Tuesday, November 13, 2012

US Election

Now that everyone's had a chance to calm down and take a breather I’ll give my two cents about the US election.

I wasn't as caught up in the excitement as I was with the 2008 election but still became a regular follower of Nate Silver's blog for the New York Times (he went 51 for 51, let's hear it for math!). Personally if I were American I certainly would've voted for a left wing party. I'm not guaranteeing it would've been the Democrats, it might've been one of those smaller parties I currently don't know much about, but I certainly wouldn't have voted Republican. The extreme right-wing views that some Republican faithful seem to embrace really put me off the Republicans. In short, I'm glad Obama won.

The newspapers are filled with analysis of “what went wrong for Romney”. One commenter noted that the Republicans still rely too much on Outraged White Men for their votes. One of my favourite comments was that they should change their name from GOP to WOP (“White Old Party”). Democrats fared better with women voters, young people, and minorities and as the years go on the demographics of America will continue to change, favouring the groups that currently vote Democrat.

Face it, the American economy was still facing big problems and yet the Democrats still won. What will the Republicans do if the economy improves four years later? The economy was their biggest card and that still wasn't enough for them to win.

I agree with some newspapers that the Republicans need to broaden their appeal to the electorate and thus face a tough decision:

You can have:

• anti-immigration policies
• anti-gay marriage policies
• anti social-services (& other big spending) policies
• anti-abortion policies

Or you can have:

• a Republican President

But you can't have both.

This means the Republicans are going to have to start reinventing themselves and possibly muting or dropping some of their more right-wing views. By being more centrist they might appeal better to the electorate. The hard line has to be tempered, and the Tea Party has to mellow out a bit. Far-right guys like Rick Santorum need to be sidelined.

Impossible? No, I don’t believe so. Such resurrections have happened in the past. The Democrats returned from the ashes after the Reagan-Bush Sr. years (back then Democrats were on thin ice -- does anyone remember that Bloom County comic from the mid-80s where Opus learns his mother is alive, runs up to Milo screaming, "SHE ISN'T DEAD!", to which Milo replies, "Who? The Democratic Party?"). The Democrats have now won four of the last six elections and if you count the popular vote they won the last five of six. Not bad for a party who got wiped off the map by Reagan.

Anyway, four more years. The internet had some great quips and pictures, look them up if you get the chance:

• “I guess it's true, once you've had black you won't go back”
• a picture of Big Bird with the caption, “Who's unemployed now, bitch!”
• pictures of Obama captioned, “U Mad?” or with other memes

Onward to the “fiscal cliff . . .”

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