In the days following an election, one thing you can count on is that the circular firing squads will be out! From the media pundits to political party strategists to polling experts, there's no shortage of opinions as to why President Barack Obama won reelection, why Republicans in general faired so poorly, and why citizens in several states legalized same-sex marriage and marijuana use. Joining the blame game at this point, however, does no one any good. Honest self-analysis has to take place, and it will in the coming days. There's no doubt that much will be learned from this election cycle, and hopefully some of it will even be constructive. Culturally, politically and mechanically, conservatives are facing a lot of questions that need new answers.
One thing is for sure: We as conservatives have our work cut out for us. We cannot rely on political parties or candidates to do the persuading necessary to convince our fellow citizens of the genuine hope of our founding principles. The media has been exposed more than ever, but it successfully drove the national and state narrative and pushed its candidates over the finish line. Despite that obstacle, however, we, individually and corporately, have to do a better job of articulating why our principles are the only true hope for restoring our nation.
It is interesting that this year’s election saw 12 million fewer voters than 2008. In Virginia, President Obama received 68,000 fewer votes than in 2008, and Mitt Romney received 56,000 more votes than John McCain received four years ago. While that was not enough of a shift to change the ultimate result, it does indicate that regardless of the spin you hear from liberal pundits, Virginia is not shifting rapidly to the left.
Also important to note is that traditional marriage received more votes than Mitt Romney in every state where it was on the ballot, all states won by President Obama, despite the fact that those seeking to defend marriage were outspent four to one.
The fact is that we are a deeply divided nation and Commonwealth. The gulf between the opposing worldviews — one, a man-centered secular statism, the other a God-centered Constitutional Republic — are so mutually exclusive that finding "common ground" simply is impossible without one side or the other sacrificing their core principles at the altar of political expediency.
In a day and age where everyone wants answers today, right now, for what happened on Tuesday, there will be little helpful analysis — only criticism and attacks, because that's all that can be done quickly. That takes no thought.
At The Family Foundation, we will not join in the firing squad. We will take the necessary time to look at what happened in the past few weeks and how successful we were at educating pro-family Virginians and where we have to improve. We have little time to lick our wounds, as the General Assembly will be in town in just a few weeks, and another election cycle will begin.
I do want to express my deepest appreciation for all of you who worked tirelessly over the past few months. Many of you joined us at our call centers, went door-to-door, donated financially, distributed voter guides in your churches and more. I am truly grateful for all of you and for your passionate advocacy for our shared values.