Yeah, I’ll just stick with the Titanic metaphor for at least one more iteration. Here are a few key demographic stats derived from exit polling for the election, as reported by the Washington Post and a few others.
Obama’s Winning Edge:
- Women – 55%
- 18-29 year-olds – 60%
- 30-49 year-olds – 52%
- Blacks – 93%
- Hispanics – 71%
- Asians – 73%
- Other (non-white) – 58%
- No High School diploma – 64%
- High School graduates – 51%
- Post-Graduate studies – 55%
- < $50,000 – 60%
- Marital Status
- Unmarried – 62%
- Men – 56%
- Women – 67%
- Jewish – 69%
- Other (than Protestant or Catholic) – 74%
- None – 70%
- Wants President that “Cares” – 81%
- Thinks Economy is Good – 90%
- Top Issue – Health Care – 75%
A Few Obvious Conclusions (Because that’s just what I do here…):
The federal government of the USA is now being run by and for those who:
- Aren’t old enough to have any enough real world experience to know how debilitating taxes and regulation are as you struggle to succeed in life, and/or
- Have never made a life-long commitment to another human being in marriage and have no kids with a future to worry about, and/or
- Is a woman who had a bad marriage and wants the government to let her be a stay-at-home mom, and/or
- Thinks that race should count for something, and/or
- Has very little education and, thus, very little income, and/or
- Too much education and very little income, and/or
- Probably hates or, at least, doesn’t think much about God, and/or
- Is, otherwise, more-or-less completely delusional (about the state of the economy, what a President is supposed to do, what a government can actually afford to do, etc., etc.)
(From a description of Early American Voting Rights, as presented by Colonial Williamsburg.)
Typically, white, male property owners twenty-one or older could vote. Some colonists not only accepted these restrictions but also opposed broadening the franchise. Duke University professor Alexander Keyssar wrote in The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States:
At its birth, the United States was not a democratic nation—far from it. The very word “democracy” had pejorative overtones, summoning up images of disorder, government by the unfit, even mob rule. In practice, moreover, relatively few of the nation’s inhabitants were able to participate in elections: among the excluded were most African Americans, Native Americans, women, men who had not attained their majority, and white males who did not own land.
John Adams, signer of the Declaration of Independence and later president, wrote in 1776 that no good could come from enfranchising more Americans:
Depend upon it, Sir, it is dangerous to open so fruitful a source of controversy and altercation as would be opened by attempting to alter the qualifications of voters; there will be no end to it. New claims will arise; women will demand the vote; lads from 12 to 21 will think their rights not enough attended to; and every man who has not a farthing, will demand an equal voice with any other, in all acts of state. It tends to confound and destroy all distinctions, and prostrate all ranks to one common level.
The above is presented, not in defense of historical racial or gender restrictions, but as demonstration of one simple principle: those who vote should be limited to those who actually pay the bills. We (most of us) naturally recoil at such a perspective, given our more recent progressive history. But, we are about to learn dearly the risks of ignoring such practical wisdom.
Each and every dollar spent by our government goes into somebody’s pocket. Each and every regulation imposed by our government hurts someone and benefits someone else. Each of these actions have a demonstrable influence on both the voting patterns and the future course of the nation.
When the authority to tax, spend, and regulate is used to buy votes, and when votes are made in order to secure those benefits, well, the game is soon over. It’s just that simple.
PS – One quick additional point…a caveat, really. The above observations are, obviously, generalized – at least to the degree noted in the individual statistics. I’m sure that there are a few highly-educated, poorly-paid (or unemployed), unmarried, black, atheist women who believe the economy is in great shape, and, perhaps mistakenly, voted for Romney….just not that many.