Punchinello’s Chronicles

November 5, 2008

2008 Election: Reality vs. Fantasy

People think the 2008 election has been about all sorts of things. Some say it’s a turning point in racial history. Others talk about the failed policies of the Republican administration. Some say it’s about the economy, others that it’s about the war in Iraq (not the war against terrorism).

All these things are important, but they all descend from a fundamental shift in human development. All of our civilization is moving forward toward something, I think an integrated selfhood, but we’re moving forward. We’re growing in maturity, experience, wisdom, and knowledge. We’re entering into young adulthood, having come through a long period of adolescence.

Above and intertwined with all this evolution is a key principle and philosophic foundation. Is there an objective reality, how does it relate to wishful thinking, and how do illusion and fantasy fit into existence. This election was about the difference between “feeling” reality, versus “analyzing” reality.

One of the more bizarre aspects of the pundits giving post-election analysis has been the number of liberal journalists claiming to understand or even vaguely comprehend what happened to the conservative party. They routinely identify conservatives with Republicans, and propose that Sarah Palin was an important reason for the Republican failure. Utter hogwash, but that’s their fantasy.

Another type of journalist is the elitist intellectual. These are sneaky people in that they claim to stand outside the fray. It’s all “interesting to watch,” as if it won’t matter to them or affect anything in their daily lives. They don’t care, they say, who won or what the results will be, it’s all a fascinating story. Utter stupidity, but that’s their fantasy.

The Gathering

Throughout the past several elections we’ve heard that the terms “liberal” and “conservative” are labels. They’re shallow, meaningless, silly, or at worst, fear mongering. Sadly for everyone, these two ideologies are the visible edge of a far deeper philosophic war. That war began 300 years ago, and split humanity between the romantics and the structuralists.

With the election of Mr. Obama, liberals and conservatives have nothing in common anymore. As such, the split and polarization we’ve seen in voters will now move to the social level. The two ideologies are entirely antithetical, with no commonality at all. To that end, conservatives will gather and liberals will gather. Only the ignorant will remain always and forever…undecided.

Those who stand in the middle of the road, likely will get run over.

What we’re seeing today is the endgame in an impossible set of beliefs. We can’t continue this way, and won’t continue this way. Reality and fantasy have been split, with analysis on the side of the structuralists, and imagination on the side of the romantics. Nobody can continue to live with these two basic modes of cognition isolated and separate.

Up for grabs are both emotion and empathy, hidden away in the basement somewhere.

Liberals seem to feel — and that’s the operative word, “feel” — that the world around us is angry with America’s policies. True romantics, they don’t believe or understand in the slightest that people can purely hate. They don’t comprehend the idea of viscious, murderous hatred to the level of total annihilation. In their world, liberals “feel” that everything about human nature comes down to intellectualized or romanticized chess games.

America is under threat by a population of people who fully intend to destroy everything the country represents, murder every single citizen who doesn’t agree with the religion, and dance on the remaining detritus. Liberalism can’t imagine such hatred, so it doesn’t exist.

Listening to the morons who live around here screeching their mindless glee over Obama’s win, I couldn’t help but contemplate a world where ignorance has finally become the majority. It took 50 years to re-educate whole generations of people, and now we get a chance to see. Which is more powerful, fantasy or reality?

The next financial shoe that’s going to drop, probably in the next week or so, will be the commercial real estate market. Numbers will start to come out showing that commercial development and sales have fallen by 30-40% or more. The question will be how much money can we print to “bail out” the commercial investment world?

With that, Mr. Obama will have to come up with answers. Rather than stumble along with some pseudo socialist agenda left over from the 60’s hippie “revolution,” he likely will immediately run to the middle of the road. His whole experience has been conciliation, non-decision, and compromise. Unfortunately, he now faces reality.

