Defending Free Markets: Who Will Step Up?

Why the Republican Party is not up to the challenge of defending free markets...

HERE'S WHAT one Virginian told our local news station here in Baltimore:

"I was going to vote for Ron Paul. I guess now it'll be Barack Obama."

He made about as much sense as anyone during this election, writes Addison Wiggin for the Daily Reckoning.

As you might imagine, we don't have much to say about it. Except maybe to look in the mirror and chastise ourselves a bit.

With Obama's win, we'll have to endure at least three months of his team preening. They've already claimed the victory a "referendum" on the president's progressive agenda... higher taxes, stifling regulation, nationalized health care, drone wars overseas.... what's not to like?

The results are a bit surprising, we will say that much. Obama has won 303 of the electoral votes tallied as of this writing. Romney only cajoled 206 out of mostly rural areas. Nationally, that's a thumping by any means. In the popular vote, 2.5 million more people — so far — have voted for the incumbent than those casting a ballot for his challenger.

Still, over 50 million people voted for Mitt Romney.

"The sooner Obama's policies fail completely," we said on Sept. 28, "(which a quick tour of history tells us they will)... the sooner we can get back to the core principles of private enterprise, capital accumulation, investment and cooperation..."

This morning, we look around and ask: Who's left to make that argument?

"The white portion of the electorate dropped to 72%," say analysts on NBC. "The president won just 39% of that vote. But he carried a whopping 93% of black voters (representing 13% of the electorate), 71% of Latinos (representing 10%) and also 73% of Asians (3%). What's more, despite all the predictions that youth turnout would be down, voters 18-29 made up 19% of last night's voting population — up from 18% four years ago — and President Obama took 60% from that group.

"Obama's demographic edge creates this dilemma for the Republican Party: It can no longer rely on white voters to win national elections, especially in presidential cycles. Indeed, according to the exit poll, 89% of all votes Mitt Romney won last night came from whites, compared with 56% for Obama... Come 2016, the white portion of the electorate will probably drop another couple of points, to 70%..."

To remain even tangentially relevant, the Republican Party will have to ditch its exclusive appeal to white males... and make the pitch for free markets and civil liberties to a broader audience.

We don't think they're up to the challenge. Not with their current leaders, anyway.

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Publisher of Agora Financial, Addison Wiggin is also editorial director of The Daily Reckoning. He is the author, with Bill Bonner, of the international bestsellers Financial Reckoning Day and Empire of Debt, and best-selling author of The Demise of the Dollar.

Addison Wiggin articles

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