November 8, 2012
Laura Hollis is: Current: Associate Professional Specialist and Concurrent
Associate Professor of Law at University of Notre Dame.
Past: Director at Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, Associate
Director and Clinical Professor at University of Illinois at
Education: University of Notre Dame Law School, University of Notre Dame.
Summary: She has 20+ years' experience in curriculum and other program
development and delivery.
"I am already reading so many pundits and other talking heads analyzing the
disaster that was this year's elections. I am adding my own ten cents. Here
1. We are outnumbered
We accurately foresaw the enthusiasm, the passion, the commitment, the
determination, and the turnout. Married women, men, independents, Catholics,
evangelicals - they all went for Romney in percentages as high or higher
than the groups which voted for McCain in 2008. It wasn't enough. What we
saw in the election on Tuesday was a tipping point: we are now at a place
where there are legitimately fewer Americans who desire a free republic with
a free people than there are those who think the government should give them
stuff. There are fewer of us who believe in the value of free exchange and
free enterprise. There are fewer of us who do not wish to demonize
successful people in order to justify taking from them. We are outnumbered.
For the moment. It's just that simple.
2. It wasn't the candidate(s)
Some are already saying, "Romney was the wrong guy"; "He should have picked
Marco Rubio to get Florida/Rob Portman to get Ohio/Chris Christie to get
[someplace else]." With all due respect, these assessments are incorrect.
Romney ran a strategic and well-organized campaign. Yes, he could have hit
harder on Benghazi. But for those who would have loved that, there are those
who would have found it distasteful. No matter what tactic you could point
to that Romney could have done better, it would have been spun in a way that
was detrimental to his chances. Romney would have been an excellent
president, and Ryan was an inspired choice. No matter who we ran this year,
they would have lost. See #1, above.
3. It's the culture, stupid!
We have been trying to fight this battle every four years at the voting
booth. It is long past time we admit that is not where the battle really is.
We abdicated control of the culture - starting back in the 1960s. And now
our largest primary social institutions - education, the media, Hollywood
(entertainment) have become really nothing more than an assembly line for
cranking out reliable little Leftists. Furthermore, we have allowed the
government to undermine the institutions that instill good character -
marriage, the family, communities, schools, our churches. So, here we are,
at least two full generations later - we are reaping what we have sown. It
took nearly fifty years to get here; it will take another fifty years to get
back. But it starts with the determination to reclaim education, the media,
and the entertainment business. If we fail to do that, we can kiss every
election goodbye from here on out. And much more.
4. America has become a nation of adolescents
The real loser in this election was adulthood: Maturity. Responsibility. The
understanding that liberty must be accompanied by self-restraint. Obama is a
spoiled child, and the behavior and language of his followers and their
advertisements throughout the campaign makes it clear how many of them are,
as well. Romney is a grown-up. Romney should have won. Those of us who
expected him to win assumed that voters would act like grownups. Because if
we were a nation of grownups, he would have won.
But what did win? Sex. Drugs. Bad language. Bad manners. Vulgarity. Lies.
Cheating. Name-calling. Finger-pointing. Blaming. And irresponsible
spending. This does not bode well. People grow up one of two ways: either
they choose to, or circumstances force them to. The warnings are all there,
whether it is the looming economic disaster, or the inability of the
government to respond to crises like Hurricane Sandy, or the growing
strength and brazenness of our enemies. American voters stick their fingers
in their ears and say, "Lalalalalala, I can't hear you." It is unpleasant to
think about the circumstances it will take to force Americans to grow up. It
is even more unpleasant to think about Obama at the helm when those
5. Yes, there is apparently a Vagina Vote
It's the subject matter of another column in its entirety to point out, one
by one, all of the inconsistencies and hypocrisies of the Democrats this
year. Suffice it to say that the only "war on women" was the one waged by
the Obama campaign, which sexualized and objectified women, featuring them
dressed up like vulvas at the Democrat National Convention, appealing to
their "lady parts," comparing voting to losing your virginity with Obama,
trumpeting the thrills of destroying our children in the womb (and using our
daughters in commercials to do so), and making Catholics pay for their birth
control. For a significant number of women, this was appealing. It might
call into question the wisdom of the Nineteenth Amendment, but for the fact
that large numbers of women (largely married) used their "lady smarts"
instead. Either way, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton are rolling
over in their graves.
6. It's not about giving up on "social issues"
No Republican candidate should participate in a debate or go out on the
stump without thorough debate prep and a complete set of talking points that
they stick to. This should start with a good grounding in biology and a
reluctance to purport to know the will of God. (Thank you, Todd and
Richard.) That said, we do not hold the values we do because they garner
votes. We hold the values we do because we believe that they are time-tested
principles without which a civilized, free and prosperous society is not
possible. We defend the unborn because we understand that a society which
views some lives as expendable is capable of viewing all lives as expendable. We defend
family - mothers, fathers, marriage, children - because history makes it
quite clear that societies without intact families quickly descend into
anarchy and barbarism, and we have plenty of proof of that in our inner
cities where marriage is infrequent and unwed motherhood approaches 80
percent. When Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, many thought that the
abortion cause was lost. Forty years later, ultrasound technology has
demonstrated the inevitable connection between science and morality. More
Americans than ever define themselves as "pro-life." What is tragic is that
tens of millions of children have lost their lives while Americans figure
out what should have been obvious before. There is no "giving up" on social
issues. There is only the realization that we have to fight the battle on
other fronts. The truth will win out in the end.