Présidentielle américaine/2012: La fin de la civilisation telle que nous la connaissons ? (We are now, without a doubt, America’s minority party)

It could be the end of civilization as we know it” because “Bush’s next term is not four years. It is 30 years, based on its impact. Rochelle Riley (the Detroit Free Press)
Democrats were “ill-prepared for this new, faith-based world. Diane Winston (USC professor, the Baltimore Sun)
After three decades of cultural and religious struggle—including a fair amount of concerted, premeditated political exploitation—the religious right is more mainstream in America than once-mainline denominations. This election confirms the influence and clout of those described by scholars as the socially conservative, theologically evangelical. They are our friends and neighbors, and unlike 18-to-29-year-olds, they vote in big numbers. The Seattle Times
Maybe this is where America ends. .  .  . Small wonder that everywhere I go, people are talking about moving to Canada. That’s the kind of joke you make when you no longer recognize your country. Leonard Pitts
The day the Enlightenment went out. Garry Wills (the New York Times)
On Wednesday morning, Democrats across the country awoke to a situation they have not experienced since before the New Deal: We are now, without a doubt, America’s minority party. Andrei Cherny
Democrats still have no coherent framework for confronting this chronic complaint, much less understanding it. Instead, they “triangulate,” they accommodate, they declare themselves converts to the Republican religion of the market, they sign off on NAFTA and welfare reform, they try to be more hawkish than the Republican militarists. And they lose. And they lose again. Meanwhile, out in Red America, the right-wing populist revolt continues apace, its fury at the “liberal elite” undiminished by the Democrats’ conciliatory gestures or the passage of time. Thomas Frank
What troubled me yesterday was my feeling that this election was tipped because of an outpouring of support for George Bush by people who don’t just favor different policies than I do—they favor a whole different kind of America. We don’t just disagree on what America should be doing; we disagree on what America is.Thomas Friedman
Four years later Jesusland elected the most liberal Democratic president since Lyndon Johnson while simultaneously handing his party control of both houses of Congress. Jonathan V. Last
This was a “values” election as strident as the ones from culture wars past in which Christians marched against subsidies for Mapplethorpe, creationists vied for seats on Kansas school boards, and William Bennett demanded to know where the outrage was. What was different about this year’s culture war is that Republicans lost it. They ran a campaign without any of the abrasive stuff Frank disapproved of. Their presidential candidate lost himself in theories about what motivates “job creators.” The Weekly standard

La fin de la civilisation telle que nous la connaissons ?

Alors qu’au lendemain de leur échec à la présidentielle, nombre de commentateurs conservateurs semblent quasiment prêts à prendre leur cigüe (merci james) …

Petite et salutaire remise en perspective, avec le Weekly standard, qui rappelle, au lendemain de la réélection de George Bush il y a huit ans, les quasi-cris de désespoir d’une gauche qui, avec son Père Noël noir,  a depuis a enchainé les deux victoires que nous savons …

The Lesson of 2004

Don’t immediately start looking for lessons.

Jonathan V. Last

The Weekly Standard

November 19, 2012

In many respects, the 2012 election played out as a close cousin of the 2004 contest. A vulnerable incumbent president in a bad political environment faced a weak challenger who lacked a core ideology and who articulated no clear vision for the country. In both campaigns the challenger chose to present himself as a default choice, rather than an insurgent. In both campaigns the president pursued a base-turnout strategy. And in both years the president won, by a margin of victory just around 2.4 percentage points.

The similarities continued following the elections. After Mitt Romney’s defeat, many Republicans and conserv-atives were caught surprised. In the days that followed there was fatalistic talk about how America had undergone a fundamental change. Some of this analysis centered on demographics. There was concern about a permanent shift in the racial composition of the electorate and about how changes in the institution of marriage—more divorce, more cohabitation, and later marriage—might be permanently increasing the pool of single voters. (The first worry seems mistaken: Romney’s main problem with white voters wasn’t that they were in decline—it was that so many of them didn’t show up for him. The second is more plausible.)

There was also a lot of talk about how Romney’s loss was a sign of a fundamental change in America’s character. People contended that this was no longer a “center-right” country. Or that the nation had turned its back on the free market. Or morphed into Greece. One of the more prominent lines of thinking was that the “takers” in America finally outnumbered the “makers” and that, per Ben Franklin’s warning, the electorate had entered a death spiral where it would continually vote itself more money. It all sounded eerily like Romney’s contention that 47 percent of the country isn’t responsible for itself and can no longer be persuaded by conservative argument. Doom to follow shortly.

