Take a moment to mentally separate yourself from your surroundings. Tune out the rest of the world and clear your mind. Now close your eyes and imagine, just for a few seconds (as to avoid any long-term trauma), that Obama lost the election, and Romney had just become the President-elect.
Phew, that was scary, huh.
Perhaps you envisioned something similar to the apocalyptic image pictured above, an exaggeration of course (although maybe not, depending on how strongly you oppose the GOP), yet still a poignant aid in demonstrating how potentially disastrous a Romney-run American could be.
The fact is, the election results were a reflection of how America is changing — for the better.
Ad after ad recognized Obama as the scapegoat for the crappy economy, but despite the unemployment rate rising to 7.9%, Obama became the president with the highest unemployment rate to win a second term since FDR, according to Bloomberg.
So how did Romney lose?
The Republican party lost the election because they failed to realize that politics isn’t just a game for stuffy, old white guys anymore. They lost because they foolishly underestimated the impact of a large percentage of the American electorate whom they had simply wrote off as minorities, you know, immigrants, blacks, gays, Latinos, women, students, Big Bird lovers. But times have changed; the shrinking demographic that the Rightwingers so heavily relied on are not the sole deciders of the elections anymore, because that simply isn’t America. How could the GOP ever expect to win when their rhetoric targeted only one flaccid fraction of the American populace?
Spitting out some 50+ white guy with a conventional Christian background (apparently Mormon is also acceptable) and getting him to kiss a few babies just isn’t going to cut it anymore. And for the record, aggressive patriotism and extreme conservatism is so last century. The Republicans were so blinded by the idea of abating modern liberalism, that they completely lost focus of what the American people wanted from their government, in fact they did the opposite and moved even further to the Right.
The reality is, if hardcore Tea Baggers don’t abandon their Bible thumpin’, science denouncin’, bigoted ways, and conform to a more centrist approach with moderate views, they shouldn’t expect to win another election anytime soon. After all, a government should be a reflection of its people, representing the entire nation, not just the Bible Belt. Sorry Jebediah, America just ain’t treadin’ in that direction no more.
Extreme partisanship is not a solution, and certainly not the right way to run a government. America needs fewer wing nuts and more nonsecular people willing to transcend the red/blue barriers, and support bipartisan action on fiscal and social issues. If there’s anything history has taught us, it’s that extremism in any form is detrimental to society, and politics is no exception.
Why did the Republicans lose? It’s simple: they commended the wealthy and ignored the proletariat. They alienated women who valued the right to govern their own bodies. They failed to appeal to anyone with an ethnic background. They could not find common ground with the American youth. They were unsuccessful in gaining any substantial support from the LGBT community. And they had Rush Limbaugh as an endorser.
Ultimately, they failed to acknowledge the bourgeoisie as the decider of their electoral success or failure. The good news is, this election proved Americans aren’t willing to accept what was accepted in the past. Obama’s presidency has demonstrated a profound progression from predominantly traditionalist views to the growing acceptance of those who may not conform to the socially-constructed vision of the “typical American”. Each vote for the Democrats was a vote for inclusivity and a progressive America. Together, the minorities realized they were the majority.