19 November 2012

But Then, Romney Wasn’t A Conservative

One of the most basic tenets of conservatism is a loathing and mistrust of big government and bureaucracy. Project ORCA was the embodiment of big government, top-down management. Information was sent by volunteers in swing states across the country to Boston, and those in Boston were then tasked with assigning other volunteers in those same swing states to contact those who had not yet been to the polls. Boston was, at best, a detour and an unnecessary middleman in the GOTV efforts, and when that link in the chain broke, Romney’s GOTV effort crumbled on the most crucial day of his campaign. One of the most successful components of Karl Rove’s GOTV efforts with George W. Bush’s campaigns was his small-government ideological approach. Each volunteer was tasked with personally getting a handful of voters from their area to the polls, voters that they were already familiar with from their church, their children’s schools and their community. Instead of this strategy, Boston was the hub; information was sent there and GOTV assignments were delegated from thousands of miles away by Romney staffers largely unfamiliar with individuals and communities. At Ace of Spades, Ekdahl described the organizational approach of Project ORCA: “The bitter irony of this entire endeavor was that a supposedly small government candidate gutted the local structure of GOTV efforts in favor of a centralized, faceless organization in a far off place (in this case, their Boston headquarters).” [Source.]
Two points:

First, if Romney’s campaign is indicative of how he would act as president, I think it’s safe to say that he would be as big a fan of centralized bureaucracy as Obama. In other words, he’d govern like a dictator.

Second, the centralized, technocratic approach to running a human enterprise is almost inevitably bound to fail. There are simply too many variables to account for, and humans “on the ground” are generally able to make better decisions about how to handle things in real time than some formula devised by autistic eggheads. Quite simply, human beings are too complex and unpredictable to be reduced to a single formula, which is why—ironically—all humanist endeavors will inevitably fail, for humanists, in their desire to perfect man, never actually get around to understanding man. And so, the top-down management of human beings will fail time and again because, ultimately, those at the top can never be bothered to understand the chess pieces below them.