The existential despair was familiar because liberals and Democrats said the same sorts of things immediately following the 2004 vote. Like Mitt Romney’s, John Kerry’s final polls before Election Day—not to mention the early exit polls on the day itself—suggested he had a reasonable chance of victory. So when defeat came, Democrats were both discouraged and shocked. And their first reaction was to conclude that America had changed in a fundamental way.

A week after the election, a group of African-American journalists gathered at Harvard to discuss the implications of Kerry’s loss. Summing up the meeting, the Detroit Free Press’s Rochelle Riley concluded that “it could be the end of civilization as we know it” because “Bush’s next term is not four years. It is 30 years, based on its impact.” In the Baltimore Sun, USC professor Diane Winston worried that Democrats were “ill-prepared for this new, faith-based world.” A Seattle Times columnist wrote, “after three decades of cultural and religious struggle—including a fair amount of concerted, premeditated political exploitation—the religious right is more mainstream in America than once-mainline denominations. This election confirms the influence and clout of those described by scholars as the socially conservative, theologically evangelical. They are our friends and neighbors, and unlike 18-to-29-year-olds, they vote in big numbers.” All of which led columnist Leonard Pitts to wonder, “Maybe this is where America ends. .  .  . Small wonder that everywhere I go, people are talking about moving to Canada. That’s the kind of joke you make when you no longer recognize your country.”

At the New York Times the hysteria was even more pronounced. Garry Wills called Kerry’s defeat “the day the Enlightenment went out.” Democratic operative Andrei Cherny wrote, “On Wednesday morning, Democrats across the country awoke to a situation they have not experienced since before the New Deal: We are now, without a doubt, America’s minority party.” Thomas Frank identified the Democrats’ problem as being one of perpetual weakness on the “values” subject:

Democrats still have no coherent framework for confronting this chronic complaint, much less understanding it. Instead, they “triangulate,” they accommodate, they declare themselves converts to the Republican religion of the market, they sign off on NAFTA and welfare reform, they try to be more hawkish than the Republican militarists. And they lose. And they lose again. Meanwhile, out in Red America, the right-wing populist revolt continues apace, its fury at the “liberal elite” undiminished by the Democrats’ conciliatory gestures or the passage of time.

Thomas Friedman swallowed hard and croaked that “what troubled me yesterday was my feeling that this election was tipped because of an outpouring of support for George Bush by people who don’t just favor different policies than I do—they favor a whole different kind of America. We don’t just disagree on what America should be doing; we disagree on what America is.”

This last bit of wisdom was distilled in an Internet meme known as “Jesusland.” The day after the election someone on a video-game message board posted a Photoshopped map of North America. Canada, America’s West Coast, and the northeast corridor were colored pink and labeled the “United States of Canada.” The remaining territory, colored green, was labeled “Jesus-land.” The map went on to wide acclaim and was featured on nearly every liberal blog and website in the land. There was a Jesusland book. The hipster songwriter Ben Folds wrote a song about it.

Four years later Jesusland elected the most liberal Democratic president since Lyndon Johnson while simultaneously handing his party control of both houses of Congress.

The point of all this isn’t to suggest that Republicans are on the cusp of a resurgence or to argue that all politics is cyclical. Both, or neither, of those things might be true. Rather, it’s a reminder that the future is uncertain. In 2004 Democrats believed that the culture of America had irrevocably changed. Then came the housing bubble, the financial collapse, and Barack Obama. Events happen, individuals matter, and the first lessons learned are rarely helpful. Or right.

Jonathan V. Last is a senior writer at The Weekly Standard.

Voir aussi:

Le désastre Obama va s’accentuer considérablement

Guy Millière

Dreuz

11 novembre 2012

Je reviendrai dès mon retour en France sur les enjeux de ce qui vient de se produire aux Etats Unis. J’écoute et je lis les commentateurs conservateurs. Je les regarde à la télévision, et j’ai le sentiment que, à de rares exceptions près, ils ne prennent pas la mesure de la situation. Certains reprochent à Mitt Romney d’avoir été trop modéré, d’autres lui reprochent d’avoir pris comme candidat à la vice présidence un homme soutenu par les tea parties, Paul Ryan. Presque tous parlent de repartir au combat comme si nous étions dans les années 1960.

