Your Candidate is going to lose

November 5, 2012 | 26 comments
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I regret to inform you that Your Candidate is going to lose. Some tough days are ahead. I’m sorry.

It will be tempting to blame Your Candidate for his loss, but the truth is that he actually did a pretty good job. The economy, world affairs, the weather – they just didn’t go his way. Still, he made the most of the hand he was dealt, gave some good speeches, got in some good lines in what were the best presidential debates in a long time. Your Candidate was the best candidate Your Party had, and he gave The Other Guy a pretty good run for his money.

The Other Guy will be in the White House for the next four years, but there’s nothing mysterious about his victory. There was no grand conspiracy, no nefarious manipulation of the voting process that thwarted the will of the people. The Other Guy will be president because that’s how the votes in the American electoral system tallied up. To the extent that you are an American, the Other Guy will be your president for the next four years. I know you don’t like to hear it, but sometimes you have to face bad news head on. Your Candidate and The Other Guy represented different sets of values, varying priorities, and disparate approaches to government – and the American people chose The Other Guy this time.

There will be some tough days ahead. The Other Guy will pick government officials and nominate judges that you wouldn’t have chosen, and support initiatives that you oppose. But you can take comfort in knowing that the other side won’t actually be much happier. Sure, they’ll score a few victories, but mostly they’ll stew in frustration as the presidential election of The Other Guy fails to bring about much significant change, with most of their platform stymied by the usual sand in the gears of government.

It’s not the end of the world. Also, it’s not the End of the World. The Other Guy isn’t the Antichrist, and his election won’t lead to Armageddon. If you think about it a little bit, you might even find that The Other Side has a few sensible ideas, and some common-sense compromises might be possible on some issues.

On Wednesday, after Your Candidate loses and The Other Guy wins, we Mormons will have some soul-searching to do. Was this really the Mormon Moment that we thought we wanted? It’s a question we’ll be asking for at least the next four years.

26 Responses to Your Candidate is going to lose

  1. Russell Arben Fox on November 5, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Fabulous, Jonathan. (And for Jill Stein voters like myself, doubly true!)

  2. Adam Miller on November 5, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Excellent.

  3. Adam G. on November 5, 2012 at 10:57 am

    You’re just trying to suppress My Candidate’s vote. You are a disgusting partisan for Your Candidate.

  4. Wm Jas on November 5, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Reminds me of that T-shirt: “The sports team from my area is superior to the sports team from your area.”

  5. Joe Spencer on November 5, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Never a truer “political” statement. Thanks.

  6. Julie M. Smith on November 5, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Or the Onion:

    “How can I find out who won the election?”

    “Answer: open your window. If you hear gunshots and the howls of starving babies, the other guy won.”

  7. Chad too on November 5, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Permission to re-distribute?

  8. Casey on November 5, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    You’ve obviously been reading too many news sources that favor your candidate or you’d realize that my candidate can’t possibly lose, as evidenced by following news sources that favor my candidate.

  9. Trevor on November 5, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    You know, you’re almost right. After all, it’s not the End of the World. And yes, the other guy, should he win, will be my president. But that doesn’t mean he’ll be my President. Oh I’ll cooperate; I’m not an anarchist. I’ll even concede on occasion. I’ll get frustrated, but my frustration will abate, eventually.

    Still, elections can be pivotal, presidents can be bad. So can policies. Most of the time in politics it is simply a matter of “we want this” while “they want that”. Sometimes, however, people cross lines. History provides a few examples of this. (I won’t take the obvious examples from other countries.) Jim Crow, McCarthy and Nixon are a few, I think, that both sides will agree weren’t good for our country (even if they didn’t agree at the time). Thank goodness someone questioned them, held them accountable for their actions. And thank goodness someone else listened.

    Imagine if people simply said, “listen, McCarthy isn’t the end of the world”. Would they have been right? Yes. McCarthy wasn’t the end of the world, but what his name now represents is no part of a good world. Thank goodness it’s gone.

    Jim Crow was another example of them vs us. These laws weren’t the end of the world, just the end of some people’s world. Did that make them less wrong?

    You might wonder, what all this has to do with that other guy, the one I don’t want to win. Well, perhaps one or two of his ideas are wrong too. What if it’s not ok to bully the rich just because they have plenty? What if it’s wrong to limit a woman’s choice or to discriminate against homosexuals? What if Benghazi was needlessly the end of our ambassador’s world? Or what if next time, the auto industry fails and the other guy just lets them? That may not be the end of the world either, but it could end a lot of jobs. And that’s important to somebody out there.

    Yes, the other guy may win, but what of it? Should we be any less passionate? Should we not be disappointed? Should we not continue to fight for what we believe? Of course we should make compromises, but it’s ok to keep some things sacred. It’s ok to think critically of the other guy, in fact, it’s an important part of a free society.

