Commentary

Forward Thinking

Posted by tbaker |

By Rachel Birdsell

As I sit here the day after the election, I am so proud of the direction our country has taken. It seems as though we are finally starting to see the light. With President Barack Obama snagging 332 electoral votes and the popular vote, it’s clear that the majority of us are ready for progress. This election we elected our first openly lesbian senator. There were at least eight other openly gay or lesbian politicians elected to various seats around the country. Next year, there will be a record number of 19 women holding seats in the Senate. One of those will be the first Asian-American woman we’ve sent to the Senate. We made strides toward equality this time around.

But there is still a chunk of our country that isn’t happy with the election results. After the initial shock wore off, right wing pundits started the excuses why Mitt Romney lost the election. I could save them the trouble of having to make up lies and tell them that he lost because he didn’t get as many votes. The reason he didn’t get as many votes is because no one knew from one hour to the next where he stood on the issues. He lost because he lied so much during his campaign he made other politicians look like amateurs. He lost because he couldn’t keep up with the changing demographics of our country. He lost because we recognized that he’s the epitome of the jerk boss.

One of the main talking points being slopped around like cafeteria hash is that President Obama was re-elected because everyone who voted for him wants government handouts. Considering that the states that receive the majority of federal help are red states, I don’t know why they think this particular lie will stick. Unless they’re retired, all of the Democrats I know work for a living. They aren’t receiving any food stamps or welfare, but are, instead, holding down jobs so they can pay taxes so other people can have food stamps and welfare. Liberals don’t care if you’re on some kind of public assistance as long as you really need it. We will gladly pay a little more in taxes if it means that other people get the food, shelter and health care they need.

The wailing and gnashing of teeth is being reverberated across the country. The extreme right is screaming that we’ve turned away from God and we’re now a socialist country. Of course, the people who are saying that have absolutely no idea what socialism really is. Unfortunately, they don’t want to try and educate themselves on the matter, either. They also don’t understand that we were never intended to be a Christian nation and our founding fathers were pretty clear that there should be a separation of church and state. Karl Rove, along with his ilk such as Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Donald Trump and Bill O’Reilly are seething over the results. They are shocked that the majority of voters didn’t believe their tripe.

If you’re one of the people sputtering about President Obama’s win, you have a choice. You’ve had time to be pissed and get it out of your system. Now, you can either stay angry and keep making excuses for why Mitt Romney lost, or you can accept that there is a change happening in our country. We are moving forward, and if you don’t choose to come along for the ride, you’re going to be left behind.

Rachel Birdsell is a freelance writer and artist. You can drop her a line at rabirdsell@gmail.com

3 Comments

Anna November 15, 2012 at 9:32 am

You could be a more gracious winner :(
If things had gone the other way how would it feel to have your last paragraph aimed at you?
“If you’re one of the people sputtering about President Romney’s win, you have a choice. You’ve had time to be pissed and get it out of your system. Now, you can either stay angry and keep making excuses for why Obama lost, or you can accept that there is a change happening in our country. We are moving forward, and if you don’t choose to come along for the ride, you’re going to be left behind.”
This is still a much divided country. With 121,737,188 total votes cast there were only 3,477,912 that decided the popular vote for Obama.

President Obama was handed another four years and we will see if his leadership will bring us together or widen the chasm.

Reply to this comment
Rachel Birdsell November 15, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Well, I probably would have laughed, because Mitt Romney didn’t want us to go forward. He wanted us to go backwards. And it wasn’t just President Obama’s re-election that is leading us forward. It was that more women will be in the Senate and House. It was the states that voted in favor of equality. It was that two states voted to make a plant legal. It was the fact that even though the House is still Republican, the Democrats received the majority of votes there, as well. If it wasn’t for gerrymandering, they would have the majority in the house.

The reason there is such a division in our country is because the Republican party allowed the Tea Party to infiltrate their ranks. They’re now so far to the right that there is too much space between the two parties to allow for much bipartisanship. If the GOP would ditch the crazies that keep saying idiotic things about rape and the ones that keep screaming about how our president is a Kenyan, Muslim, communist, a lot more could be accomplished.

If you want to talk about people being ungracious about an election, look at the losing side. They’re losing their minds over this. They want to secede because their candidate didn’t win. They’re spreading more lies and fear because their candidate didn’t win.

You might not have liked what I wrote, but we are moving forward as a country. We’ve come too far with equal rights to turn back now. We’ve come too far with healthcare to turn back now. We’ve reached the tipping point and the scales are in favor of being progressive.

Reply to this comment
Anna November 19, 2012 at 8:36 am

The only reason the Tea Party gained such momentum was because the first thing Obama did when he took office with a Democratic House and Senate was to ram through Obamacare and alienate the Republicans. Forget about the economy, forget about jobs, he was going to have his healthcare legacy come hell or high water. Three days after the inauguration he said “elections have consequences” and “I won”. That is when the compromising ended…Obama ended it before it ever began.
After this election the balance of power stays the same. Thank God we didn’t give back the house or we would likely have ended up with a lot of other crap that we can’t afford.

You have a lot of misconceptions about conservatives and by the way, just because you don’t like the message does not mean it’s “a lie”.
I don’t think anyone begrudges feeding and housing those truly in need and under this president there are more of them than ever. It’s great that more women of both parties are taking more leadership rolls and believe it or not we are thrilled that we elected a black president we just wish he had been a conservative.
I, along with a lot of other backward thinking folks voted for legalizing medical use of marijuana and frankly, a lot of us don’t care what consenting adults do as long as it doesn’t harm anyone else and we don’t have to pay for it.

There is no way that only one side is responsible for the division in this country… it takes two to tango. Instead of the name calling, finger pointing and class warfare we need to try to work together, no more “winner takes all “attitude.

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