The entire 90 minute commute to work was painful as my body refused to relax and drop my shoulders from above my ears. I tried screaming at the radio, calling them short-sighted idiots, liars, and time-wasters, among the more colorful names I really used, and still tension wracked my body.
It was the day of the election and returns were starting to come in that late afternoon from the East Coast. Mitt Romney was sweeping the south and east. Fear and anger gripped me.
Couldn’t people see that the Romney as governor of Massachusetts was not the Romney running for US president? Couldn’t they see the manipulation, the switching sides to benefit whomever he was talking to rather than staying consistent and steadfast in his true convictions and beliefs. He was once a strong advocate for same sex marriage and abortion, but switched sides as he went after the religious right, an archaic group who still believe the founding fathers were the same Christian believers as they are today. Not true. The founding fathers were Deists. They believed that god did what he set out to do and left us behind to be caretakers. The religious extremists of the United States have rewritten history, including their own, determined that past and future presidents must bow to their will in order to win their votes. And Romney did.
Couldn’t people see that we still don’t really know who Romney is? With the face switching and putting on a personality when his campaign managers demand it, we still don’t really know what he would do, where his moral and ethical compasses point, and what he is capable of.
Romney spoke to the wealthy of this country – the white wealthy. He didn’t talk to me. I was willing to listen. I did listen. I watched more debates and listened to more news on the election that I have in many years. I examined the doctrine of all the candidates, starting two years ago. I was willing to trust myself to choose someone I thought worthy of being president in spite of their political party. I even was willing to ignore the anarchy the tea party movement had brought to the republican party to look for truth in advertising, though it was hard to find.
All along I also knew the truth. Americans tend to stay with the devil they know. I saw that when the re-elected Bush for a second time, in spite of him trashing the government financially, getting us into wars that had nothing to do with the attack on us on September 11, his poor response to the event, his tax cut for the wealthiest around us and ignorance of the majority of us struggling to survive, and all his dedication to making the rich richer and feeding government contracts to his buddies…yet he was re-elected.
Americans don’t like change.
Another state to Romney. One to Obama. This didn’t bode well and I saw all my fears of Bush-era economics returning with more talk about giving billions of money to the Navy and tripling funds to the military under Romney’s rule.
I shook it off as best as I could, and my students benefited from the energy boost for the next two hours. As I packed up, my husband texted me that Obama had won Ohio.
Ohio, for reasons that have always defied my reasoning, is usually the state that dictates the winner. Florida did so in recent history, but mostly with the help of fraud and court-decisions, but this was big.
I walked down to my car with a fellow teacher as the next text came through. “CNN has declared Obama the winner.”
The teacher and I looked at each other in shock. When we both started our classes over two hours before, it was clear that Obama was losing.
I typed back, “For sure?”
The response had the two of us hugging and dancing in the parking lot as the rain poured down around us.
“FOX News has declared it for Obama.”
As rapid republican as FOX News is, if they said Obama won, Obama won.
Is the world a better place?
The same ills that faced us before, a middle east waiting to boil over bettered and worsened with our interference, a huge deficit that may cripple us for decades to come, global warming that is not just disturbing our lives today but may destroy the future for our children, medical care being run by bean counters rather than compassionate folks, education levels dropping like rocks in the ocean as schools churn out dumber and dumber students, and a congress still divided and unable to get along or get things done.
Yet hope reigns. For the second time, the United States has elected someone not white, someone who represents the growing majority of the citizenry. They voted for tolerance rather than absolutes. They voted a little for change but mostly for consistency.
By voting for Obama and ignoring the billions spent by the beneficiaries of “Citizens United,” the bozo Supreme Court decision to give person-hood to corporations so they can throw money into the political race, American citizens proved over and over again that they ignored the big money campaign drives. Almost every pact-fund driven campaign was defeated, costing huge corporations and wealthy folks over a billion dollars. Americans can still trust their instincts to spot a snake oil salesman.
An openly gay senator won in Wisconsin. She wisely said that she didn’t run to change history but change the future for all.
Same-sex marriage won in Washington State and several other states, the first time such a decision has been put before the citizens for a vote.
My mother, who tends to do things well as well as right, camped out on the beaches and tiki huts on the big island of Hawaii wearing her new Obama t-shirt and watch the returns and celebrate with the newly re-elected president’s family state citizens.
The world is a better place because tolerance, acceptance, and social freedoms were honored around the country.
When history looks back on this election, I do hope they will remember that. We finally have a president that speaks for most of us, not a few of us. That’s nice.