Next year marks the bicentennial of the War of 1812, when a fledging nation successfully defeated the British Empire for the second time. The “War” of 2012 will not result in the burning of the White House and Capitol building, but it may shape up to be quite brutal.
This will be an uncivil war, comprised of mini-wars fought viciously on various fronts. Thankfully, it has a predetermined November 6 end date, though recent history shows that can suffer a continuance.
The battlegrounds on which the War of 2012 will be waged:
The rich vs. the poor vs. the middle class; the haves vs. the have-nots; the skilled vs. the unskilled. Everyone will have a dog in this fight. Some pertinent facts fueling class warfare:
- Only half of American taxpayers pay federal income tax.
- The number of Americans receiving food stamps: 44.2 million.
- Of all babies now born in our nation, 49% are to families receiving federal food supplements.
- According to the 2010 census, 15.7% of Americans — 47.8 million — are living in poverty.
The Culture War
This front is on track to get even nastier, as both sides feel threatened on issues relating to gay marriage, abortion, gun control, ObamaCare, and the role of religion in public life.
Looming over the 2012 election are four aging Supreme Court justices, all in their seventies. The likelihood that the winner will get to name one or more new justices during his or her term is high. Whether a Republican or Democrat president makes those nominations could affect decisions on social issues for decades.
The culture war is in many ways a holy war, pitting conservatives — who research has shown are more likely to attend church and to generally hold more traditional social and cultural views — against the more secular Democrats. The religious beliefs of Obama and his 2012 opponent are sure to be hotly debated: the New York Times is making sure of that.
Big Government vs. Small Government vs. Broke Government
This will be the key battle of the War of 2012. But no matter which candidate wins, our nation has already lost because our current levels of spending cannot be sustained.
Regardless, the demands for more domestic entitlement and infrastructure spending will not abate, and government spending will increase anyway, fruitless attempts to fix our slow growth, high unemployment, aging population, increasing poverty rates, and crumbling infrastructure.
The Money War
We are now in the era of the super PACs, brought about by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United. The ruling allows for direct political spending by corporations and unions, thus unleashing a “Wild West” of fundraising. Super PACs do not have to reveal their donors, but are forbidden (wink wink) to coordinate directly with the “official” campaign.
According to USA Today, at last count Obama had already attended 127 fundraisers — more than any of his predecessors — on his way to a campaign goal of $1 billion. As a result, Republican candidates vying to win the GOP nomination and to defeat an incumbent president must spend an inordinate amount of time fundraising.
The MSM vs. New Media
No reasonable person disputes that in 2008 the MSM was in the tank for Obama. Will the media be there for him again? Of course — particularly if the current “frontrunner,” Texas Governor Rick Perry, is the Republican nominee. With Perry, the MSM will project the second coming of George W. Bush: expect Bush Derangement Syndrome 2.0 with Perry’s face attached.
New Media has its work cut out for them.
The Two Parties vs. the New Internet Party
A well-funded group called Americans Elect will be launching a third party nominating process via the internet. The plan is to be on the ballot in all 50 states. Who would be their presidential nominee? One could assume someone like former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman would be the perfect candidate.
If Americans Elect, or another third party, is only partially successful, the winner of the War of 2012 could end up being determined by the House of Representatives — a figurative burning inside the Capitol.