Saturday, November 10, 2012

Reality Check

I am so hopeful for America right now.  Before the election I was under the (mistaken) impression that if one side had a whole lot more money, and had the resources to tell lies loud enough, and often enough - that would be all that was necessary to win.   I am hopeful - because I was wrong.

Women chose Obama   55% - 44% for Romney
African Americans   93% Obama - 6% Romney
Hispanic   71% Obama - 27% Romney
Asian   73% Obama - 26% Romney

For all ethnic groups aged 18-29   60% Obama - 37% Romney
                                    aged 30-44   52% Obama - 45% Romney
The higher the level of education, the more likely to vote for Obama (post graduates voted 55% Obama - 42% Romney)
Given all of the conservative weird-spin about the election, (including Carl Rove's bizarre accusation that Obama, "succeeded by suppressing the vote"), they will have to come to grips with the fact that they do not represent the American people.  Unfortunately, they seem to only strongly represent people in my demographic (older white guys).
I am hopeful because even though in many states it was the Republicans who reduced the time period for early voting, people stood in line for hours.  In the school district where I teach in SC, the line to vote (with pathetically few machines considering the crowd of voters) was at least 4 hours long.  And it was COLD.  But people waited.  They shivered.  Their kids (who had the day off school) waited with them.  So many of my second graders went into the booths to vote with their parents.  I am proud - and hopeful.    
I am hopeful because the campaigns where the most outside money was spent (in shameful amounts), the candidate with the outside spending advantage lost 21 times and won 16 times  (CFI data).
I am hopeful because the results of the Koch brothers spending millions of dollars on false attack ads simply...  didn't... work.
I was talking to a conservative friend after the election.  He was very worried.  He could foresee a time in the near future where white people (like him and me) were going to be the minority and that our vote wouldn't count anymore because, he presumed, that all people of color would vote for another person of color (probably also making the assumption that all whities would vote together for the white guy).  I am hopeful because we may have elected officials who can look at the big picture and not just concern themselves with the narrow interests of weathier white guys (like myself).  
I am hopeful because we might have an intelligent discourse among our politicians now, politicians who can look out and see the country for what we have become - and not for some 50's version that no longer exists.
I am certain that all of our problems will not be solved in the next four years.  And there are politicians who will double down and, like Mitch McConnell, who will obstruct because they just don't like the guy.  But I am hopeful. 

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