After the election – a look back as we move forward

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At 11 PM EST on Tuesday November 4th, I witnessed history being made when all the media networks said that Barack Obama was the President-elect of the United States. I was watching the TV in my living room – trying to ignore the nattering of the pundits in between return announcements. Then the ominous music and one of the anchors said “Barack Obama will be the 44th President of the United States.” I cried. It was tears of joy real joy.

I was happy the long road to the election was over. I was happy Obama won. I was happy knowing for sure that the worst President in history would be leaving shortly and our long 8 year nightmare would be over.

Since the conventions I had been growing angrier at the attempts of the McCain – Palin ticket to use fear and falsehoods to try and steal another election. I was happy that most people woke up and took their country back from the near fascism of the Bush administration.

As Paul Krugman wrote in his blog on Wednesday:

Last night wasn’t just a victory for tolerance; it wasn’t just a mandate for progressive change; it was also, I hope, the end of the monster years.

What I mean by that is that for the past 14 years America’s political life has been largely dominated by, well, monsters. Monsters like Tom DeLay, who suggested that the shootings at Columbine happened because schools teach students the theory of evolution. Monsters like Karl Rove, who declared that liberals wanted to offer “therapy and understanding” to terrorists. Monsters like Dick Cheney, who saw 9/11 as an opportunity to start torturing people.

And in our national discourse, we pretended that these monsters were reasonable, respectable people. To point out that the monsters were, in fact, monsters, was “shrill.”

Four years ago it seemed as if the monsters would dominate American politics for a long time to come. But for now, at least, they’ve been banished to the wilderness.

The Monster Years

This election also showed that not only Americans were pleased with the choice but so were the rest of the world. Dancing in the streets and parties took place in major cities ACROSS THE GLOBE.

Let state again – ACROSS THE GLOBE!

People in other nations were and have been concerned about us for many years since Bush took office. Why? Because the US is their ideal about freedom and democracy and if we fuck it up then what the hell is going to happen in the rest of the world. As we have learned the hard way – again – you can’t export democracy at the end of a gun. We have to be the beacon – the light – showing the rest of the world how its done then they can attempt it themselves. We must lead by principle and by example. That got lost in the past eight years.

The other marked change from this election is that our voting finally caught up with the popular view of a majority of American. Not the neocon dumb asses that the media believes is the “mind” of the nation – but a majority of the electorate who are really more liberal in thinking and who finally rejected the fear politics by the McCain campaign. As Eric Alterman writes:

Liberals and progressives, however, are in the opposite position. Obama has proven an inspirational messenger, speaking to and for a public eager to embrace the kind of politics that has been demonized and trivialized for the past eight years by mainstream media desperate to deflect the right’s accusations of “liberal bias.” According to the Pew Center’s extensive national survey, released well before this endless election got under way, roughly 70 percent of respondents believe that the government has a responsibility “to take care of people who can’t take care of themselves.” Two-thirds (66 percent)–including most of those who say they would prefer a smaller government (57 percent)–support government-funded health insurance for all citizens. Most also regard the nation’s corporations as too powerful, while nearly two-thirds (65 percent) say corporate profits are too high–about the same number who say “labor unions are necessary to protect the working person” (68 percent). When it comes to the environment, a large majority (83 percent) back stricter laws and regulations, while 69 percent agree “we should put more emphasis on fuel conservation than on developing new oil supplies” and 60 percent say they would “be willing to pay higher prices in order to protect the environment.”

A Liberal Supermajority (Finally) Finds Its Voice

Does this mean we are done with politics and politicians like George Bush and the GOP?

I would hope so but I won’t assume we will be.

I just want us to move on from the idea that being ignorant of how the world looks or operates is “cool”. I want this country to move forward and not get left back. Right now we are behind in so many areas like education. If we want to be a great nation then we need to take the lead in science and inovation. Dumbing people down – to me – is unamerican.


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