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Monday, November 19, 2012

After the Polls are Over; Many the Hopes that Have Vanished; After the Poll

Twelve years ago my heart was broken. Al Gore was 'robbed' of his rightful election victory. I was so depressed and unhappy. So relieved when four years later John Kerry was the new Democratic candidate. I thought he would be a great president. I could not imagine that George W. Bush could possibly be re-elected after all the 'terrible' things I could clearly see he had done. I got through the next four years by joining The Daily Kos and wallowing in left wing thinking and grass roots planning.

I became a strong Hillary supporter and believed that America would never elect a black President. But when Barack Obama  became the candidate I was able to support his candidacy enthusiastically. If the man could succeed through the primary jungle and the Clinton machine -- well he would be a force to be reckoned with come the election.

So I have a political view that is to the left of centre. The aftermath of the recent election has shown that there are an awful lot of people on the other side of the political spectrum who are now feeling as I did in 2000 and 2004 -- very upset and very angry. And honestly I ache for these people while at the same time feeling unbelievably relieved that President Obama was re-elected.

Last week a young woman in Arizona tried to kill her husband by running him down with her car in a parking lot -- because Romney lost and she believed she would have to leave the State and move to New Mexico. Her husband's fault was that he had not voted! At first the story tickled my funny bone -- until I saw a picture of the woman -- a police mug shot -- and she looked so angry and so young and so vulnerable. It wasn't so funny to me then...

In The Times yesterday was a small snippet about several states that have filed petitions demanding that their State be allowed to secede from the Nation. Apparently, the White House has promised to respond to those states with more than 25,000 signatures by December 12, 2012 -- 36 states are compiling or have compiled signatures. And not just states that voted Republican either -- New Jersey, New York and New Mexico, as well as California  are filing. To be honest 8 years ago I had similar feelings -- though I don't remember any petitions being filed. It didn't occur to me that a state should secede on its own, but rather that the blue states and red states should be separate countries.

There have also been petitions submitted to strip people who have signed petitions of their citizenship and exile them -- where to exile 900,000+ people, one might ask?

In the UK Scotland is having a vote on whether or not to separate itself from the United Kingdom -- I think the vote is in 2014. The Man says 'let 'em go', if that's how they feel. Well, I guess that will happen if that's what the people decide.

For what it's worth, if you are disappointed and angry with the election results I send commiserations and sympathy even if I wouldn't change the result.

One last thought. The worst that can happen in a democracy is that there is no opposition. