Back from vacation – turned out to be a great week – almost 6 days in Las Vegas (Disneyworld for adults where real life only intrudes in small pieces) and an election that pretty much worked out as I had hoped. I will admit there was a point a week or so before the election where I had I had my doubts as to whether we would bring back President Obama for another four years but as the election grew nearer I was pretty sure we would be okay. I already expressed some of my initial feelings on election night – posted from my cell in our room right around the time Romney appeared to deliver his concession speech. I was not awfully elegant nor was I gracious in the least but I’ve reached that point in my life where I realize that conciliatory is not necessarily better – something I hope the Democrats keep in mind as I expect the Republicans are far from looking to make things work going forward.
Not much I can add at this point re: the election results other than a couple of thoughts:
1. The fact that it would seem the entire Republican Party, most importantly Romney, was totally taken off-guard when they didn’t win is pretty reflective of the lack of connection with reality Mitt would have brought to the Presidency. While we all have a tendency to see things as we wish them to be, this takes it to a new height. I think this is also reflective of the type of CEO Mitt probably was – surround yourself with only those who tell you what you want to hear. Doesn’t make for a company (or a country) that can realistically deal with the real problems and solutions. Only thing I wish is that I could have been in the room when the realization that they lost became clear. There’s a sweet picture.
2. At some level, my faith in the people in our country is a renewed. I was disheartened thru much of the election cycle by what appeared to be the same level of intellect and lemming-like mentality that re-elected Bush the 2nd to office twice. To have an election that wasn’t really a close one was an uplifting experience. Nice to see there are enough people out there not focused purely on economic considerations that the care and focus on people and social issues has not been lost. No doubt we need to fix things from an economic side – but to do it with no consideration of other human costs is not a palatable strategy. It’s not just the economy, stupid.
3. I am most elated with the progress in the results of Gay Rights. Aside from a plethora of elections of GLBT candidates to the Senate and House, the shift in state votes on gay marriage was monumental as same-sex marriage was legalized in three more states using ballot referendums and not legislation. This was the people talking – this is the voting public. Kudos to Maine, Maryland, and Washington who all voted to allow same-sex couples the right to marry in their states as well as to Minnesota which became the first state to have voters reject a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. While opponents to gay rights have quickly put their spin on why and how, the tides continue to change and we continue our march towards a country where all citizens are recognized equally under the law – how disheartening is it that this is even a statement that can be made in 2012. The future for my son is looking better and while I labor under no illusion that there remain many out there who would have him stay a second class citizen, they are slowly losing. In reality, there will always be stupid and hateful people around but we can only hope (as I’ve offered on many ocassions) that they die off quickly as they are a dwindling breed. They remain a bane on our society all while sucking out everything they can while giving nothing back.
4. Nice to see that the idiot men whom so eloquently gave us insight into their prehistoric views of women and how they are treated in regards to sex, rape and all that were so soundly defeated. Nice to see that there are some things that no level of spin can help. The larger stain here is that the Republican leadership was essentially absent in their condemnation – yes, there was the attempt to distance but not the outrage one would expect (at least one who actually believes that men and women are equals and that rape is never legitimate).
5. The lack of influence of the Tea Party this time around was refreshing. I guess watching all these old and uneducated people who are taking Social Security and Medicare rant on about getting the Federal government out of their lives resulted in a moment of cognitive dissonance for many in our country. Trying to have it both ways is somewhat disingenuous – another thing that Romney seemed to forget about.
6. Additional kudos to the youth of our country for showing up again – despite all the dire predictions. It is good to see they all recognize they have quite the vested interest in making their voices heard. I know both my kids were there without prodding – my daughter even stood for hours in line down in Washington DC.
7. I remain somewhat embarrassed at the obvious bias and bigotry that remains with white voters. To think that only 39% of white voters were with Obama is disturbing. Sure, I’m sure that there are many whites who would position that it was about policy and platform differences but we all really know there is much more beyond that. As a white male over 55 I am definitely out of step with the majority of my peers – and boy does that feel good.
8. Last point – after watching Obama speak to the crowds after his re-election and most pointedly in his talk with his campaign staff, I again saw probably what I saw as one of the main reasons I voted for this man – it was obvious he was tired and worn out from the process but his emotional reaction was not scripted and we got a good glimpse into the type of person we just re-elected. His level of emotion and his deep sense of caring was obvious. He wasn’t and hasn’t been playing a part or emoting a position based on who he is speaking to. This is a man who, at least in my view, truly cares about this country and it’s people. Not just some of the people, not just those who can help him.
Boy, do I feel better.