It is profoundly disturbing to watch a once-great power commit suicide in real time.
There will be a lot of argument made about why Mitt Romney (and so many other Republicans) lost last night: he ran a poor campaign, he played it too safe, President Obama ran a more effective campaign, the Democrats' bogus "war on women" worked, Republicans have to find a way to "talk" to women and Latinos and black voters...And on and on. All background noise and not particularly relevant right now.
A very slight majority---but a majority---of the American people KNOWINGLY chose four more years (at least) of high unemployment, anemic economic growth, break-the-bank spending, unsustainable and record-breaking deficits and debt, unpopular and bankrupting socialized medicine, and record numbers of people on food stamps and living in poverty. They KNOWINGLY chose four more years....of this.
A lot of folks are attributing Obama's win Tuesday night more to his hypnotic hold on so many people than his actual policies, but I think that's too simplistic a view.
While Obama IS a uniquely seductive figure---and while many still feel a deep emotional investment in the first black president---it is his policies which are---paradoxically---responsible for his win.
When Obama came into office in January 2009, he had three main, overarching goals: first, to expand government as fast and as widely as possible; the ultimate objective of that was to expand the number of people dependent of government as fast and as widely as possible; and the ultimate objective of that was to leverage it into a permanent Democrat voting majority. If you are getting a constant stream of freebies from a government promising to stick it to the other guy while providing you with cradle-to-grave "security," you are less likely to vote out the guy doling out the free stuff.
Obama had a multi-pronged strategy to achieve those three goals, but two were particularly effective. First, he chose a path of divide and conquer to pit Americans against each other in order to make it easier to slide in his radical redistributionist agenda. He divided us by class, gender, race, and age. He turned the American motto, "E Pluribus Unum" ("Out of Many, One") upside down. It is now, "Out of One, Many." The American experiment cannot go on as it once did driven by divisions and envy rather than uniting values and common goals.
The other thing Obama understood was that if you expand government and dependency on it AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE, you take the sting out of a bad economy. The more government aid and programs to "take care" of you during an economic crisis, the less likely you are to throw the bums out who caused--or who are prolonging--the economic crisis.
Therefore, by exploding government dependency, many Americans who would normally be bearing the brunt of this atrocious economy do not feel the kind of acute pain they would have in the past.
As recently as 15 to 20 years ago, an incumbent presiding over this kind of disastrous economy would be thrown out on his ear (see: Jimmy Carter; see: George H.W. Bush. Carter's economy was dismal, but Bush 41 got tossed for a much milder economic downturn than the epic disaster of the Obama economy).
Take the big pain out of a bad economy by getting people dependent, win elections. Get that coveted permanent Democrat voting majority. Although the results were extremely close on Election Night and the country is fairly well divided, enough dependents and those who love dependency chose that path to bring us close to that permanent Democrat voting majority--if we're not already there.
Obama strived mightily to get us to that tipping point, and he may have achieved it. Four more years and we will be well past it.
We must now negotiate our way around this new America: one of ever-bigger government, greater dependency, higher taxes, ever-more spending and crippling debt, socialized medicine, and dwindling freedom. It's a bleak future--one that resembles more the imploding nations of Western Europe than the United States of America--but it's one that we must...and more importantly can....fight.
It may very well be that it's going to take a full-blown crisis to wake us from our torpor. We may have to be broken before we can begin to put ourselves back together again. After all, the slight majority who voted for Obama and the status quo also rejected the responsible plans of Romney and Paul Ryan to deal with the imminent crises now, before they blow up and consume us.
But the majority has chosen to close its eyes and float along for now. But at some point, the laws of economics will kick in and the reckoning will come. So we may have to experience a Western European-style crisis--complete with catastrophic economic collapse and social upheaval--before we can start to fix it.
It's an ugly reality, but it may very well be the case.
And that's why we must never give up. We must never give in. We must never surrender. We must fight for this beloved country. It may be slipping beneath the waves, but it can still be rescued.
I know it's tough to be a Happy Warrior today. We're not feeling very happy, and we're exhausted from the fight. But take a deep breath and realize two things: America CAN be saved, and she is WORTH SAVING.
It's going to require even more hard work and more focus and more energy. But we don't just give up on America. We fight for her. And today (or maybe tomorrow--even God needed a day of rest), we begin the fight anew.
Monica Crowley joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in 1998 as a political and international affairs analyst. She rejoined FNC as a contributor in 2008 after leaving in 2004.