Last night, in the battle for the “real” America, the present and future America won. President Obama, the 21st century president, outlasted his 1950s throwback rival, Mitt Romney, to win re-election. This is a victory, not just for President Obama, but for America. It’s a victory not just political, but social and moral, too. The Republicans, once again, resorted to racism, voter suppression, anger, hatred and bitterness as a means to secure the vote—it didn’t work, again.
Yet, it remains to be seen if Republicans will learn the lesson here. Americans want to move past racism, sexism, anti-immigrant sentiments, anti-abortion talk, homophobia, etc. Decidedly, Americans have moved more left—evident in the pro-Marijuana and pro same-sex marriage legislations voted for in last night’s election. Despite this, Republicans/Conservatives have moved closer to the right, obsessed with women’s reproductive rights and gay marriage, and that other pesky issue, racism.
Before President Obama took office in 2009, the Republicans in Congress, and out of Congress, too, declared that their goal is to make him a one-term president. It was to make sure that he failed. That task ranked above the country’s highest priority at the time—getting Americans back to work. Right wingers spent the last four years calling Pres. Obama a “one-term president,” welfare thug, Affirmative Action president, questioning his academic record and admission to Harvard, and even questioning his birth certificate—is he a real American? All the while, they insisted none of this was racially motivated, and that it was his record they criticized and disapproved of.
Of course, people with even marginal intelligence knew better, and they certainly know the difference between urine and rain. The right-wing backlash, led by the Fox News sponsored and promoted Tea Party Movement, started before Pres. Obama lay down a single policy initiative; furthermore, Pres. Obama’s policies simply cannot justify the vitriol, disrespect and racism—everything from calling him a “liar” in Congress, to the Arizona Governor wagging her finger in his face, to questioning his birthplace. They called him a socialist—because he dared to pass welfare reform to help poor and working class families gain access to health care. They called him a NAZI and tried to paint him as the “worst president ever,” and actively described his presidency as a “failed” presidency.
Republicans and Conservatives were so sure if they yelled these slurs against the president loud and frequently enough, it would become true. The Republicans and Conservatives were very vocal in voicing their hatred of Pres. Obama, which led to many wrongly believing this was a sentiment felt all across America, but as we learned on election night 2012, it was not the case. The most ignorant people are often the loudest and angriest. Moreover, what many failed to take into consideration was the fact that many so-called Liberals and Democrats are not vocal and do not care to dive into a irrational, back and forth yelling match with Conservatives and Republicans, ala the style favoured by Fox News.
There were concerns for the Obama campaign when it was noted that fewer Obama yard signs were present than 2008. But, many Liberals and Democrats can’t be blamed. There were cases of people waking up to find their pro-Obama yard signs vandalized with threatening, racist words. Many people simply did not want to deal with angry Republican supporters. In the end, these people simply went to the poll and voted. African-Americans and Hispanics, in particular, came out in even greater force than 2008 and voted overwhelmingly for the President.
Many are shocked by the high turn outs of African Americans and Hispanics. For many Hispanics, they were rattled by Mitt Romney’s self-deportation speech when it came to immigration reform. For African-Americans, the racism and disrespect tossed at the president in the past four years could not and would not be overlooked. Many blacks felt anger on behalf of the president. President Obama was unable to defend himself against the “wagging finger” of the Arizona governor and the Conservative name-calling and questioning of his competence, college grades and birthplace. But, black Americans could defend him and they came out in full force to show their support for the President.
In the end, Republicans have to learn some lessons the hard way.
- Saying something loudly, angrily and frequently enough does not make it anymore true.
- America’s demographics have changed and are changing. Learn to embrace it—not fight it.
- White Americans are not more American than anyone else.
- Americans do not like people legally forcing their religious and moral values down their throats.
- Leave women to make their own decisions about their bodies.
- Racism is never okay. Stop pandering to racists. (yes, much of what you said about Pres. Obama in the past four years were steeped in racism)
- Who cares if gays get married? You should not be caring if it doesn’t affect you personally.