The PJ Tatler

Four Futures

Crystal ball gazing from my friend Bill Reader.



Election day is just two days away from me as I write this article. I think now is a good time to understand where we are and where we’re going. Or it would be, anyway.

Except frankly, no one seems completely certain where anyone is right now. Romney’s drawing huge crowds of broken-glass voters, including yours truly. Obama’s crowds are anemic and, though often over-reported, still don’t measure up. So we know enthusiasm is down on the Left, but we don’t know how far down. We’re doing well on the early voting, last I checked, and that’s good. And some analysts say the broken-glass voters aren’t even the people the Romney campaign is turning out to vote early, which is excellent. But early voting gives the Democrats lead time to judge magnitude. We never found out, before it died and spawned an evil hoard of sub-organizations differing only in name, just how many electoral votes ACORN diverted through fraud. Even if we did know precisely, we’d be uncertain whether it was their full capacity or just what they thought necessary. Were fraud not in play, I would judge Romney’s win a near-certainty. But who knows how many votes they’ll manufacture, how many Democrats will vote twice after registering in two states, or what they’ll do with the military votes (and that list of potential fraud is not exhaustive). But then again, they don’t have any hard numbers to go off of. Polling this year has been all over the place, and response rates so low that some people are concluding the whole process is flawed.

As to where we’re going, well, that’s uncertainty squared. I don’t know location, speed or direction precisely, so how could we? But we know that a future of some kind must exist, so I propose a simple solution… let’s just talk about all the major possibilities. The way I see it, there are four significantly different ways this election could go. Listed worst to best, they are: Obama wins by a wide margin, Obama wins by a slim margin, Romney wins by a slim margin, Romney wins by a wide margin. Let’s talk a little bit about what each of these means.

We’ll deal first with the idea of Obama winning by a large margin. Let me start with a disclaimer… I do not consider this to be very likely. I think he blew any vestigial shot at that in the first debate. Considering the pounding that people have taken in Obama’s economy, I think it was shaky before. That said, there are two distantly possible ways Obama could manage this even with the enthusiasm in his base being somewhere between Tolstoy readers and Nyquil users. One is if too large a number of voters turn to a 3rd party candidate.

I don’t know fully how much of a danger there is in this. Some 3rd party candidates will pull from the right, and the independents. But then, the Green party is also a 3rd party, and it looks like they’re pulling from the left. It’s all about the proportion and the placement. I’d do the customary begging for the people vying for a 3rd party on our side to change their minds, but at this point I think such arguments more or less assume their votes won’t be significant. They’re entrenched beyond the enlightenment we can provide in two days. If we are concerned with convincing others rather than simply standing in the way of the destruction of the US after those two days, it’s only because they failed to throw the vote. The one thing I’ll say is that, while I’m not necessarily happy about all of Romney’s decisions as governor, anyone who is genuinely surprised at a person “governing like a liberal” in the state of freaking Massachusetts needs remedial classes in what “representative government” means. As a small-L libertarian myself, I recognize Romney as the last hope we’ve got to turn this around, warts and all, and if I had no other reason, that alone would have given him my vote. I can’t imagine not being able to see him as, at minimum, the lesser of two evils.

The other possibility is, as mentioned earlier, fraud. Supposing that the ability of the Democrats to cheat has grown significantly since 2008, itself a banner year, there’s a world where Banana-Republic levels of fraud have set in and no possible legitimate vote would save us. I don’t think we’re there yet, but as Bill Whittle points out, if they win this one, that level of corruption may be here by 2016.

I’ll give you a flying tour of the results of this world. Our credit rating would be toast. Deficits would likely grow to such a monstrous degree that hopes of paying them off would be relegated to history books. Add to which that an increasingly insolvent Europe, and a China fraught by rising financial problems (mark my words) would be forced to call home our debt in order to turn some of their theoretical holdings into actual cash. If we could pay at all, it would be with printed money. Speaking of printed money, money printing would probably not just persist, but grow. The latest quantitative easing being open-ended is a small taster. History has shown that the floodgates really open not far down this road. ObamaCare would stay, causing myriad problems… the big three are that health care costs would rise (as they have already begun to) due to the regulatory burden imposed by the bill, most if not all private insurance would either be pushed out of business because of the bill’s stipulation that they cannot do sufficient risk minimization to stay solvent, or else the companies would be subsidized by Uncle Sam a la subprime mortgages and with the same inevitable long term effects on our budget, and the population of doctors would shrink enormously in the face of the additional financial and personal burdens the legislation places on them. A nuclear Iran would become not just a possibility but a certainty. Expect more embassy attacks, and in fact, more attacks on Americans in general. Maintaining a “secure” position in the world would mean committing more and more assets overseas, and Obama’s scaling-down of the military would mean those assets wouldn’t be there to commit. And with legislation to amend the first amendment, and other legislation to tax items sold on the internet, both coming down the pike (not to mention existent legislation that allows incarceration of American citizens without cause), well, all of that is just the start. Pray they diverted most of their cheating to Obama in this world, because we’d need a congress to stop those laws. Stop them, that is, until Obama used executive orders to pass them.

