Two very important things happened in politics this week. First, the elections underscored just how fed up mainstream America is with extreme liberalism. Second, President Obama, with his formal endorsement of same-sex marriage, is openly casting his lot with his extremist base.
The question is: How will putative GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney interpret and respond to these events? Will he fall into the usual Republican trap of thinking he has to follow his Democratic opponent leftward to appear more moderate? Or will he show his confidence in the reasonableness of conservatism and in the American people to embrace him if he clearly articulates it?
To some extent, we are all products of our environments. We get our sense of what is "normal" from those with whom we most frequently associate, which at least partially explains liberal media figures believing that their minority views are mainstream.
They uniformly ridicule traditional American values on national TV as if they are held only by flyover throwbacks who haven't yet been exposed to the enlightened wisdom of the coasts. How else do you explain Chris Matthews' brazen characterization of the GOP as the "grand wizard" party and as flat-earthers and those who don't believe in science? Or candidate Obama's derisive portrayal of small-town Americans as bitter clingers, apparently clueless that the statement would reveal him, not those he described, as extreme?
There are countless other examples, including liberals and ex-liberals who've said that until they reached a certain age, they'd never met a Republican or conservative in their lives. And we've all seen the statistics on the staggeringly high percentage of atheism among Beltway journalists and media figures compared with the rest of the American people.
Yet with their megaphones, these liberals have been preaching that their worldview is the majority position and that those not subscribing to it are wrongheaded, immoral and standing athwart the progress of history.
On top of these pressures, Romney has doubtlessly been conditioned by Massachusetts voters to some degree to think that center-left is center and that mainstream right is extreme right. I just hope he realizes the significance of polling data showing that for decades, twice as many Americans have identified themselves as conservatives, as well as the significance of state elections consistently rejecting same-sex marriage despite enormous media and leftist cultural pressure to shame states into legalizing it.