A painful night. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan came so close. They worked so incredibly hard. It really brings tears to my old eyes to see it.
My pals are calling me in hysterics about the loss and four more years of Mr. Obama. So, let me try to make a few respectful points on this bitter evening:
- It is nonsense to say that this election is in any way a repudiation of the GOP or principles of conservatism. Facing a totally united front of the mainstream media, the beautiful people, the unions, the black block vote, the incredibly, unbelievably powerful gay and lesbian forces, in the media, all of whom have as much right to campaign as anyone else . . . but still facing all of that, and facing an incredibly skillful incumbent in office, the Romney-Ryan campaign got almost exactly as many votes as the Obama-Biden campaign. That is, with every wind of modern political culture against them, Romney and Ryan drew forth endorsement of conservative principles on a truly virtuoso scale.
- It is the mark of a genuinely great campaign that Romney and Ryan did not back down one inch on the main moral issue of our time, the mass murders of the unborn. This is the primary evil of our era and it may take years to make things better, but as the saying goes, that Dr. King used to say, "Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne, yet that scaffold holds the future and beyond that dark enclosure standeth God, within the shadow, keeping watch upon his own" (paraphrased for this occasion). You can call it anything you want, but abortion is a wicked evil and we will never be what we should be as long as we treat is as a right. No one has the right to choose to kill an innocent human being.
- Yes, the Hispanic community is incredibly important now in America. They should be conservatives. The ones I know are all ferociously pro-life and pro-work. Let's make an effort in their direction in a big way. They are fabulous people. We are blessed to have them. They should be Republicans.
- We just had an efficient, loving, intelligent man in our party run and put up a magnificent fight. But he, as The Wall Street Journal edit page said during the primaries, was not a real conservative and believed mostly in his own résumé. Let's have a real conservative with real principles next time. Mr. Romney is a great man. Ann Romney is something close to a saint to have worked as hard as she has while fighting multiple sclerosis. Let's honor them and have them teach us the lessons they learned in this losing campaign so the next one will be a winning campaign.
- Let's not keep on ignoring the reality of our budget crisis. We need higher taxes. It is too bad. It is a shame. But we need more revenue to have a strong defense, to reduce the deficit, to lessen the burden on our children. To imagine we can get it with small spending cuts is a fantasy.
- Finally, this seems like a terrible fate. But our party has faced far worse. We were pronounced dead after JFK stole the 1960 election in the cellars of the Chicago City Hall. We were in the morgue after the Goldwater defeat. We were dead and buried after Watergate and the 1974 Congressional elections, when the GOP was just a nub in Congress.
We always come back because our principles are better suited to human dignity and human happiness than the other side's.
We will come back stronger than ever this time, too. We are not afraid and we shall overcome. Our best days as a party and a movement lie ahead. We will rest, regroup, and fight for our beliefs, and next time, it will be different and better.
Truth crushed to earth will rise again, as the saying goes — as the truth goes.
Ben Stein is a writer, actor, and lawyer, who served as a speechwriter in the Nixon administration as the Watergate scandal unfolded. He began his unlikely road to stardom when director John Hughes cast him as the numbingly dull economics teacher in the urban comedy, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." Read more reports from Ben Stein — Click Here Now.
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