“The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work. And we citizens also have to rise to the occasion.” ~ Mitt Romney’s Concession Speech
It is November 7th, the day after the election (as I type this, election day has been over for less than 2 hours).
We know the winner of the presidential election. We don’t have to wait until December to be certain. There will, of course, be people who cry “conspiracy” and claim that Obama couldn’t possibly have won, but as Mitt Romney has so obviously conceded, Barack Obama has earned four more years as the President of the United States of America.
If I wasn’t an atheist, I’d say, “Thank God.” Instead, I’ll just say, thank you, the American voter who saw past the rhetoric to vote for a better tomorrow. But, no, I’m not talking exclusively about the re-election of President Obama. I’m talking about all the larger victories of November 6th, 2012.
1. The easiest (and most obvious) one is the re-election of Barack Obama. No, he isn’t the Messiah, but because I’m a rational person who isn’t looking for my politicians to turn water into wine, I’m just happy that the president of the United States is a man who has dedicated himself to fighting for those whose average income isn’t $1 Million a month. I don’t need my politicians to be immaculate elections, I just want them to be on the right side of history.
I believe Obama is.
2. The American Consumer has an advocate in the Senate. Elizabeth Warren, the passionate, intelligent liberal firebrand beat out the Republican incumbent in Massachusetts to take the seat and add a powerful voice to the political debate. Liberals should be happy about this victory, but women in particular should be ecstatic to be represented (in a general sense) by such a strong, passionate woman.
People like Warren give people like me hope.
3. Recreational use of marijuana is legal in Colorado and Washington. Let me set something straight: I don’t smoke. Literally, tonight, I was offered a free toke and I passed. It’s just not my bag. And yet, I completely support the legalization of marijuana. Caffeine is a more dangerous drug than pot. Legalize it, tax it, and we as a nation will save millions from the “War On Drugs” while bringing in beaucoup cash. What will these victories mean for the nation as a whole? I’m not sure, but I suspect that the nation is on the slow march towards the national decriminalization of the herb.
4. Rape won’t be defined by male Republicans. Both idiots, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, lost their races after making incomprehensible, completely ignorant statements about rape and the female bodies. It’s easy to grow cynical about the state of science, common sense and female rights in modern American politics, but today a couple of brain-dead neanderthals have lost their power. Since both candidates were leading at one point, I have to conclude that it was their idiotic statements that ultimately undid them.
Hopefully this will warn Republicans (and politicians of all stripes): Stop being stupid about women. They vote, and they don’t like idiots trying to control their bodies.
5. Maryland and Maine approved same-sex marriage by vote. By the end of the week, it’s very likely that Washington state will also have made the same historic leap. But for the sake of pithy, of-the-minute reactions, it only matters that as of November 6th, 2012, Maryland and Maine are the first states in these United States that approved same-sex marriage by a vote of the population. No longer can opponents claim that same-sex marriage has only been permitted by the activist decisions of liberal judges and legislators.
For the first time, the entire populace of a state went to the ballots and decided that bigotry is pretty crappy.
An amendment to the Constitution that would ban same-sex marriage is almost certainly a pipe dream. By the time Obama is winding down his eight years (!) as president, I’d bet 50% of the states will have legalized ‘same-sex marriage’ by some method or another. Good for them. Good for us. We are on the right side of history, and we’re only marching further into the world of true equality.
This is the America I believe in.
I don’t know what the next four years will bring about, but today is pregnant with potential and optimism. Who knows what 2016 will hold, but for now, we have the chance to take a giant leap forward. Let’s hope we don’t waste it.