Laura Ingraham said last night on Fox that, if the GOP couldn’t defeat President Obama, whose economic policies have made us poorer and whose foreign policy makes the world less safe, it is in bad shape. But it's not the GOP that is in bad shape. An electorate that prefers an economically ignorant president who jets around the nation with a hip hop star who calls women “hoes” to a decent man who likely could have set us on a better financial path is cause for distress.

The GOP held onto the House of Representatives and, when a grim-faced Speaker John Boehner acknowledged this last night, he said that the “American people want solutions.” But last night they voted against solutions. Entitlements will destroy us if not reformed. But last night we chose to ignore this looming disaster. Some day we will be able to close our eyes no longer. Some day we may wish we had a president who submitted a budget that could pass to Congress.

The mainstream media, which turned a blind eye to the scandal that is Benghazi and fell all over themselves because the president looked so presidential when he showed up for Sandy photo ops, has much responsibility for the election. They want to increase the power of the intelligentsia and having a president who looks to them rather than business and corporate leaders makes them more important. The president even adopts their “branding” slogans: borrowing from MSNBC, the president urged hurricane responders to “lean forward.” The media has helped create a cult of personality, something new in our once flinty democracy.

No doubt the recriminations will begin today.  But I think Mitt Romney ran a pretty good campaign. He could have raised the issue of Benghazi more persuasively; he could have fought back earlier and more forcefully against the personal slurs. But (pace everybody who is going to be out for GOP blood today) the fault is an electorate that doesn’t understand that we need to act now to avert disaster.

On the way to go to a friend’s house to watch the election results, I stopped at my usual place for a manicure. The sweet woman who does my nails is from Viet Nam and she has struggled and scrimped to bring her little boy to the U.S., where he is flourishing. She voted for Obama, although she is just the kind of person who will be most harmed by his policies: she provides a service that is not a necessity. She needs a thriving economy if people are to buy what she wants to sell.

The GOP and all of us who believe in freedom, personal responsibility, and the American dream of upward mobility must persevere. We must find a way to make the case that food stamps and welfare programs are destructive, while hard work and virtue bring us liberty and prosperity. Romney said that he didn’t intend to cut food stamps and welfare programs but to help people find a better alternative. Romney understood this. But it takes an educated populace (hey, don’t we have a federal department for that?) to see beyond the appeals to envy and class warfare and free phones. As depressing as this day is, we have our work cut out for us. Courage!