Why did so many vote for Obama the second time? The answer, in short, is people voted for Obama because he was easier. FDR was seen as a visionary, JFK represented the fulfillment of a Brave New World, LBJ had a Great Society in mind, Carter represented a break from the troubled Washington of Richard Nixon, Reagan stirred optimism with, “It’s Morning in America Again,” and Bill Clinton motivated voters with “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow.” In 2008, Barack Obama offered a hollow “Hope and Change” slogan and over the next four years achieved nothing but government-funded bailouts. In the 2012 election cycle, Barack Obama represented absolutely nothing; he didn’t need to.
Obama didn’t run as the education president, he offered no Contract With America, he wasn’t seen as the champion of freedom around the world, he wasn’t a respected commander-in-chief, internationally, he wasn’t considered a brilliant negotiator of foreign affairs, and no one on Wall Street saw him as a savvy operator in the business world. As a matter of fact, if you search your memory, it was, and is, hard to define his strong suit.
A man with very few credentials, no national ambitions, no articulated vision for the future, was re-elected because he represented what seemed to be the easiest solution to our nation’s challenges. That is what many Americans want, isn’t it? We want the path of least resistance. Why? Because for millions of Americans, life is difficult, troublesome and complicated; trusting in the big hand of government just feels safe and even cozy for a whole new generation of Americans.
That’s it. Uncle Sam offers security, supply and stability. What Romney didn’t understand, what many Republicans still do not grasp, is that attempts to warn voters about the dangers of big government actually make the dependent feel threatened. For many voters, Obama represents relief from taking personal responsibility, less hassle through less change, less having to think for ourselves, and more childlike trust in what feels like the growing warm embrace of a benevolent, caring government. I fear that Americans have fallen asleep, tummies stuffed with the promises of plenty, and will soon wake up to the nightmare of being starved of personal freedom by a cruel taskmaster called the United States federal government.