In the solemn estimation of many pundits on the right, American voters stood on Nov. 6, 2012, before two starkly divergent roads – a well-worn path toward collectivism and the far-less-traveled one that the nation’s founders envisioned in 1776.

“Be afraid. Be very afraid. The America of 2012 is not the America of 2008,” intoned David P. Goldman, the always thought-provoking columnist known by the moniker “Spengler,” just four weeks before the election. “If Barack Obama wins this election, the America of 2016 will resemble the beaten and bankrupt countries of Western Europe more than it will the America we grew up in.”

Echoing many opponents of the incumbent, even those not known for hyperbole, Goldman warned: “We have one last chance to save the republic.”

In the final weeks leading up to Election Day, however, hope – and not the faintly remembered kind peddled by Obama in 2008 – seemed to be on the rise.

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