For John, BLUF: Mitt Romney failed, and failed us, because he could not or would not articulate a vision for America. Nothing to see here; just move along.
Here is playwright Carla Seaquist writing about what might have been—if Candidate Mitt Romney had been prepared to give us a moral lesson on what it means to 100% of America to follow Republican principles. Ms Seaquist is a Democrat, so she balances the scales differently from Republicans (Kad Barma's thoughts on the two parties being alike notwithstanding), but it would have been a better campaign if Governor Romney had talked about how these United States are who we are because we are the sum of the individuals who make up this government and not the clients of a benevolent central government there to help each of us.
There is a difference between help and facilitate. But, that is not the point. We did not get an articulation of the fact that the Republican Party is about creating taxpayers by creating jobs; and for those who lack the skills to work, about helping them develop the skills to work; and for those who just can't work, creating a safety net to ensure we protect all life; but for those who just wish to be left alone, to give them their space by not imposing on them what the majority embraces.
But, to the larger point about the election, we can always go to Proverbs 29:18a—"Where there is no vision, the people perish." (KJV)
Regards — Cliff