|Photo by: IowaPolitics.com of Flickr|
Is it over?
First, congratulations to President Barack Obama on his second term.
As I've mentioned before, I'm very happy about this. Obama was the candidate I was backing, and I'm very relieved that most of America backed him as well. I knew it would be close--as it almost always is--but I had hope that Obama would hold out, and hold out he did.
I have yet to actually watch it, but from what I heard, Mitt Romney gave a classy concession speech, which is honestly more than the current GOP deserved. Romney was never the favorite. He was more of a survivor, eking out a win in every primary until he was just...suddenly the nominee. And while Romney seemed like a good candidate on the surface, he was entirely too unreliable when it came to any positions, and entirely too malleable when it came to the whims of the Tea Party.
If you ever wanted to see evidence of the problem with the Republican Party, you only need to go so far as Fox News' coverage over the past month or so. Nate Silver received ridiculous amounts of shit for doing math. He didn't say Obama would win. He told the chances of Obama winning based on his polling numbers. It's the blatant disregard of math and science that makes many people shake their head at the current incarnation of the GOP anyway, so I hope this was a wake up call to many of them to perhaps rethink their approach to things like...reality...although I'm sure they won't. Fox News makes far too much money fearmongering.
Fox News has tried to blame today's Wall Street dip on Obama's victory, which is absolutely ridiculous. Ignoring the fact that the stocks dip and rise every day--that's just how it is--blaming in on the results of the national election is silly. Anyone arguing that Obama is the reason for our economic trouble has not been paying attention. Much of our current economic woes can be traced back to the Republicans playing a dangerous game of chicken with the US's credit rating re the deficit.
Unfortunately, despite there being many excellent strides for equality: gay marriage being voted on in 4 states, legalized pot in 2, and women now making up 18 seats in the Senate (including an openly gay lesbian)--the Republicans remained in control of the House. My disappointment was not attributed to party loyalty, but to the aforementioned policies of the current Republican Party. Mitch McConnel's famous statement about making Obama a one term president is still the GOP's standard operating procedure from what Speaker Boehner said today.
Based on the results from last night, I think we might be seeing a shift in the social makeup of the country. There were more non-white babies born last year than white babies. The term "minority" will no longer apply to non-whites soon. There was a massive gender gap between the Republicans and the Democrats, with the Democrats basically taking all of the demographics except the white male vote. If the GOP wants to maintain their relevance, they need to adjust their policies. Believe it or not, there are more than straight white dudes in the world, and they're beginning to make their voices heard.
Among other things, Obama maintaining his office means that Obamacare will be given a chance to get fully underway, which makes me very excited. The healthier our population is, the more that money can be funneled back into the government. Also, don't forget that Obamacare was originally a Republican in the 90's before Obama adopted it. Also also: Obamacare is NOT socialized healthcare. I wish it were, but it is not.
Obama is a moderate democrat, leading very much from the center. He has proven himself willing to compromise on a lot of issues. While I hope that the Republicans will change their stances, I won't hold my breath. For this to work, we're going to need true bipartisan work, not Obama meeting the GOP in the middle while the GOP digs their heels into the dirt and shouts "Don't wanna!" If they prove themselves unable to accomplish that, I hope the American people will reflect their frustrations in 2014.
This our chance America. Let's make this country a place we can be proud of.