    And as for you Mormons, regardless of what happens on Tuesday, you already had your moment. Don’t you get that? You got time on center stage. Most of us know something about you know and we might be a little more curious the next time your white-shirted evangelists come knocking on our door.

  10. Alan Hunter on November 5, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    It’s quite true that neither Obama nor Romney will fix the mess we’re in in 4 years and I can’t say that either is my hands down favorite, but between the two we’re effectively left with I’ll choose the one whom I believe best represents the ideals of citizenry equality that I have always believed to be the foundation of what America stands for.

  11. Suleiman on November 5, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    “Was this really the Mormon Moment that we thought we wanted?”

    I’d be hard-pressed to prove that this was a Mormon moment at all.

  12. Raymond Takashi Swenson on November 5, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    It is clear that the Obama Justice Department is arguing in court that the Federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, and that the majority of states, which have explicitly rejected same sex marriage, should be forced to recognize same sex marriages performed in other states where it is legal. Such orders are going to be resisted, even if the Supreme Court affirms the Obama position, setting the US up for a direct contest between Federal and State power. The majority of states have resisted, and their representatives in Congress will support them in resisting. The net result may be the breaking of the consensus fiction that what the Supreme Court declares is really the law. Once that realization is achieved, Supreme Court decisions on a lot of other issues are going to lose their hold on State legislatures. Obama is hell bent on creating that constitutional crisis.

  13. Gunnel Troberg on November 5, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Truth is the US will never be a top nation spending so much money on wars. Withdraw all your armies and invest all money into the american people. Cooperate with other nations to make up a peace plan and let other nations pay. You think you are the greatest nation on earth. Truth is we pity you for not taking care of your own nation. Our country have not been at war for 200 years. We have a good economy, jobs, free education for everybody even on a university level, free health care that no Obamacare is even close to, we care about the environment. This is not Zion I am talking about, but a small country called Sweden. I am proud to be lds in this wonderful country and I hope one day the US will be like Sweden as a social and economic system and Sweden will be like US in faith.

  14. Jonathan Green on November 5, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Mr. Greenwood, your transparent attempt to curry favor with The Other Guy isn’t fooling anybody. We all know your feelings about Your Candidate.

    Chad, sure, why not?

    Trevor, I certainly don’t think elections are unimportant. I want My Candidate to win! But in most cases, presidential elections are just one part of the glacial pace of progress on most issues, while we treat them as a decisive moment. Presidential elections didn’t end Jim Crow; instead, a host of judicial and electoral decisions on many levels did. Also, many presidential decisions amount to the same thing – bringing the politically possible amount of resources available to address the issue at hand – whoever is in office. The occupant of the White House had no effect on Benghazi. And, finally, we have to understand that any president is a compromise. We’ve had presidents who brought about fantastic progress on some issues, but were disasters on others. Every president has had strengths and weaknesses, and the next one will as well. You pick the issues that are most important to you, and hope for the best. Passion, criticism, hope, disappointment, they’re all appropriate. But in nearly all elections – and, I would venture to add, also in 2012 – the result of the election will not decide the fate of the free world. When The Other Guy wins, people need to recognize: this is how America works. This is my president. It’s not necessary to flee to Canada or take to your bunker until the worst is over.

    Suleiman, I’m hard pressed to think of a way that this wouldn’t count as a Mormon moment. What else do we call a spike of popular and media interest in Mormonism, coupled with some progress on mainstream acceptance? Whether this is the precise Mormon moment we wanted, however, or if we were well served by a Mormon moment at all is another question.

    RTS, you should probably read my post again. And a third time. And take it to heart. I don’t think arguing for the position of one’s party through the foreseen channels of legal appeal really counts as fomenting a constitutional crisis.

  15. Brian on November 5, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    Also, your favorite band sucks.

    Seriously, though, no matter who the Other Guy is who wins, at least we’ll all be able to watch football without having to endure negative advertising again, and isn’t that what it’s really all about?

  16. jennifer reuben on November 5, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    just wish there were another guy to vote for.

  17. Kent Larsen on November 6, 2012 at 12:35 am

    Jennifer, depending on your state, there certainly is. There is even another (post-)Mormon!!

  18. Cameron N on November 6, 2012 at 1:17 am

    Bumper Stickers – not a conversion tool, but a vote discouragement tool. ‘Your Candidate is going to lose, might as well not even vote.’

  19. Sam Brunson on November 6, 2012 at 9:58 am

    RTS, not to threadjack this awesome post, but the Obama administration has declined to defend the constitutionality of Section 3 of DOMA; Section 3 prevents the federal government from recognizing state-sanctioned same-sex marriage. I’ve seen nothing about its refusing to defend Section 2, which says one state doesn’t have to recognize another states’ marriage. So even that pretend constitutional crisis isn’t going to happen.

