Of the two outcomes that were most likely last night, I am elated that President Obama won a second term and, more importantly, that Governor Romney and his outmoded Reagan-revivalist vision of America lost. I am happy to have woken up in a state in which “gay marriage” is a concept that is off the table, and that we simply acknowledge marriage now. In this state I am happy to see that tea party radicalism has been rejected by way of the Maine GOP losing both legislative bodies, and that there have been gains for women, gay communities, the liberalization of drug laws, and more progressive political movement throughout the country.
Unable to honestly define himself, and to find distance between him and the radical, nostalgic-to-their-own-detriment Republican Party, Mitt Romney lost, as did those who were brave or dumb enough to verbally articulate the party’s actual, insane stance on reproductive and women’s rights issues. Further, more voters than not were clear about the feeling that not only were Romney and the Republican Party dangerous bets for the restoration of our economy, but also that it was their brand of dangerous ideas that got us into this mess in the first place.
I am appreciative of national candidates like Ron Paul, Jill Stein and Gary Johnson, whose candidacies helped to bring issues to the fore that the establishment parties continue to be otherwise unwilling or scared to discuss. Similarly, I am grateful for local candidates like Asher Platts, Tom MacMillan, and Holly Seeliger for doing the same. Congratulations are in order for Ms. Seeliger’s win, by the way. And thank you, #occupiers, for forcing concepts like economic inequality, cronyism, and perpetual war culture into the public dialogue.
I was also exceedingly pleased by Wells Lyons, a young, energetic, thoughtful candidate whose impressive campaign served as an inspiration to other future leaders.
In all, this morning I am proud of the state of our nation. While I have been disappointed to read some conservatives suggest that the United States is falling apart and they are considering leaving the country (I hear government-free Somalia is nice this time of year), and I was horrified to see one suggest that the President should be killed in order to save the country, I am mostly heartened to know that Americans are turning their backs on the seductive snake-oil the radicalized GOP is selling.
While things appear to be getting somewhat better on the economic front, and progressive social issues are gaining traction, I have read a number of folks wonder what’s next. I offer these suggestions:
- The ongoing quest for equal rights for all of our citizens, regardless of sexual orientation, will undoubtedly continue throughout the country.
- The anti-war left and right-leaning constitutionalists should be able to find some common ground over the fact that our country is presently engaged in a decidedly unconstitutional drone campaign, which is responsible for the rise of extrajudicial murder, and that we should be having a more public, transparent discussion about this than is presently taking place.
- A similar issue that should attract bi-partisan attention: Grand jury investigations in the Northwest are resulting in the imprisonment of activists in what appear to be, by all intents and purposes, thought crimes and more attention is due to this issue than it is earning at present.
- Despite there being positive, day-to-day signs of economic growth, we are still living in a boom-bust cycle economy in which austerity measures are threatened on a regular basis and worker protections are quickly evaporating. Money continues to grossly saturate and corrupt policy-making. It is time for Congress to work toward amending the constitution to reverse the changes made by the Citizens United decision, while addressing an overhaul of rules designed to separate money, church, and corporate interest from the popular dialogue.
Some beautiful victories were scored across the board last night, and it is appropriate to celebrate them accordingly, but this system is still in need of a great deal of repair. Let’s rejoice, appreciate our victories and lick our wounds where appropriate, and then let’s get back to work fighting against injustice and for a better America.
PHOTO CREDIT: President Obama’s Twitter Feed