The 2012 US Presidential election is now over, pending the final results, and one thing was clear to me. A majority of voters rejected the GOP campaign of dishonesty, hate, and bigotry paid for by entitled billionaires. President Obama was re-elected, gay marriage rights secured in a couple of states, pot legalized in one state, and a number of women were elected for the first time to the US Senate and a couple of rape apologists were defeated. I was very nervous at the start of the day but am relieved that this country didn’t fall over a cliff to the dark side.
The best news is President Obama was re-elected. Nate Silver’s Fivethirtyeight Blog was dead on for the results. Once again the GOP lost by dismissing science.
I loved the President’s victory speech he gave in Chicago early Wednesday morning. Here are my favorite parts:
That’s why we do this. That’s what politics can be. That’s why elections matter. It’s not small, it’s big. It’s important. Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy. That won’t change after tonight. And it shouldn’t. These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty, and we can never forget that as we speak, people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter — the chance to cast their ballots like we did today.
But despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America’s future.
We want our kids to grow up in a country where they have access to the best schools and the best teachers — a country that lives up to its legacy as the global leader in technology and discovery and innovation — with all of the good jobs and new businesses that follow.
We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened up by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.
We want to pass on a country that’s safe and respected and admired around the world, a nation that is defended by the strongest military on earth and the best troops this — this world has ever known — but also a country that moves with confidence beyond this time of war to shape a peace that is built on the promise of freedom and dignity for every human being.
We believe in a generous America, in a compassionate America, in a tolerant America open to the dreams of an immigrant’s daughter who studies in our schools and pledges to our flag — to the young boy on the south side of Chicago who sees a life beyond the nearest street corner — to the furniture worker’s child in North Carolina who wants to become a doctor or a scientist, an engineer or an entrepreneur, a diplomat or even a president.
This country has more wealth than any nation, but that’s not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military in history, but that’s not what makes us strong. Our university, our culture are all the envy of the world, but that’s not what keeps the world coming to our shores. What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on Earth, the belief that our destiny is shared — that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations, so that the freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for come with responsibilities as well as rights, and among those are love and charity and duty and patriotism. That’s what makes America great.
I’m also happy that Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) retained his seat. The entitled billionaires and others spent millions trying to beat Brown and the voters in Ohio rejected their attempt. Josh Mandel was a bad candidate but the Koch Brothers and their buddies thought if they threw enough money at the race Mandel would win.
Also great: Elizabeth Warren Defeats Scott Brown In Massachusetts. The first openly gay person, Tammy Baldwin, was elected to the US Senate and hell didn’t freeze over.
Additional good news for women were two rape apologists Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana lost their elections.
Good news on the issue of church and state, Florida’s Amendment 8 was defeated. If passed it would have allowed tax dollars to go to churches.
It wasn’t all Unicorns and rainbows because Ohio’s State Issue 2 that would have reformed how congressional districts are drawn was defeated. The Yes on 2 group let the opponents advertise against the measure for more than a month then they seemed to depend on word of mouth for a complicated reform measure. It is still a good idea but you can’t put something like that on the ballot and not aggressively promote it and expect it to pass especially went the two parties are not thrilled with giving up their power to game the system.
I was also a bit shocked that my conservative friends pretty much disappeared during the night. No tweets or Facebook postings. THAT’S when I really started to believe we had re-elected the President.
The main theme I saw was the GOP has to stop running campaigns that only the few million who watch FOX “news” likes and stop pissing off the majority coalition of seniors, women, blacks, the poor, and Latinos.
One last election related image. I created an electoral vote map for shits and giggles with my Republican friends and I didn’t do too bad based on the results so far. I believe I missed NC and NM for sure and maybe FL if it does go to Obama: