It’s been almost a week since the election, and I am certain most of us are thrilled its over – even those who voted for other people. Barack Obama won. Why did Mitt Romney lose? I’m apt to agree with Chris Christie – Obama got more votes. That’s fairly cut and dry.
Why did Obama win? Because more people wanted him to be president. And a lot of those people who made their voices heard were from minorities. Are they minority now? Maybe we’re finally moving toward that place where we’re all just Americans. President Obama calls us the “United States of America.” Emphasis on “United.” I like that business.
The past many years have been about America finding itself. We forget that the USA is still relatively young. We aren’t the youngest, but we are far from the oldest. We’ve had our mis-steps and our victories. But for a long, long time it’s been one of the greatest places to live.
We had a grand period of growth in the nineties and looking back, it seems like a capstone on America’s lifetime. And now, after a tumultous decade when our innocence was truly shattered in 2011, we are finally deciding which country we want to be.
No longer content to treat our ethnicities as tokens, perhaps? No longer imagining that only the white, middle-class deserve freedoms?
We are not really all that new, we’re just listening more. More voices from more places were heard this year – finally. After thousands (millions?) of people in this very country fought and protested and died to be able to vote, people finally treated it like the responsibility it is.
The RNC was shattered – they so very badly convinced themselves they would “take back America.” That America they wanted exists in a different time. We’ve evolved, we’ve moved on, and we are stronger for it. More of us realize we all deserve a true voice – a voice tempered with knowledge. We have responsibilities so we have to be responsible.
What’s going to happen? I don’t know. Research suggests that the economy will grow and the climate will change and we’re going to all have to take it seriously. We don’t have much time to tolerate ignorance as a value any more. There’s not much more time to ignore science and equate it with un-researched opinions and magic.
I do know that I live in a country where I have been given the choice to be happy so long as it doesn’t harm others or infringe on their happiness. I live in a country where my son can shout outside, and I can write whatever I want, and we have enough to eat, and the only things we need to do are exercise some common sense and respect others.
Freedom isn’t free. But the cost keeps getting lower.
The RNC – I don’t know what they will do, but they need to change. The Tea-Party’s stable needs to drop any sign of racism or hatred and instead focus on a true political stance. Personally, I think our two parties are both close to major evolution. The tipping point on social issues is close, so that may mercifully be off the table in the near future.
Suffice to say, to finish up, I am really excited to have President Obama back. And now – NOW – the specter of re-election is gone. He showed fire and passion again last week. We’ve decided to move forward and to be the America we all whispered about as children – inclusive, free, brave.