The week before last I went down to San Diego to visit Mom. Let me tell you a little bit about her, to set the stage.
Mom’s Armenian, born and
raised in Iran where my dad met her after WW2. She’s a post-war bride, an
immigrant who did the whole Ellis Island thing, got her US citizenship, and
became a productive member of society, raising two young kids alone when she
became a widow at a young age while working her tail off to provide them a good
standard of living.
Like many (if not most) immigrants of her era, she’s
politically conservative, subscribing to the traditional American values that
made this country a Mecca for them. But over the last few election cycles, as
health issues have affected her mobility, she’s become much less politically
active, by which I mean she hasn’t voted in the last few elections.
When I visited her we talked politics, as is usual. She’s
very concerned about the direction Obama has taken this country, and the implications
of his policies and how they’re affecting our economic soundness, as well as
our standing in the world community; so much so that she has determined to cast
her vote in this election come November. Each time, she asks me how I assess
the status of the race, and what I think the outcome will be.
Each time, I tell her that in my opinion, if the election
were held today, I think Obama would handily lose. Further, that contrary to
the popular wisdom and polling data, I think it could well be a landslide of Reaganesque
proportions. And that barring any unusual event between now and November, I don’t
think Obama has a chance.
I then point out to her that she, herself, is a great
example of the dynamic that’s in effect. She’s so motivated to see him gone
that she’s more engaged in the political scene than she’s been in almost two
decades, and is bound and determined to make her voice heard. And because of
that, she’s a great example – a bellwether – of what’s ahead in November as so
many other people just like her – people who aren’t normally involved directly
in the process – get themselves to the polls to get rid of the amateur/socialist
in the White House.
Most of the current polls indicate a very tight race, with
Obama sometimes in the lead, and sometimes Romney. But don’t let those polls
fool you; there’s a dynamic in this country I haven’t seen since 1980, when the
polls showed Carter with the lead over Reagan, right up to end of the campaign,
when the only poll that matters – the actual vote results – ushered Reagan into
the White House with a 49-state landslide victory. I well remember the absolute
shock (and outrage!) of the newscasters of the time when they were announcing
the election results, and that Reagan had won.
In 1976 Carter’s campaign for President revolved around the
country’s disaffection for anything Nixon, including his policies and his replacement,
Gerald Ford. Carter was the “not Nixon” candidate. By 1980, he’d demolished the
economy, inflation was through the roof, interest rates on loans were at record
highs, property values had crashed, there were gas lines at the pumps as prices
soared, we’d lost our international prestige, and Americans had been held
hostage in Iran for over a year.
In 2008 Obama’s campaign for President revolved around the
country’s disaffection for Bush and his policies. Obama was the “not Bush”; McCain
was tarred as being “Bush 3”. And now, in 2012, he’s demolished the economy,
the country’s in debt to its hairline, gas prices are at record highs (having
over doubled since he took office), credit card interest rates are at record
highs, property values are in the doldrums, right along with our international
prestige, our national credit rating has been downgraded for the first time in
history and is in danger of being so again, and he’s perceived by large
segments of the populace as having run rampant over the Constitution with such
programs as Obamacare and his penchant for abusing the Executive Order power to
make laws not properly enacted by Congress.
In 1980 Carter had lost the enthusiastic support of much of
his base, and energized his opponents by his actions. In 2010 Obama finds
himself in exactly the same position. Again, remember my Mom; she’s going to
vote for the first time in many years just to get rid of the guy.
That’s what’s going to make the difference this year, and
why I’m predicting that – barring unforeseen major events – we could very well
see another landslide this year.
In 2009, shortly after he took office, Matt Lauer interviewed
Obama, and he had this to say: "One nice thing
about the situation I find myself in is that I will be held accountable. You
know, I've got four years. A year from now, I think people are going to see
that we’re starting to make some progress. But there's still going to be some
pain out there. If I don't have this done in three years, then there's going to
be a one-term proposition."
I think he predicted that one correctly.
Probably a first for him. Let’s all do our best to make his at that time
arrogant prediction a self-fulfilling prophecy.
© Brian Baker 2012
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