By Jack Tymann
After seemingly endless negative campaigning, a deeply divided America narrowly voted for "more-of-the-same."
President Barack Obama was re-elected. The Senate remains Democrat. The House remains Republican.
There was no mandate to change course — no reason to suspect bipartisanship will now miraculously emerge.
Our Founders provided for "we the people" to select our government leaders. They gave us a Republic, with limited central government, for as long as we can preserve it. Yet on Nov. 6 – a slim majority voted for additional government intrusion.
Bewildered conservatives are threatening to "drop out" like Ayn Rand's heroes in "Atlas Shrugged."
The biggest shock was voter turnout – dramatically and inexplicably reduced from 2008.
The president received 8 million fewer votes than in 2008. But Mitt Romney received 2 million fewer than did John McCain — in spite of a close race, the erosion of Obama supporters and millions of new GOP registrations.
Of 180 million registered voters, including 10 million new voters, only 120 million voted, compared to 130 million in 2008. That means 60 million stayed home!
Surveys show Obama won the black vote 92-8; Hispanic-Americans by 74-25; Asian-Americans by 61-38; Jewish-Americans by 70-30. If these had voted 50-50, it would have been a Romney landslide.
But in another revealing statistic, voters considering themselves "moderate" — neither liberal nor conservative — supported Obama by a whopping 77-22. End of story!
The Democrats successfully promoted liberal progressiveness while painting the GOP as out of touch — winning all except white voters, who supported Romney.
To Hispanics, the Democrats claimed compassion toward millions here illegally; while Romney spoke about self-deportation.
The president appealed to young voters as "cool" and socially liberal, while asking for higher contributions from the "rich." Meanwhile Romney struggled with his Wall Street/Bain image and biggest blunder — his "47 percent'' remark. Many millions rejected Romney to protect their food stamps, free contraception, unemployment benefits, and/or the myths of free college education and health care.
Going forward the GOP must accept certain realities and then demonstrate to all Americans that core conservative principles work for 100 percent who believe in individual freedoms and the American Dream. The Constitution and limited government are doomed if these principles and our God-given liberties are not re-embraced by a majority.
But new languaging may be called for.
On abortion, it's probably time to sadly accept, as does Justice Antonin Scalia, that after 40 years – the Roe v. Wade decision represents established law.
On immigration, the GOP must adopt the Marco Rubio solution – an idea that is actually a thoughtful version of the Dream Act.
On dealing with deficits, the GOP is correct that no tax increase ever created a new, sustainable job. But prudence says it's time to yield and allow slightly higher rates for the "rich" — in exchange for a clear promise of reform on tax codes, regulations, and entitlements — all essential to business growth and new tax revenues.
Re ObamaCare, total repeal is now impossible. But blocking some taxes/spending, as some states "opt out" of certain mandates, may be possible. Otherwise we're headed toward single-payer 100 percent government health care, meaning diminished health care for all but the wealthiest.
On all issues, the GOP needs better PR, clearer arguments — in the face of a liberal media, liberal Hollywood and liberal academe. If this cannot be done, America's slide toward socialism will continue.
America's vote did not mandate socialism. It simply proved how dangerously divided we are. That said, 100 percent would welcome civility over partisan vitriol.
To achieve this we need leadership, beginning with the president, and supported by John Boehner and the Republican House. We must stop repudiating compromise and seek common ground.
The first test is the so-called fiscal cliff, which simply must be avoided.
Overall, it's understandable that many are discouraged. Several new Supreme Court justices will be selected by 2016. The immediate future looks dim.
But American exceptionalism and our liberties cannot be destroyed by a few elections. If ways are found to better educate all citizens, America will remain the greatest, most prosperous, and most generous nation on earth.
We must reach deep and embrace this challenge and this belief. The alternative is unacceptable!There is no John Galt, no Atlantis to which one can escape.
As president of Westinghouse International, Jack Tymann led business development in 75 nations, including most Muslim countries. From 1992-2001 he co–chaired the Clinton–Mubarak Presidents' Council for the Middle East. Email him at email@example.com