Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sanity Prevails

Two-term President Barack Obama. Deal with it.

So. President Barack Obama, for a second term. Gotta say, I'm relieved.

I don't claim that he's perfect, but he's been a good president. There are several things I wish he'd have done differently in his first term, but in fairness, he's accomplished a lot more than many want to give him credit for, and in the big picture he's kicked off a lot of positive change. Also, thankfully, this victory ensures that certain conservatives can't so easily marginalize him the way they did Jimmy Carter. (And my gods, do they want to!)

But here we are. He's got a damn lot of hard work ahead of him, and I sure don't envy him in that, but this is the best result I could have hoped for.

And while I'm happy Obama won (and I very much am), my four favourite things about last night's results are:

1) The crazies were slapped down. Specifically: misogynistic, anti-equality voices in the Republican party, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, lost definitively in their races. And that sends a serious message: if the GOP wants to survive, they're going to need to adapt, and soon. The hard-right, socially-conservative base wasn't enough to win the presidency, and it proved a massive liability with the female, youth and minority voters that came out to re-elect Obama. This was a huge victory for the diverse electorate of today. To win, you can't just appeal to the straight, white, male voters. Not anymore. That's huge. That's fantastic.

2) It's also a victory for facts and reality - two very simple things that have been under attack of late. Conservatives lambasted New York Times statistician Nate Silver for his projections forecasting a solid Obama victory... and his projections turned out to be right. Many conservative pundits predicted a Romney "landslide"... and instead Obama won by a comfortable margin. Romney himself was so confident he would win, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, that he didn't bother preparing a concession speech... and he lost. Bill Maher often talks about a "conservative bubble" among those who get their information purely from biased sources (Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, etc.) and construct their own narrative that ignores the realities around them. Stone-cold reality and facts just burst that bubble.

3) The super-rich Republican elites, who poured an absolute ton of their money into Romney's campaign, lost hard. For their massive investments, they get nothing. I admit, I'm partly happy about this out of sheer pettiness, but also because it says that, when the people are aware, involved, and use their right to vote, the fat cats can't simply buy the presidency.

4) Mitt Romney will not be the president (at least not any time soon). Say what you will about Obama, but nothing changes the fact that Romney is a chronic, proven liar, out of touch with the people, and entirely unfit for the office of the President of the United States. Bullet: dodged.

We're not living in a perfect world, and an Obama victory in itself doesn't fix the many (many) problems facing the United States. Not by a long shot. Change takes time, and a lot of it. But in my own opinion, the American people decided to keep moving in the right direction.

In short, what Jian Ghomeshi said.