No, the world isn’t upset with our “policies.” The world either totally relies on the United States for economic and military structure, or totally despises everything about the American concept. There isn’t any in between. Just so, the voting population of America no longer will be able to pretend that liberal and conservative are just funny little cocktail-party labels.

We’re about to see the start of the great quest. This election isn’t about the middle of the story, or end of the story. It’s not about change or conciliation. It’s not about figuring out a new Republican strategy, or how the Democrats will do this or that. It’s the start. It’s the beginning.

The world is entering the end of an eon, where civilization ran on various rules so deep that nobody remembers them or how they got there. Those rules don’t hold true anymore. In the same way that nations emerged from tribes and provinces, “the world” is about to emerge from many nations.

Mr. Obama will be facing the press in the next day or so. He’ll have to come up with some answers, now that those sanctimonious journalists have accomplished their goal of getting him elected. With that election, the journalists will step away again, outside the fray. Obama is now Mr. President, and he’ll be the one responsible for whatever mess comes down the pike.

Setting aside the existing problems, the commercial real estate collapse will be gasoline on the fire of economic catastrophe. Obama, along with Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Reagan, all have believed and continue to believe that government intervention is the Keynesian solution to economic “up and down ticks.”

No, that’s all gone now. There isn’t enough money to pretend it represents something real anymore. Without real production, real products, real inventions, real crops, real “things,” money means nothing. Debt spending has carried us for half a century, and now there isn’t any more credibility.

The fantasy has lasted 50 years. It was the foundation of this election. We’ve “proven” to whomever was watching that with enough votes, any society can vote for fantasy over reality. But, as is always the case, reality is real.

The coming twenty years will be like nothing seen before in all of history. Given our technology, our style of living, our development of science, we have a civilization quite different from any previous civilization. As it goes through the contractions of emergence, we’ll see amazing events.

Through it all, liberals will continue to hold to wishful feelings, and conservatives will hold to something else. The big problem is that conservatism is a new ideology, barely having started in the middle of the 20th century. It isn’t yet fully developed or even defined. For now, all anyone knows is that it stands “against” liberalism.

Sad and tragic as will be the consequences, we at last have a chance to implement liberalism in a big way, here in America. No, it won’t be the civil war and police state projected during the campaign. It won’t be the end of the world. But it will be very painful. We could lose 40,000 people in a terrorist attack, but that would be only a fraction of the 350-million people living here. So it won’t end the nation, but it sure will be a shock!

The key for conservatives now is to take the time to fully develop the overall ideology. It is NOT based on religion, and there is no causal relationship between the so-called Christian fundamentalists and conservative ideology. Nor is there any connection between Republican politics and conservative thought.

Conservatism is founded on the philosophic principle that values are a higher priority than feelings. Those values are many and varied, but one of the key values is the morality of capitalism. Another is the principle nature of semantics. The purpose of conservatism is to improve the quality of life. That mandate must hold true to a rule of absolutes.

Among the absolutes that make up conservatism is that facts are true, and that there is a universal “good.” The “good” is that which is life-enhancing. “Right and wrong” are derivatives of whatever ethics eventually becomes codified, and that’s part of the current process. But truth isn’t subject to feelings. Good isn’t relative, and neither is morality.

Without a conservative philosophy, we’ll continue to swing back and forth in a limbo. But for now, everyone who believes in “wait and see,” instead of analytic projection gets their chance. Now “we’ll see” if fantasy is powerful enough to negate reality and bring about the utopian dream of the romantics.

Full steam ahead! Forward into the past!



  1. I think you’re leaving out some rather crucial reasons as to why the Conservatives failed this time around. It was basically a shift that was brought on by none other than the Republican party and its leaders. The American Conservative blog sums it up better than I could:

    “As much as we should credit Obama’s unique set of political talents, and a changing American electorate for this stunning result, there are others who had a hand in creating this year. President Bush, the Republicans in Congress, and the institutional conservative movement made this night possible. In fact, it’s hard to imagine what more they could have done for Obama and the Democrats. Their incompetence and corruption have moved moderate non-ideological voters over to the Democratic side, perhaps for a generation.