    More to the point, this morning, I’m feeling good about My Candidate’s chances viz-a-viz The Other Guy. Plus, like Brian said, Your Favorite Band sucks.

  20. Melanie CM on November 6, 2012 at 11:08 am

    I suppose the main question is, will Your Candidate delay our impending economic catastrophe longer than The Other Guy? Because I don’t see either of them averting it.

  21. Kent Larsen on November 6, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Melanie, that assumes that there is, in fact, a pending economic catastrophe.

    I’m not saying that we don’t have problems we need to address. We do. We clearly need to bring down our debt as a percentage of GDP. It might be good if we actually balanced the budget also [GRIN].

    But, strange thing about that — I hear a lot of politicians claiming that there is a pending catastrophe, but not so many economists. Why is that?

  22. jennifer reuben on November 6, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Kent- just adding to the thread however, the other guys (3rd party) on the ballot are really a vote for no one. I still wish there was another guy who is a serious electable canidate. Not too interested in my guy’s religion as this is a political race.

  23. Dave K. on November 6, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    I love it. Now what about a post with the same theme only geared towards religion?

    Welcome to the afterlife. I regret to inform you that Your Religion was not the only true religion. This is tough moment for many people. I’m sorry.

    It will be tempting to blame Your Religion for this reality, but the truth is that you guys actually did a pretty good job. Rampant opposition, the natural man, and the adversary all did their best to thwart you. Still, you made the most of the hand you were dealt, gave some good speeches, endured tough moments, and blessed a lot of lives. Your Religion was one of the best options you had to chose from, and you gave the True Religion a lot to think about.

    [and so forth] …

  24. Kent Larsen on November 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Actually, Dave (23), I have been thinking of something like that….

    Jennifer, I’m not quite convinced that “the other guys (3rd party) on the ballot are really a vote for no one.” It seems to me that voting for the losing candidate can have long-term value — it may encourage the candidate to run again, may encourage financial backers (if the support is large enough) and may help the major parties consider policies that are outside of their comfort zone.

    Remember, third parties rarely run because they think that they will win. More often, its to try to get their ideas presented to the public or to call attention to their problems or issues. That was the reason Joseph Smith ran in 1844!

  25. Michael J. Snider on November 6, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    I believe you pose a cogent question when you asked “Was this really the Mormon Moment that we thought we wanted?”
    I would answer: Sure. Romney’s a good and upstanding man who represents Latter-day Saints well. Tonight will be considered by many as the moment when the last remaining segment (outside of the fanatics) of our country stopped looking at Mormons with a jaundiced eye.
    IMHO the challenge that remains for the rest of us will be to fill the next four years with great Mormon moments.

  26. Trevor on January 17, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    @Jonathan:

    “…in most cases, presidential elections are just one part of the glacial pace of progress on most issues, while we treat them as a decisive moment.” –that “one part of the glacial pace of progress” determines policy and direction for four years. You may not call that a decisive moment, but I think the attention, money, and other resources given to that moment says otherwise.

    “Presidential elections didn’t end Jim Crow; instead, a host of judicial and electoral decisions on many levels did.” –Here you have a point. But who appoints judges? Who vetos legislation? He signs legislation into law? Presidential elections may not single-handedly decide any particularly issue, but they have an important impact.

    “The occupant of the White House had no effect on Benghazi.” –Yes, of course. A president’s diplomacy over the course of four years has nothing to do with how other countries treat us; a president’s decision to ignore requests for additional security has no effect on the lives lost during the situation; and of course, how the president handles the fallout also has no effect. Clearly you don’t understand these topics well enough to discuss them intelligently. My mistake.

    “But in nearly all elections – and, I would venture to add, also in 2012 – the result of the election will not decide the fate of the free world.” –No, it will just be an unimportant “part of the glacial pace of progress”. But an election could be thought of us changing the course just a degree or two. It may seem insignificant to the short-sighted, but in the long-run, it has a huge impact, just like a glacier.

    Compromise is good. Conceding is important at times. We do have to remember that the other guy wins sometimes. That doesn’t mean that we have to be ok with it; we don’t have to fall in line with the other guy; we don’t have to support his agenda–that’s also part of the American political system. Just because it’s possible for the other guy to win, doesn’t mean it’s impossible for one or both sides to manipulate the voting system. It happens all the time, even in America. Just because we’re the Land of the Brave and the Home of the Free doesn’t mean we don’t have political corruption just like every other nation on earth.

    If someone thinks that something is wrong, or someone is wrong, who are we to tell them to chill out? In fact, I find it dangerous to hear Americans belittle the concerns of others. Such belittling (no matter how ridiculous someone’s opinion may seem) only stifles public debate. I understand using rhetoric, but there’s a difference between a rhetorical counterargument and a belittling dismissal of someone’s concerns.

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