If Obama won by a small margin, all of the above could still happen, of course. And make no mistake, the two factors that might tip the election mentioned above put this option distinctly in play… I’d rate it the second or third-most-likely outcome. But in this world we are marginally better off, if for no other reason than that Obama clearly has no mandate. This gives us in the opposition a slight advantage, though the next four years would be a major uphill and probably losing fight. The most major differences are short-term.

A squeaker for Obama has the potential to throw us into recounts, and if Romney holds out and is able to substantiate enough of the fraud, we might have a slim chance. But any hope of election night being the be-all-and-end-all would be dashed by weeks, maybe months of argument. The point I want to make is that this world doesn’t leave us utterly doomed, and you still have every reason to fight like your life depends on it, here. The United States would be standing on the bleeding edge of the abyss, though.

What about a squeaker for Romney? Well, we’ll still find ourselves fighting, but from a somewhat better position. I’m leaning towards this possibility now, I’m afraid. Obama would drag out the process just as we’d hope Romney would, but with a significant difference. As with Al Gore, the fraud machines would keep spinning during the recounts, with new Obama votes being found, by the box, in car trunks, and airplanes, and people’s basements, and lord knows where else. The hope would be that we could win by a sufficiency that the recounts didn’t matter.

Romney would still find his hands a little bit tied if he could stay in. With his mandate being somewhat fuzzy, he’d really have his work cut out for him trying to get this nation on the road to solvency. There would be unending dirty legislative tricks by the Democrats, of exactly the kind pulled to pass Obamacare. That said, if we kept a Republican majority of the House and moved into power in the Senate, we could get things done. But we’d be on notice: the specter of socialism would be hanging over our shoulder the entire time, and it would be up to Romney to create an economy capable of convincing the undecided voters. It would not be easy. The press will admit that homelessness, deficits, and a weak economy exist the day a president Romney takes office. Without a 2010 scale shellacking to put the lie to their stupidity, the accepted spin will be that an economy that is entirely Obama’s fault is due to the election of Romney. The exception would be if an eventual Romney win caused the stock market to soar, in which case they would say that it’s Obama’s policies finally paying off (and no, I’m not the first to observe that). Of course, that would be tricky. Regardless, the liberal end of the DNC would dig up another socialist for the next election (or possibly, *shudder*, the same socialist, with a shot at a second discontinuous term).

I say this not to frighten but to encourage. It should be understood that we have a vicious fight ahead of us if the above two scenarios occur. A candidate Romney who is on the knife’s edge of victory, or a president Romney on the knife’s edge of defeat, will need your support. If the worst should happen, the temptation, I know, will be strong to simply pack and leave. I ask you, personally, and with heartfelt sincerity, to reconsider. We have already, in America, the best people remaining in the whole world to fight on behalf of freedom. It is better, if not for ourselves, then for the future of America, if we stay. What we should do precisely if Obama wins, I will save for a post I hope I never have to write. There is a plan, though it will not be the only one, nor is to be preferred.

What  of the last world? There’s a world where Romney wins by a wide margin, which I’d say is about as likely as Obama winning by a slim margin. That world is a little different. Let us not kid ourselves… at his best, Romney was never going to be a savior to the masses, nor should freedom-loving Americans wish him to be. But in a world like this, he might be able to do enough. The media will still spin against him, of course, but the way they did in 2010. It’s hard to spin to an empty crowd. It will also almost certainly kill Obama’s further political considerations stone dead. The Democrats will be extremely unlikely to reappoint someone who got his party shellacked in the midterms and then got himself shellacked in the presidential election. Not having to worry about Obama coming back would lead to an enormous collective sigh of relief in the United States just by itself. It will also give Romney a little leverage on opponents across the aisle. Democrat congress critters, like almost all congress critters, love their positions and merely like their beliefs… a favorable trait on a side that has highly questionable beliefs. If it looks to them like making Romney’s life difficult is a good way to lose their seats, they might be more flexible in their beliefs. That would provide some real help in getting some stuff done, like, for example, passing an actual budget for a change.

Don’t hold your breath for this world. It’s nice, it’s not out of the running, but the possibility that someone will suddenly need to give you pie probably doesn’t rate a place in your emergency kit, if you catch my meaning. It’s the bad futures we need to be ready for. And if you want any chance of the best of all possible futures, it’s your responsibility to go out and vote, and bring all your conservative friends to vote too. This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for. The crux of four different paths, all leading us to different lives and, in most cases, towards many coming challenges on the road to getting America back on track. Here and now is where we test what we’re made of.

And perhaps there will be, in the end, no choice but to walk a relatively hard road to what we’ve always known as civilians. Freedom has been so long renewed by the blood of patriots that if we intend to renew it now by nothing more than sweat and tears, we are going to have to really pony up. But whichever road we take on Tuesday, remember as we follow it that you are always and indelibly an American, born into freedom and charged with doing what it takes to keep that light lit. Win or lose, small or big, do not let the future discourage you, nor let it lull you to sleep. Not now, when our biggest work ever is upon us. We need you. Determine now to make of the election everything you can, and face the aftermath plainly, in its greatest joy or deepest sorrow, and I guarantee you that no matter what happens, we will find a way to make it through this thing to brighter times. As someone… I think the famous Bill Whittle… once said: Americans are from the future.

And I don’t know about you, but I say it’s time we finally go home.