Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Politics: The Raw Aftermath

Last night the country re-elected President Barack Obama to office for the next 4 years. To just a hair over 50% of the country's population, this is good news. It's good news to those folks, because that's who they voted for. The President won both the popular vote and the electoral college vote last night, carrying over 2 million more votes than his opponent, former Governor Mitt Romney. I would post final numbers, but as of this morning there are some states that still only have 98% or 99% of precincts reported, and that was the last time I saw the news. Also, I'm sure there will be some changes here and there over the next few days.

The Presidential election wasn't the only race being voted on last night, however. There were judges, House and Senate members, tons of state level politicians, and provisions of all kinds on ballots yesterday. I'm sure I'll post on the outcomes of many of those races over the next few days.

One of the biggest things I've noted is that, for the first time in our nation's history, there were state elections that actually came out in favor of gay marriage. In almost every state where gay marriage is legal, it has been via judicial ruling. (Iowa being the exception, as it was done via state congress.) In the states of Washington, Maryland, and Maine, this precedent was broken. Congratulations on voting for the equality of everyone in your state.

Something I'd like to discuss is an issue that echoes what I said in my pre-election post. There is a great divide in our country. This was not a landslide victory for the President. Indeed, for much of the night it looked as though he would narrowly lose the popular vote while still winning the electoral college. (For more on the crazy system of electing folks that we employ in America, head over to Wikipedia and search the term 'electoral college'.) Many Republicans and Romney supporters were quite upset by this idea.

How can we have a President that the majority of the country didn't elect to office? What does that say about how broken our system of government is? Recount! Revote! Revolt!

Etcetera...etcetera...ad infinitum. What is conveniently forgotten in moments of time such as last night, when the wild fervor of election night is in full swing, when sense and reason have completely abandoned both sides, is that this has, indeed, happened before in our country's history. In the 2000 general election, former Vice President Al Gore actually did win the popular vote - not by millions, but by thousands - and still lost the election. I'm not sure how many Republicans were crying foul, as their guy won. I can honestly say that if Romney had won the popular vote but lost the election, I would firmly believe he should be our president this morning. It's only fair if you believe something no matter who ends up benefiting from it.

This morning, we are left with the raw aftermath of last night. During the aforementioned Great Wild Fervor of election night, many things were said to many people in many different ways. Social networks became battlegrounds where friends and family waged wars of ideology against one another, forgetting that neither candidate is going to put a chicken in every pot and a car in every driveway. Much to my surprise, I actually received a threatening phone call from someone in my family this morning, right around the time when I thought "well, at least I didn't lose any friends over this." I suppose that statement is still technically true.

I'm writing this today in hopes that both sides will buck up. If your candidate won, then good for you. He's not been a perfect president, though, so please do not cherry pick his administration's past to fit your whitewashed agenda. If your candidate lost, the anti-Christ isn't hot on his heels to start the Rapture or Ragnarok or Return of the Phoenix. (Jean Grey reference, anyone?) Each side has flaws, and both sides have done nothing but try to make you, me, and everyone around the world believe that the opposing candidate is going to steal your babies and force you to give your money to people you don't want to. So much of the messaging is filled with lies and half-truths and, if nothing else, outright meanness that I am halfway hoping that the Mayans were right and we never have to go through this again.

Now is a time for us to learn from the past few years. To realize that having a President who wants to do one thing and a Congress that refuses to let him do anything because they're just ideologically opposed to compromise doesn't get us anywhere except to another round of fear-mongering from both sides in 2016.

Today is a raw day. It's a victorious day for those that voted for Obama, but it is a day of exposure and hurt on both sides. Here's to another chance at 4 years to fix the in-fighting, the fighting across the aisle, and the notion that we cannot work together because I have a (D) next to my name and you have an (R) next to yours.

Share your thoughts on the elections in the comments below. Are you celebrating today? Did you engage in any serious arguments? Was anything a surprise to you?

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte

 

3 comments:

  1. As always Fire Lyte, you make intelligent points and state them in an eloquent way. I have kept my mouth shut, politically speaking, during this entire election process. My state once again turned red last night, but I did vote blue.

    I have a few very conservative 'friends' that aren't speaking to me today as a result. It saddens me, but it also drives home what they feel is most important above all else, even our supposed friendship.

    I am truly praying for both sides to come together and learn to compromise.

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  2. First I want to say that "we cannot work together because I have a (D) next to my name and you have an (R) next to yours." Brought to mind the star bellied sneeches :-)

    I didn't participate in any political talk on fb or Twitter on purpose. I sadly watched friends & family members hurt & belittle each other over differing opinions. I'm just glad that the election has passed. Hopefully all of the arguing & fighting will die down quickly.

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  3. I think this post-election is a bit different than those past because social media is now such a daily (sometimes hourly) ritual in most everyone's life. I posted a couple of cute-sy/fun type "four more years" celebration memes on my Facebook and was immediately "un-friended" by someone I never really knew anyway. My news feed had a few very hateful comments about this being the era of the anit-Christ and yadayadayada. For the most part I refrained from discussing anything in depth but I did make one comment about acceptance and moving on and someone (not a friend of mine, a friend of a friend) hit me with this: "I will stand up for my beliefs and will not conform to the worldly ways. As it talks about in James, evil does not come from God, so I do not believe that it is Gods will for Obama to get re-elected, we have free will and will have to live with the consequence." Okaaaay... well, I really could have come back with this " There is a Bible verse (Romans 13: 1-2) that says, "There is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God." Or to put it in another way, what will be will be. So in a way (depending on one's spiritual beliefs) we are commanded to respect our leaders whether or not we chose them." I REALLY wanted to, but I just dropped it and let it go. It's just not worth it.

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