New York Times bestselling author Jerome Corsi is back with a new blockbuster, this time publishing with WND Books an in-depth analysis of the 2012 presidential election.
Having been embedded as a journalist covering Gov. Mitt Romney’s campaign to reclaim the White House for the Republican Party, Corsi’s “What Went Wrong: The Inside Story of the GOP Debacle of 2012… and How it Can Avoided Next Time” provides a ring-side seat to an election many pundits thought was an easy Romney victory.
There was certainty on both sides, with Mitt Romney’s campaign advisers convinced Romney would be elected president, while Barack Obama’s team was equally resolute.
The question Corsi seeks to answer in “What Went Wrong” is, “How was the Republican Party so misguided?” Where did the Romney campaign go wrong? For conservatives nationwide, the outcome of the 2012 presidential election was a wake-up call: a well-crafted Romney campaign message focused on private enterprise and the economy could not defeat a superior Obama ground-game backed by a state-of-the-art computer-driven voter intelligence capability.
Corsi brings to his analysis of the 2012 election the same set of skills that permitted him to impact the 2004 election when, as a Harvard-trained political scientist and a professional journalist, he co-authored the New York Times No. 1 bestseller “Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry,” helping to launch a challenge that successfully impeded Kerry’s advance to the White House. He also authored the New York Times No. 1 bestseller “The Obama Nation.”
But it is the city of Detroit, home to the largest bankruptcy in United States history, which serves as a microcosm for why Mitt Romney lost the 2012 election.
Mitt Romney’s father had been governor of the state of Michigan when Detroit was set on fire during the 1967 black riots, and Romney claimed he was a “son of Detroit” during the 2012 campaign.
But Corsi notes in “What Went Wrong” that the city of Detroit resoundingly rejected the political ideology of Romney and the Republican Party, instead sticking with the identity politics that have come to define one of America’s blackest cities.
Though Detroit, an 82 percent black city, has for decades been gripped by crippling poverty, high unemployment, violent crime, failing schools, crumbling infrastructure, and a declining population, the residents there cast 98 percent of their ballots for Barack Obama.
An illustration of how little Romney’s vision could penetrate the thick cloud of Obama’s identity-based politics is the city of Detroit, a once-bustling hub of industry that is today bankrupt. Detroit could desperately use Romney’s clear vision to boost business, capital, and employment, but its residents clearly resonated more with the economy-crushing security blanket of Obama’s welfare state.
On some Detroit city blocks, only one or two homes remain, surrounded by empty trash-filled lots and burned-out homes that scavengers have stripped of anything valuable. Detroit, according to one estimate, cited by the AP, has as many as 33,500 empty houses and 91,000 vacant lots.
Even the Romney family home, one of 292 homes in Palmer Woods, a high-end suburb in northwestern Detroit, was demolished because it was vacant. Mitt Romney’s parents, George and Lenore Romney, owned the house from 1941 to 1953, when the family moved to the northern suburbs. As recently as 2002, the Romney house sold for $645,000, but after that it lapsed into foreclosure, bounced between several lenders, and fell into disrepair. In 2009, following complaints from neighbors, Wayne County declared the Romney family home “a public nuisance and blight” and ordered it demolished.
Mitt Romney told the Wall Street Journal that “it’s sad” his childhood home was being razed, “but sadder still to consider what has happened to the city of Detroit, which has been left hollow by fleeing jobs and liberal social policies.”
Detroit’s population, at a peak in 1950 with a total of more than 1.8 million people, was the nation’s fourth largest city. But by 2005, Detroit’s population shrank to an estimated 850,000, with estimates in 2012 indicating the city has now dropped below the 700,000 mark. Detroit in 2010 had one of the highest percentages of African-American residents of any city in the nation, with the U.S. Census Bureau estimating 82.7 percent of Detroit’s residents were black. The Census Bureau further estimated that 36.2 percent of Detroit’s population lived below the poverty level from 2007 to 2011.
Still, in the 2012 presidential election, Detroit voted 98 percent for Obama. In a city of approximately seven hundred thousand people, Romney was able to get only 6,016 votes.
The vote in Detroit affirmed that Romney’s message of job creation through lower taxes, fewer regulations, and private enterprise was rejected in favor of Obama’s message that continued government involvement in an expanded social welfare state was the promise of the future. For Detroit voters determined to vote for Obama, it is doubtful Romney or the Republican Party could have crafted a message that would have appealed sufficiently to get Detroit voters to change their minds. Romney’s program to create jobs did not appeal to Detroit voters who had given up on jobs. Nor did Detroit voters care about taxes because it was unlikely any but a few were paying any income tax.
The African Americans who were 82.7 percent of Detroit’s population voted for Obama for two reasons: first, because he was of African descent, and second, because of the calculation that Obama and the Democratic Party were more likely to continue the extensive social welfare programs on which these Detroiters, in a continuing bad economy, were dependent, to live even a marginal lifestyle. The likelihood was that after years of chronic unemployment and deepening poverty, the free-enterprise system espoused by Romney meant nothing or near nothing to African Americans struggling to get by in what remained of Detroit’s once-thriving inner city.
The tragedy is that Detroit is only one of many Northern cities headed down this same path. Other cities include Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Newark, where the concentration of impoverished inner-city African Americans is enough of a voting bloc to tip the balance of the state in favor of the Democratic Party, not only in the presidential election of 2012, but possibly in every presidential election to come in the foreseeable future.
No matter the outreach efforts, an 82 percent black city saw 98 percent of ballots cast go to the black candidate.
Corsi’s book is a sober wakeup call to Republicans, with the chapter on Detroit showcasing that no matter the economic calamity a city might face if they cast a ballot out of racial loyalty; they’d still rather have a black president then an economically solvent city.
“What Went Wrong” carefully details how the Obama team won by reassembling a modern-day version of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal coalition, engineering an alliance of identity-based interest groups including African-American voters, Hispanics, single women, union workers, and young millennial voters into a fundamental realignment of the American electorate for the purpose of delivering a Democratic electoral majority in 2016 and beyond.
Corsi’s work recalls Phyllis Schlafly’s warning decades ago that establishment Republican candidates – like Romney in 2012 and Sen. John McCain in 2008 – are destined to lose.
The reason? “Centrist” Republican presidential candidates offer voters nothing more than an “echo” of their liberal Democratic opponents, not the “choice” voters want – the choice that exists only when conservative Republican presidential candidates run hard-fought contests on conservative principles, directly challenging leftist presidential contenders like Barack Obama.
Democrats in swing states have transformed vote fraud and abuse into an ongoing process in a never-ending political campaign that can be challenged only by the passage of vigorous voter ID programs.
But it doesn’t end there: 2012 was a game-changing presidential election in that no future Republican presidential candidate will be able to win the White House unless the GOP can challenge the Democrats in digital media strategy, voter intelligence efforts, and the deployment of computer-backed “Get Out the Vote” field technologies.
“What Went Wrong” provides both a postmortem analysis of the Republican defeat in 2012 and a roadmap for the reemergence of the Republican Party. More than an Obama vs. Romney rehash, “What Went Wrong” is a critical blueprint for a Republican presidential victory in 2016.