Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thanks, America.

Many people I know are participating in a meme (it’s moved to Facebook, now) where they post every day from November 1 until Thanksgiving about a thing for which they are thankful. I thought about doing it myself. But I couldn’t come up with anything that was heart-warming or edifying. People don’t really want to know that I am grateful that my life partner and I are cohabitating astoundingly amiably these days. Or that I’m thankful for the new darker carpeting in my bedroom that will be less likely to show hairball stains. Most of the things for which I thank the Universe these days would add up to a colossal example of TMI were I to share them with my internet friends.

But then, there is the election. That thing which has inspired such a firestorm of weeping and gnashing of teeth amongst those Fox-loyal hordes who were utterly blind-sided by the results thereof. Hell yes, I’m grateful that the majority of the American people somehow managed to sift through the lies and the smoke and the mirrors and grant the president four more years to push through the hope and change he promised the first time around. Or even if Obama could not/did not deliver those things, we were not attracted to the option of bringing back the guys who got us in this mess in the first place, and beginning the process of going backward come January 20th, 2013.

I have been somewhat astonished by the inability of right-wing loyalists to accept the results of the election, get over it and move on. We all had to do that in 2004, did we not? In the end, we all suspected that “our” candidate (John Kerry) had been little more than a human sacrifice to the right-wing juggernaut running unchecked across America in those days. Perhaps we sounded as gloom-and-doom and hopeless about America’s future back then as the right does now. I remember being anything but pleased that Bush and his cronies had been granted another four years to pilot the country down the road to ruin, and I continued to rail against Bush Administration policies for the remainder of his reign. But I don’t remember those of us on the left projecting the naked hatred and vitriol being spewed around by disappointed right-wingers today. And I don’t remember left-wing media personalities egging us on and whipping us into a frenzy of losers’ bloodlust.

As time has passed and theories about the “surprising” 2012 election results have been advanced by everyone and his pup, it has dawned on me that there is something else for which to be grateful here. Something more than the prospect of at least maintaining the status quo (which is not very attractive, but is still preferable to a Republican “do-over.”) I discovered this in a piece being circulated in the past few days by several media outlets, in which ex-Governor Romney publicly laments that Obama won the election because he “promised gifts" to hand-picked factions of his base coalition. Oh, that voters should fall prey to such unethical tactics!

Oh, Mr. Romney! On how many levels does this comment prove than you are laudably and remarkably full of shit about the democratic process? I suppose you can be forgiven, sir, if you believed that you were doing what it took, in 21st-century America, to win elective office. Especially the highest office in the land. The tack upon which you were headed was, by all indications of the past several elections, exactly where the American people wanted to go. Negative campaigning. Demonizing the opposing candidate. Spending those gigantic contributions from undisclosed sources on making the other guy appear to be the obvious worst choice in the world, rather than wasting time and resources presenting your own plans and vision to the voters. The American people have consumed stinking negative garbage by the tanker-load in the past several elections, and clamored for more.

But—wonder of wonders—during election 2012, the President’s campaign made a bold move. What if we send out a different sort of message? How about: “Vote for us. Here is what we have to offer YOU.” And though it was by no means the loudest message out on the campaign trail, it was out there. And by the grace of some sort of cosmic head-slap, a portion of the American voting public heard it and responded to it. What a concept. Vote for the guy that actually offers you something. Unheard of!

So today, I’m indescribably grateful that the American people—or at least a large enough subset thereof to mystify (and piss off) the loser—voted FOR something this election. Rejected the New Conventional Wisdom of negative campaigning and responded to promises of positive policy. It’s a breath of such pure, fresh air that I just want to fill my lungs with it and never exhale.

I hardly dare to hope that this might start a “new” trend…


  1. More than a week after the election and denial still isn't just a river in Egypt. How about just admitting that that you blew it six ways from Sunday and move on. Of course to do that would require a heck of a lot of soul searching. Something that seems to be above their pay grade.

  2. I was so thrilled...for all the reasons you state plus we showed those blow hards in congress that we wouldn't be bullied by their obstructionist tactics. The fact that they were more committed to Obama as a one term president than good of the country was reprehensible. Those guys all need to go!

  3. I so agree with all of this. And ultimately I think the real issue is prejudice - people cannot wrap their heads around the reality that country is no longer dominated by white folk, and in particular white guys. I love white guys, married one, and I'm white too. But I am okay with living in a diverse world where I am not the majority but part of a whole.

    And besides, I also like the idea that we need to care for all people and not just support Capitalism and corporations - that a business man lost and a grassroots organizer won is awesome!