When a candidate can’t run on his lousy record, he employs distractions to keep the voters focused on anything but his record.
Distraction is a powerful strategy employed with success in many walks of life. In basketball, an opponent will move his head in the opposite direction he intends to take to fool a guard into believing he is going in that direction. An experienced guard will focus on the opponent’s chest instead of his head because the chest can’t be used to fake directional intent. A hunter will employ mating scent to lure a stag into range by distracting his senses and natural aversion to unfamiliar situations with the possibility of mating. And, politicians will employ distraction to keep voters from scrutinizing their poor records in office where their policies have made a bad situation worse instead of better.
President Obama is currently engaged in a massive strategy of distraction to focus voters’ attention away from his abysmal record in office. A cursory examination of his record reveals economic policies which have not only thwarted economic recovery, but actively worked to strangle economic recovery. His foreign policy has left America a laughingstock around the world and destroyed any credibility built up after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. We are no longer feared and seen mainly as an interloper in Afghanistan and Iraq. His absurd support of unsustainable and economically unviable green energy schemes, along with his active undermining of the petroleum sector, have caused energy prices to soar at the expense of the lowest earners in America. Obama is on record as supporting higher energy prices to make green energy more attractive to American consumers. The crowning achievement in Obama’s failed policies is his signature government takeover of the American health care market. This unconstitutional legislation, consisting of blank pages passed by a Democrat-controlled Congress in the middle of the night after securing votes through unprecedented bribes and over the strenuous objections of the American people, consists of massive tax hikes, huge cuts to service, and costs far in excess of Administration projections. These are but a few of the examples of Obama’s Marxist imprint on America under the guise of progressive liberalism.
Given such a record, it is no surprise that Obama is employing distraction as his primary campaign theme. Any focus on his actual record instantly turns voters off and his poll numbers sink. Obama is mining the classic progressive liberal campaign tactics of class envy, racial strife, and feminist angst to keep voters focused on their personal grievances instead of his contributions to these grievances through his failed policies. Instead of voters focusing on Obama’s destruction of the economy which prevents people from getting jobs because employers aren’t hiring, Team Obama creates the Astroturf group Occupy Wall Street and blames the rich for not sharing their wealth. The Occupiers demand the wealthy surrender their wealth for their consumption in true Marxist fashion, while the media mandarins wholly owned by the progressive liberals and carrying Obama’s water keep attention focused on this distraction without bothering to engage in actual journalism and look behind the curtain.
This strategy backfired on Team Obama with their attack on Ann Romney in which CNN contributor Hilary Rosen commented that Ms. Romney had never worked a day in her life. This comment was meant to reflect badly on the Romneys’ wealth, but it quickly escalated into an attack on women who eschew careers to stay at home and raise their children. Suddenly, this distraction required another distraction and we are now bombarded with the Secret Service prostitution scandal which quickly replaced the Ann Romney flap in the progressive liberal media. This allows Obama to sully the reputation of a group devoted to duty and honor, two themes at odds with the progressive liberal worldview of tearing down institutions, while looking presidential and promising to get to the bottom of this sordid and shameful episode. Above all else, it gets the Ann Romney flap off the front page and out of voters’ minds while Team Obama soothes the ruffled feathers of his key constituency of women voters; a segment vital to his reelection prospects.
The Trayvon Martin case allows Team Obama to exploit one of its favorite themes, that of class warfare. Despite being Hispanic and referring to himself as black in his Twitter messages, George Zimmerman is portrayed as a “white” Hispanic in an effort by the media mandarins to cast the Martin case as a white-on-black hate crime and stir up unrest in the black community. A complacent black community reflecting on Obama’s dismal economic record is liable to figure out that Obama’s failed economic policies have hurt them far more than other segments of society and significantly depress their turnout at election time. They must be whipped back into a state of frenzy fearful that whites in sheets carrying burning crosses are bearing down upon them in the middle of the night and only Obama can protect them. Evidence is slowly emerging, despite the best efforts of the media to suppress it, that Zimmerman was attacked by Martin and defended himself with deadly force. Of course, this destroys the white-on-black hate crime distraction, as would resetting the focus away from Zimmerman being a “white” Hispanic back to being just an Hispanic. Obama needs both blacks and Hispanics supporting him and can’t afford to stir up the natural animosity between these two key Democrat constituencies fighting to become the majority minority in America.
As long as voters are distracted by these and other nonevents by the media desperately seeking to fill their 24/7 news cycles with content, attention will be drawn away from serious consideration of exactly how much damage Obama has done to America. As the presumptive Republican nominee, it is up to Mitt Romney to refocus the electorate on Obama’s dismal record while avoiding the trap of responding to every distraction thrown up by Team Obama. Jimmy Carter was a lousy president whose economic policies made a bad situation worse, but he did not have a sophisticated media machine to distract voters enough to prevent his loss to Ronald Reagan. Team Obama has learned from the past and will be ruthless in their attempts to distract voters throughout the campaign. The Romney campaign must also learn from the past and be equally ruthless in ignoring these distractions and focusing on Obama’s record. Responding to distractions means playing defense, and sometimes the best defense is a good offense. When it comes to this election, this is certainly one of those times.