Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Election thoughts

The results of yesterday’s voting make me more confident and more hopeful than ever about my country’s future. All the dollars and words devoted to depicting Barack Obama as the destroyer of the American economy and western civilization were for naught. I am happy to have voted for him for the third time.

President Obama’s reëlection makes me think that a majority of people in this country are, after all, thoughtful and compassionate. They know that climate change is real and nothing to joke about. They know that health care needs to be affordable for and accessible to all. They know that electrified fences and self-deportation are absurd and dehumanizing proposals and that there should be a path to citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants. They know that perpetual war is not the stuff of sound foreign policy. They know that PBS and Planned Parenthood serve the public good and are worthy of the government support they receive. They know that women should be able to make decisions about their own bodies. And they know that the ultra-wealthy are better positioned that anyone else to pay something more in taxes.

I am heartened too by results from other contests, with voters saying no to the likes of Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, Joe Walsh, and Allen West (whose outré pronouncements on sundry matters bear no repeating) and yes to Tammy Baldwin, Sherrod Brown, Elizabeth Warren, and others. And to see voters rejecting a constitutional restriction on marriage and supporting referendums on equal marriage suggests that the right to marry the partner of one’s choice is well on its way to becoming a cultural norm.

I am happy today. But I am also amused — by the frequent characterizations in media commentary of ”older white men” as the bastion of the Republican Party. You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me ?

Related posts
Obama thoughts (2008)
Reality distortion fields

comments: 8

NoTalentHack said...

Funny, I've been looking forward to relief after the election no matter how it turned out, but instead find myself with more dread than before. A majority of Americans are decent and sensible as you noted, but such a slim majority?

It confounds me how so many people, many of whom I interface with on a daily basis, lack such characteristics.

Furthermore, the sort of status quo with the house and senate largely unmoved makes me feel like at least 2 more years of inaction and vitriol are inevitable.

Am I glad that Obama won? You betcha! But am I optimistic? NO!

brownstudy said...

Unfortunately, North Carolina regressed, going for Romney, a Republican governor, and Republican majorities in both houses. (My district, in Durham, NC, is usually the only deep blue area in a sea of red.)

Since this state sent 19th-century stalwart Jesse Helms to the Senate for decade after harrowing decade, Obama's winning the state in 2008 seems more the anomaly than the norm.

I am relieved Obama won but I don't think the next 4 years will be too different from the last 4. As NC and pretty much all of the South showed, we're going to be fighting these bastards for years to come as they see their coalitions shrink in the rearview mirror. Unless they get clever, their reaction will continue to be lying at the top of their diseased lungs.

Bill said...

I'm pleased Obama was re-elected but confident in American voters? Absolutely not. Remind me, who voted for Nixon, Raygun, Bush 1 and Bush 2?

marimann said...

As usual, Michael, your thoughts are enlightening and insightful and I too, see cause for hope. I'm a North Carolinian and was saddened to see my state "regress', as brownstudy says, but I live on a small, very "red" island and I know many of those who voted to keep it that way. I see that many of them make their choice out of fear and ignorance (not from lack of intelligence but from lack of education). Not one of them is a bastard.

brownstudy said...

I apologize to marimann for my loose language. Many of my relatives live in a nearby rural county and I know that they all vote Republican. No, none of them are bastards, but at one T'giving dinner my uncle said, "We're living in a time where we may never see another white man elected president." Since I was eating his food in his house, I didn't argue but got up from the table and finished my dinner elsewhere.

Another data point: one of my teachers has a black client who told him that her family was turned away from 3 early-voting polling stations before they were able to vote.

People died for the right to vote and Republican legislatures are doing all they can to suppress that right. It's hard for me *not* to use the b-word when I hear of incidents like this.

Michael Leddy said...

I’ve heard similar stories with much uglier language. And one town over, a homeowner has a grotesque lawn display of signage and slogans that I will leave to your imagination. But the shape of the electorate is changing, and I’m still hopeful and optimistic. Maybe that goes with being a teacher. :)

Elaine said...

Arkansas became 'redder,' although that seems impossible. However, Pulaski County (Little Rock), Pine Bluff (long dominated by Afro-Americans) and all of the Delta counties along the Mississippi, all went blue. The legislature is now dominated by Republicans of an ugly Tea Party stripe, and redistricting cost our hard-working State Senator her job, replacing her with another Hate/Fear Candidate. Sigh.

Michael Leddy said...

Here too the local results were disappointing. In a nearby district, the Democratic candidate for a House seat lost for a fourth time, and by only 1,000 votes. In my district, the Democratic candidate was a far-right zealot who got on the ballot as a stealth candidate. That one I left blank.