The Death of the Silent Majority

In the post-mortem analysis that followed the defeat of presidential hopeful Mitt Romney last week, a lot of the conservative rhetoric revolved around the failures of Mitt Romney as a candidate.

As always, there was talk that too many religious conservatives and libertarians stayed home, and that the latter wasted votes on Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson. Reports on the Internet stated that 49 percent of the registered voters did not vote, meaning that Barack Obama was in essence elected with approximately 25 percent of the registered voters.

This gives those who preach that Romney was not a “true conservative” the ammunition to claim that if a true conservative had run, those who stood on the sideline would have shown up at the polls. This fear was expressed to me well prior to the election in a private conversation at a Republican Party rally in my own district. A young man who worked for the state GOP said the greatest worry the Republican Party had was the possibility of low turnout. The Party felt its best strategy was to work on getting those who were already registered to vote.

Now, startlingly, statistics show that fewer people voted in 2012 than in 2008. Considering how important this election was supposed to be to the fate of America, it is interesting that this would happen.

So, it would seem, those who believe a more conservative candidate could win have their statistics to prove it. However, many of the people with whom I spoke about the election have said quite the opposite. In summary, they said the silent majority is gone.

For those of you unfamiliar with this group, the “silent majority” were those designated by the conservatives as the hard-working, conservative majority of the country who were not out protesting and rioting in the streets, but held the majority opinion. Their silence was broken when they voted. In more contemporary terms, I have been told by conservatives that 70 percent of the American public is classified as conservative, and that as long as a candidate appeals to this already existing base, he or she will win.

The people I spoke with said that the 2012 election proves that this notion of the 70 percent is delusional. In short, the American majority is no longer right-of-center. From the point of view of the left, this undoubtedly means that the last forty years have paid off. The American education system has done its work well, the American mainstream media has done its best to bolster the education system, and the Republican Party may have made its most grotesque error in pushing Bush/Cheney on the American public from 2000 to 2008.

The American education system and the media have had a non-stop campaign for forty years to denounce the religious American heritage. And it is appearing to work. I read a quote on the Internet that summarizes it best; to paraphrase, a man said the election showed that the left wants to punish the right for tea party beliefs that interfere with the left’s idea of progress. I think punishment is important. That is the end of any tolerance toward an American religious ideal. The American press is a lost cause and will not be discussed outside of saying the conservative radio world never looked as foolish as it did on Tuesday, November 6, 2012, when it predicted a landslide for Mitt Romney. It, too, is showing signs of living in delusion.

To end this, I will take you on a short journey I took on November 9, 2012, a mere three days after the election. Once a year I have to go to Cincinnati, Ohio, which is about an hour away from my home. I try to plan an itinerary that allows me to stop at some of my favorite places and visit old acquaintances. Two of the acquaintances I visited yesterday campaigned for Barack Obama. We discussed the election and, as I expected, Mitt Romney was not the topic of discussion. Instead, it was Bush/Cheney, the Demons of the air that came to earth for eight years. Old hatreds seem to never die.

At some point in the discussion, I asked them both what they thought of the right-to-life issue that had had been so prominent in the election, especially as this issue affected women. They both told me the same thing.

“There is no right to life,” they said. “That’s a conservative religious myth.”

When you say your prayers tonight, think about the fact that these people put Barack Obama in office.

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Comments

  1. John Feeny says:

    Ron -
    Let me first say that I haven’t even read your piece yet, but rest assured, I will. The reason that I’m responding without having read is that the first thing – the very first thing – that I said to some colleagues the next day as we began commiserating with regard to our eventual demise is that there is a “new” silent majority in this country. The silent majority was once the group of people who weren’t politically active, who worked hard, took care of their families, and just wanted to be left alone; the “new” silent majority is the group of people who also are not politically active, but who don’t want to work, don’t want to take care of their families, and who want the government to act on their behalf. I’m not sure if that can ever be reversed.

  2. Joseph in Tennessee says:

    I have not commented here in a very long while but I have still been reading all along and this is still one of my favorite websites.

    In light of the recent election I have to agree with what John says about the new majority in this country. What worries me the most is the idea of how you convince someone to get off their butts and go to work when all that they need is already being provided for them for free, that to me seems a nearly impossible task and is quite frankly very scary.

    I really hate to think that the nation that us older folks knew and grew up in is completely and forever lost but I am myself at a loss for a true answer that will save us from becoming a complete socialist state. I was pretty certain that Jeff’s predication was wrong but only by the percentage he predicted and not the eventual result.

    I really felt as if I had done my part over the past four years by helping a dozen people who had never voted get registered and even provided transportation to half of them to the polls. I have pulled my children from the public system and have been home-schooling them for several years now. I simply dont know what else I can do but I am not at all ready to give up on our country.

    Personally I feel only our God can help us but at the same time I see more and more people are moving away from God, again a very scary thought.

    Jeff, I doubt that you remember me but I do hope that you enjoy your vacation and are able to continue the excellent work that goes on with this site. I also hope very much that your bet did not include you having to post any pictures of you holding up your end of the bet.

    CHOMP CHOMP and May God Bless.

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