On screen they looked every bit the exemplary citizens that most people would hope their kids grow up to be like: clean cut, groomed, educated, healthy, successful. Then the screen flashed to the Democratic supporters. The difference was stark: a minestrone of humanity, some black, some white, Hispanic, Asian, geeky, blue collar, gay, and academic. Most of them looked as though they had just wandered into the convention centre from a ball game. It is this sharp contrast that tells the tale of Romney's defeat - on one side there was White America, while on the other, United America.
Over the past few days the pundits have been studying the election result trying to rationalise how Obama with a badly performing economy and massive national debt could win so comfortably. One pundit, Australia's Ann Coulter in trousers, Andrew Bolt, put it this way; that the Democratic campaign appealed to gays, blacks, latinos and others with an ingrained sense of entitlement (read welfare) while the loser was the productive minority (read whites), the so-called backbone of the country.
Entitlement is the operative word, here. What Bolt and like-minded conservatives fail to acknowledge is that an ingrained sense of entitlement is precisely what the Republicans and their far Right bed fellows, the Tea Party, have in spades. It's a common phenomenon in English speaking nations that elite conservatives have a born to rule mentality by virtue of their breeding, colour, wealth and connections; a ruling class that thanks to its monolithic self belief drifts further from the reality of 21st multicultural life. Romney lost above all because he is the epitome of that type.
But as the old saying goes, the truth lies somewhere in between. While the white Christian Right have some antiquated ideas about themselves and society, they do have many fine qualities. The same is true of the secular left: fine qualities but some impractical, overly ambitious ideas. Ultimately Obama won because he is of the people and the people felt it. Romney on the other hand reminded voters of the greed that brought on the GFC. It's time the GOP found the 21st century.