In the aftermath of the election, people look for a narrative to explain their happy or sad result. No doubt, pundits will dissect this election for months. Sadly, in the cable news and Internet era, this analysis is likely to continue overlong and the projections for the next election will begin much too early.
But electoral politics simply isn't worth it. In the broad picture of society and daily human life, electoral politics has very little real impact. Unlike liberals, who place their hope in the perpetual improvement of society at the hands of the government and a variety of experts, conservatives recognize the limitations of government.
Bruce Frohnen at The Imaginative Conservative is very aware of this - from his excellent piece (click here to read the whole thing):
And here is my point: none of this is a reason for despair. Indeed, knowledge of the dead-end that politics so obviously has become should be liberating for conservatives. It is far beyond time for conservative Americans—and Christians in particular—to put aside the distractions of mass politics for the tactile realities involved in building a decent life. We still need to vote and otherwise get involved, of course, but we need to remember what we are doing: hoping to prevent or mitigate the damage being done to us, not “taking back” a state apparatus that has long been used to reshape our society in unwholesome ways. We must come to recognize that the federal government, to its very core, has become hostile to our very way of life, not a violent oppressor, but nonetheless our adversary as we seek to raise our children, educating them in our faith, our morals, and our traditions. We must build neighborhoods, parishes and other religious and secular communities in which spiritual, intellectual and fundamentally moral lives are possible.
It is in these neighborhoods, parishes, and communities, that we will be truly affected and affect others. This is where conservatism has its real impact.