A New America

The 2012 election has solidly confirmed that America is changing. Not just in its cultural composition of voters but also ideology. The number of Latinos and young people who voted has shaken up both parties.

New York Magazine Photo

The win by President Obama, the number of women elected to the Senate, the openly gay and bisexual candidates who won, statewide referendums on same-sex marriage and passage of recreational marijuana drug use in two states indicates a dramatic shift in the electorate.The growing number of Republicans who are admitting political shock, a week later, continues as Georgia’s Newt Gingrich confessed on NBC’s The Today Show, “We need to stop, take a deep breath and learn.” He added, “The president won an extraordinary victory. And the fact is, we owe him the respect of trying to understand what they did and how they did it. But if you had said to me three weeks ago Mitt Romney would get fewer votes than John McCain and it looks like he’ll be 2 million fewer, I would have been dumbfounded.”

Historians and political scientists are grappling with what all of this means for the political future of America and likely how it can be used to determine future elections. Not just how a political party can win but who can win. This pivotal election is likely to encourage and inspire canidates who are more like the electorate and that kind of shift would be historic.

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd puts it in perspective in a way only she can in her after election review.”Team Romney has every reason to be shellshocked. Its candidate, after all, resoundingly won the election of the country he was wooing.

Mitt Romney is the president of white male America. Maybe the group can retreat to a man cave in a Whiter House, with mahogany paneling, brown leather Chesterfields, a moose head over the fireplace, an elevator for the presidential limo, and one of those men’s club signs on the phone that reads: “Telephone Tips: ‘Just Left,’ 25 cents; ‘On His Way,’ 50 cents; ‘Not here,’ $1; ‘Who?’ $5.”

Romney and Tea Party loonies dismissed half the country as chattel and moochers who did not belong in their “traditional” America. But the more they insulted the president with birther cracks, the more they tried to force chastity belts on women, and the more they made Hispanics, blacks and gays feel like the help, the more these groups burned to prove that, knitted together, they could give the dead-enders of white male domination the boot.”

Comments

  1. Gary S. Cox says:

    The nation-wide election results of 2012 may be viewed as a seismic shift in culutural and political attitudes in the American body politic. Not since the 1970’s when America woke up and openly protested the war in Vietnam, have we witness a change in the opinions of the electorate. These changes have both Republicans and political pundits alike scratching their heads.

    The core beliefs are: 1.) Government doesn’t belong in the bedroom. 2.) Government shouldn’t have control over our bodies. 3.) We reaffirmed we are a secular state – church and state should be separate. 4.) Healthcare is a right. 5.) Extremism is unacceptable in politics and compromise is not a dirty word.

    I voted to reelect President Obama becuase he is a man of principal. I didn’t vote for him for any “gifts” (a la Mitt Romney’s excuse making) he bestowed upon me. Republican will remain out of power at the national level, other than Congress, until they learn we live in a changing America. Ozzie and Harriet aren’t “middle America” anymore. Republicans are stuck in 1950’s America and thank God we don’t live in that uptight, prejudical America anymore.

    • Burroughston Broch says:

      Regarding your opinion of core beliefs:
      2.) Government shouldn’t have control over our bodies. What do you think Obamacare is?
      3.) We reaffirmed that we are a secular state – church and state should be separate. Yes, but some mosques are more equal than others.
      5.) Extremism is unacceptable in politics and compromise is not a dirty word. President Obama’s re-election campaign was an exercise in extremism and the electorate bought it. As far as compromise, we saw none in the first Obama administration and see little indication of any in the second.

  2. Anonymous Poster says:

    An opinion from a stranger.

    • Burroughston Broch says:

      Which opinion? Which stranger?

      • The comment that Mike made was about how irinoc it was that the tornadoes were striking in the Bible Belt. He wasn’t talking about the victims. How many people (especially the politicians) in the South believe that God is on their side. If He is, then He’s not doing a good job. Just like when Texas was on fire, what was Rick Perry’s brilliant idea? Have a prayer mass with racist, homophobic pastors at his side. It’s terrible when tragedy strikes and when people die. But if the Right is looking for someone worst than Limbaugh, let me assure you, Malloy isn’t. In fact, nobody is worse than Limbaugh.

  3. I haven’t started examining it yet, but I look forward to seeing a county by county breakdown of the results here in Georgia, to compare to demographic changes in those areas. Obama’s ground game focused on swing states. If a similar ground game had been in place in Georgia, I believe we Democrats would have still lost, but the margins would have been narrower.
    I think we should be doing a lot of examination and planning for 2014, 2016, and 2020.

    This can be a blue state by 2020 if we don’t snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    • Burroughston Broch says:

      Larry, I am not a Democrat but instead closer to a libertarian.

      I wish the Democrats success because I don’t want this state to effectively be a 1-party state as it now. This situation didn’t work for the 130 years that the Democrats had effective control and isn’t working now under the GOP.

      That being said, I agree with your comments about goals and planning. I don’t agree about the reality of 2014 and 2016. I note that (1) Georgia voted redder in 2012 than in 2008, (2) the Democrats appear to have no viable state-wide candidates, and (3) the GOP has a supermajority in the Legislature. To that I would add that the Obama campaign’s decision not to contest Georgia was a tacit admission that they did not believe they could win the state.