Je pense, avec le recul, qu’aucun candidat républicain n’aurait pu l’emporter.

Nous arrivons au bout de ce que Roger Kimball a appelé la « longue marche ». Une prise de pouvoir s’est opérée dans l’université, les médias, les secteurs culturels, et ceux qui ont pris le pouvoir viennent de ce que Norman Podhoretz a appelé la culture adverse (the adversary culture). Leur but était de détruire le capitalisme, la démocratie et les valeurs éthiques des Etats Unis, et ils y sont largement parvenus, en l’espace de deux générations. Les effets de la « longue marche » risquent fort d’être irrémédiables.

Je pense que les Etats Unis vont glisser vers un fonctionnement de parti unique à l’européenne, avec un parti démocrate toujours plus socialiste, et un parti républicain placé sous l’ombre portée du parti démocrate, et durablement minoritaire.

Je pense que le courant conservateur appartient au passé. Quand bien même il se battra encore. Les jeunes de moins de trente ans, les noirs, les hispaniques, se reconnaitront de moins en moins en lui. C’est d’ores et déjà le cas. Je crains, comme je l’ai déjà dit, qu’une page se tourne.

Je pense, et j y reviendrai, que nous entrons dans un monde post américain, post occidental, post démocratique et post capitaliste.

Je pense que les civilisations sont mortelles, et que la civilisation occidentale est en train de glisser vers son crépuscule.

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L’Europe est morte déjà depuis longtemps, même si nombre d’Européens ne s’en aperçoivent pas. La croissance est nulle. Les pauvres se multiplient. La natalité est en chute libre dans tous les pays du continent, a l’exception de la France, qui compte la plus forte proportion de musulmans. L’Europe n’a plus les moyens ou la volonté de se défendre et elle est en situation de soumission préventive.

Les Etats Unis sont en train de glisser vers leur propre mort. Et une majorité d’Américains ne s’en aperçoit pas.

La croissance aux Etats Unis est quasiment nulle. Les déficits sont abyssaux. Les pauvres se multiplient. La natalité se maintient, mais le poids des minorités, particulièrement celui de la minorité hispanique s’accentue. Les Etats Unis risquent fort de n’avoir bientôt plus les moyens de se défendre, et ils se rapprochent de la soumission préventive.

Comme l’a écrit Mark Steyn dans son dernier livre (after America), la démocratie est un système très optimal, jusqu’au moment où des gens la transforment en un distributeur automatique de billets et en un moyen d’assouvir leurs lubies idéologiques, en transformant une majorité de la population en idiots utiles. La transformation est accomplie depuis longtemps en Europe. Elle est désormais accomplie aux Etats Unis.

Nul ne peut dire aujourd’hui ce qui viendra après la civilisation occidentale. Lorsque l’empire romain s’est effondré sous la poussée des barbares et sous le poids de son propre affaissement, plusieurs siècles de chaos ont suivi.

Depuis des siècles, la production et la création se heurtent aux forces de la prédation et de la stérilisation. La production et la création l’emportent toujours dans le moyen terme, mais il arrive que dans le court terme, la prédation et la stérilisation triomphent. Je crains fort que nous ne soyons dans un court terme de ce type.

Faut-il renoncer en ces conditions ? Faut-il se dire qu’il reste à vivre sa vie, sans plus ? Disons qu’il faut ne pas se bercer d’illusions. Disons qu’il importe, au moins, de comprendre et de ne pas vivre dans la cécité.

Je vais m’employer, dans les semaines qui viennent, à tenter de donner les moyens de comprendre.

Le désastre Obama ne fait que commencer, oui. Il va s’accentuer. La victoire d’Obama montre en elle même que le désastre est déjà immense. Et je dirai à ceux qui sous entendraient qu’Obama doit avoir bien des qualités pour avoir été réélu, que Hugo Chavez a été réélu au Venezuela, et que Hitler a lui même été élu en 1933. Je sais : il existe des gens pour penser que Chavez est un homme de qualité. Et il existait en 1933 des gens pour dire qu’Adolf Hitler était lui-même un homme de qualité.

Je dirai à ceux qui me jugent sévère avec Obama que si celui-ci est le fruit amer de quatre décennies de destruction, il est le catalyseur d’une accélération de la destruction, et il l’est très volontairement, disciple de Franz Fanon et de Saul Alinsky.

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