    As much as the racial elements of this election will be examined, the most salient shift has been socio-economic. Professional whites are now almost entirely in the Democratic column. They abhor incompetence, fear anti-intellectualism, and no longer trust Republicans to be stewards of their economic success. This is why Obama won the white vote CORRECTION: increased the Democrat’s share of the white vote tonight.

    Conservatives should welcome tomorrow. President Obama and the overwhelmingly Democratic Congress will give Republicans and conservatives a choice: reform, or be scattered to the winds.”

    This sums it up. The Republican party isn’t based on corrupt, wrong, or incompetent ideals. But the shift towards right wing, socially conservative ideology has greatly damaged their party. There are indeed many in the Republican party who are already saying that their focus, attitude, and direction will have to be changed.

    John Mccain lost this election for none other than the fact that he wrongly assumed that by focusing on lower income, low education, socially conservative votes that he would win. The map has changed, and what worked even 4 years ago doesn’t work today. If the Republicans want to have a future, then they are going to have to fight back with intelligence, originality, and integrity.

    What we saw last night was the dawn of a new era. Even if you absolutely despise Obama and all “liberals”, last night made history.

    Comment by bob — November 5, 2008 @ 9:37 am | Reply

  2. Agreed on several counts. First, and obviously, we did make history. That’s something to be proud of, I think on all fronts. We’ve hopefully put aside the concept that race has some sort of special significance or makes a human being different.

    Secondly, there’s no question that the Republican politicians were responsible for, and have been responsible for sustaining the growing move toward liberalism. What likely would be a good result of this election might be the end of the Republican party as it’s been. It has little to do with the conservative Americans, and even less to do with its origins.

    But no, conservatives didn’t lose last night. Various state initiatives show that when it comes down to actual issues, conservative thought carries the decisions. The problem is lack of conservative branding, basis, and clarity. It’s why I think the new administration will help escalate the importance of developing that conservative structure.

    Comment by Punchinello — November 5, 2008 @ 1:05 pm | Reply

  3. This will be good for Republicans. They need to refocus their cause back to what more traditional Republican values are about: Smaller government, more independent American business, and so on. Straying away from that and into social conservatism was a wrong move.

    I recall watching the Governor of Minnesota. Mr. Tim Pawlenty. A very intelligent, forward-thinking, practical Republican. To me, perhaps if Republicans focus on intelligence and progressive ideals, then they will have a chance to redeem themselves and in turn help enrichen the cause of the US. I fully support the idea of two competitive parties focussing on vital issues and less so on morality. Competition for the betterment of the people is a noble cause.

    Comment by bob — November 5, 2008 @ 1:53 pm | Reply

  4. What I’d like to see would be the “sudden” grassroots emergence of an actual Conservative party. Despite years of indicators that a third party doesn’t work, I suspect that in today’s unique historical times “old rules” don’t hold true. In the event, such a party would pull from both the Republican and Democrat parties (as currently structured), and would likely have a major influence on future elections.

    As such, speculation on the “end of” or “death of” the Republican party make me optimistic.

    Comment by Punchinello — November 5, 2008 @ 1:57 pm | Reply

  5. Bob says, “Competition for the betterment of the people is a noble cause.” The days after the historic 2008 Presidential election seem euphoric for Barak Obama supporters, pathetic for those undecided voters still trying to make a decision, and apathetic to non-voters. It’s a big fat let down for at least one conservative voter. But the collective voices of “We the people” have spoken, completing the rituals of democracy, one more time. It will be interesting to watch in the months and years ahead how many conservative voices get choked off the airwaves, or silenced in the halls of congress, for the greater good of “We the people” by the new all inclusive administration.

    Comment by unavocce — November 6, 2008 @ 11:34 am | Reply

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