Some Thoughts on The Election

Well, the race is over, and now that the blinding terror that the possibility of a Romney-Ryan administration induced in me has passed, I thought I’d wrap up with a few thoughts on the whole thing.
1. As an upper-middle-class white heterosexual man, this election was, for me, an opportunity to choose sides based on whether I like liberal or conservative social and economic polcies better*(That said, even though I do prefer liberal social and economic policies, the reason I side with the liberals is because, regardless of whether or not their policies will be better for me personally, I feel a certain empathy for some of the groups I mention below and wouldn’t feel right kicking them to the curb.).
This just isn’t true for a lot of people, in both directions. If you’re a woman, then it doesn’t really matter if you think that conservative economic policies are good for the economy, because a vote for Romney is also a vote against fair pay for women and a vote against your right to make your own reproductive health decisions. If you’re a minority, it doesn’t matter if you think that a strong conservative stance on defence is good for the country, because a vote for Romney is also a vote for people who have been consistent in their use of race-baiting and racist dog whistles. If you’re gay, it doesn’t matter if you consider yourself in the line of Eisenhower and Reagan; a vote for Romney is a vote for you to never have the rights afforded you that are granted to the rest of humanity.
Contrariwise, if you’re a racist, it hardly matters if you think that the economic crisis was the result of underregulation; you’re voting for Romney anyway. And if you’re convinced that the life of a fetus trumps the rights of an adult woman, you have to hold your nose even if you think Mitt Romney is a psychopath. And if you’re a devout Catholic who feels the need to vote in a way consistent withthe teachings of the Church, well, it doesn’t really matter if you think Mitt Romney’s saber-rattling will bring about world war 3; the other guy wants to let two dudes get married.
2. President Obama won the election with only 39% of the vote among white men. Now, there are lots of reasons for that. White men, see 1, includes the group who got to choose their position based purely on whether they sided with liberal or conservative politics. And one thing that seems clear from trends is that the country is roughly evenly split between those positions, with perhaps a mild lean toward the conservative side. So the difference between the 50% we’d expect to find all things being equal and the 39% actual, and you get 11%. That’s the percentage of people who would have voted democrat, but were turned off by something. I’m not going to say what.
But it’s pretty much some combination of racism, sexism, homophobia, and the fear of losing their hegemon.
3. Also, President Obama won the election despite only having carried 39% of white men. For the first time in the history of the US, the decision as to who will lead this country for the next four years was made not by white men, but in spite of them. Hegemony’s over, guys. Relax. It’ll be great.
4. That Mitt Romney the Candidate was defeated is less important to me than that The Mitt Romney Campaign Strategy was defeated.
All politicians exaggerate, misrepresent, overpromise, mislead. This is a fact of life and part of the American political discourse ever since George Washington told the electorate that he could not tell a lie, and demonstrated this trait by making up a bullshit story about a cherry tree out of whole cloth.
But Mitt Romney’s political campaign displayed something I haven’t seen before. Mitt Romney has been accused of holding contempt for the truth. But that’s not it; the Mitt Romney campaign has displayed not contempt for the truth but rather an utter disinterest in the truth. Mitt Romney did not merely twist the truth or present misleading facts; he told bald-faced lies about things which were matters of public record, and when called on it, he showed no shame but rather was sort of insulted you’d dare accuse him of lying just because he knowingly told an untruth. This was a man who would literally say anything if he thought it would get him elected, not caring if it were true, false, or the exact opposite of the thing he’d said in his previous sentence.
And the electorate decided that wasn’t going to fly. Which is good, because if that strategy had proven a winning strategy, it would be impossible for anyone to ever win an election by caring about the truth. If it really is just as simple as “You can tell any lie you want,” there’s no winning strategy for telling the truth.
5. Lest anyone think I’m uncritical: In a sane world, Barack Obama would be the Republican candidate. Obama is not a socialist, he’s not even a liberal. President Obama is a reasonable, pragmatic, Eisenhower Republican. A proper liberal president would have stopped drone attacks, closed gitmo, given us single payer, and actually done something about the fact that our gun control laws were written by the gun manufacturer’s lobby. Such a candidate would probably lose to Barack Obama, but frankly, I’d rather have a chance to vote for a proper liberal who loses to a proper conservative, over voting for a faux-liberal who beats one of the sociopaths who took over the former party of responsibility. We used to have one party that dreamt big and one party that kept both hands on the wheel. Now we’ve got one party that keeps one hand on the wheel, and another that is intent on setting the car on fire.
6. By the way, an openly gay woman got elected to the United States Senate. Awesome.
7. Also, the people of three states voted in favor of same-sex marriage. So y’know what, fuck you, NOM.
8. Puerto Rico voted in favor of becoming the 51st state. Prompting me to discover that statehood was on the ballot in Puerto Rico.
Y’know, that seems like the sort of thing that the news might want to cover.
9. Good grief. Donald Trump has lost the rest of his mind.
10. So, the sun didn’t come up today. Crap. Chuck Norris was right.

One thought on “Some Thoughts on The Election

  1. Seed of Bismuth

    OMG this article has made me want to laugh, cry, laugh-cry, and cry-laugh for so long that my skin just cracks and peels away to reveal the Joker underneath

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