From Ben Shapiro’s mini-masterpiece on Obama’s win:
This election was about one thing and one thing only: Americans’ puerile need for unity through self-congratulatory, cathartic membership in a broad, transformative political movement.
For eight years, Americans have been engaged in hostile politics. And after eight years, Americans were sick of it.
That isn’t to America’s credit. Hostile politics — hard-fought political conflict over the issues that matter — is not a bad thing. It is precisely the sort of messy republicanism the founders embraced. Early elections were replete with mudslinging, character assassination, brawls and scandals. They were also replete with some of the most substantive debate on policy ever put before mankind.
Apparently, we’re no longer interested in the dirty business of politics. We’d rather feel ourselves part of a high-minded movement. Not the sort of movement that espouses particular policies — not the antiwar movement, or the pro-life movement — those movements are too divisive. We want to be part of a movement that is solely about us.
Bingo. Obama voters like to talk about Obama’s post-boomer sensibility. But has anyone seen what boomers begat? Boomers were at least about “me,” and there’s something workably free-market there. But take the vacuous post-boomer “us,” couple it with a drooling cult of personality, sprinkle with promised entitlements, and you have a Euro-statist tragedy on your hands.
Obama’s interest in spreading the wealth is only half the equation. The apparent majority of Americans’ willingness to see it spread is the other. It may look weak and unpresidential, but I’m perfectly fine with Obama’s camp telling Americans to tamp down expectations. They might also want to tell them to take down their Stalinist-style posters and buttons. Obama works for us now. You don’t worship employees and you don’t hit them up for handouts. The best thing that could happen to the American public right now would be some healthy skepticism–followed by some healthy disunity.