?) stopped. We want a recovery from the illogical descent into moral relativism and subjectivism that threatens to implode society. We want people to understand what sex is, who it is for, and whom it will naturally produce. Despite decades of “sexual education,” we want people to actually be educated about sex instead of being fed lies that provide intellectual cover for indulging our lusts. We want freedom of religion, not just “freedom of worship.”
Because, at the end of the day, we don’t just want bigger bank accounts; we want to help as many people as we can to get to heaven. Having vincibly-ignorant ideas about God and the natural law doesn’t help anyone get there.
Not sure if these will catch on, but I think I’ll adopt this motto as the most effective way to achieve political victories: