2012

21 November 2012: National election results very telling

National election results very telling

The 2012 election has clarified and solidified a trend since Ronald Reagan: The once Republican majority has become a minority.

This election was heralded as a referendum on the role of government.  Indeed, it was and the outcome does not bode well for those who cling to Reagan’s aphorism that government is “the enemy.”

The November 6th verdict: Government is no longer The Enemy economically.  With regard though to social/personal issues, it needs to keep its prying nose out of peoples’ private lives, the notion of which flies in the face of Republican/Tea Party orthodoxy.

President Obama won a solid re-election bid, but tangential to his victory are numerous groups and ideas.

At the top of the list are women.  Voters affirmed the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause applies equally to them both with regard to their right to control their bodies and to equal pay for equal work.

The latter issue is in context of economic fairness, which was a driving force among the electorate, fed up with fat-cat and Wall St. excesses, regardless of gender.

Social inclusiveness won big time.  Not only are women and ethnic and racial minorities welcome to the party, so are gays and lesbians.  The tide of homophobic passion that engulfed the nation has turned.  Through the democratic process, not legislative action or judicial fiat, Maryland, Maine, and Washington have approved same-sex marriage.

Brainy intellectualism—science—as opposed to pseudo-intellectualism, which holds creationism is a science, a woman’s body will naturally reject conception if raped, a pregnancy that ensues from rape is the Will of and is, thus, a gift from God, and climate change is a myth or is the result of sun flares, received a thumbs-up.

If I ever get a chance to visit with Stephen Hawkins, I will ask him whether this past election has given iron-clad evidence to a parallel universe, for that can be the only explanation for where the conservative right has come to believe literal nonsense.

Math won.  In this universe, two plus two still equals four.  Bill Clinton argued that at the Democratic National Convention and Nate Silver, the nerdy NY Times blogger, proved it.

Those who passed fourth-grade math understand the deficit will grow if we cut taxes further and will shrink if we increase taxes on the uber-wealthy.  Those who’ve intellectually matured since their halcyon college frosh years get it as well that Ayn Rand is merely an entertaining author, not an avatar of economic theory.

Silver, ridiculed by conservatives and other rightist commentariat including the usually reputable David Brooks and George Will, called every one of the 50 states for the Electoral College and was within a half percentage of the popular vote.   To divine the outcome, he eschewed crystal balls, chicken livers, and wishful thinking relying instead on a new-fangled contraption called a computer and a mathematical formula.

Beer and blue collar trumped Chablis and white collar not only in the lessons of the election but also in the way the election was fought and won.  Brilliant analysts spent eons of time calculating where potential Obama vote lay, but in the end it was shoe-leather express knocking on doors and approaching citizens who had not registered to vote or had become lackadaisical in their voting practice.

Who and what lost besides Mitt Romney and his reputation?  Birthers, whiners, Fox News, and rightwing radio blowhards.

Anti-intellectualism took a dive as did fear and denial in the face of evidence.

The respectable right having aligned with the disreputable right went south and is need of rehabilitation that could begin with a 40-day Lenten period filled with mea culpas.

The Republican Party, not just its brand but the institution itself, got pummeled.

When the Tea Party began to rise four years ago, I thought it would have no more effect than pretty much every other radical movement in American history.  Almost always the larger party, such as what has happened vis-à-vis the Democratic Party and the Occupy Movement of late, subsumes the energy of the other.

Instead, the Tea Party has subsumed the larger party.  That in turn causes one to conjecture if the Republicans will follow the fate of their predecessors the Whigs.

Like the phoenix rising out of its own ashes, so too has the moribund liberal/progressive movement.  Not since Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson have liberals been on the ascendant.

It turns out that Americans not only like the Food and Drug Association, Social Security, and Medicare but also the idea of Obamacare.  Imagine that!

 

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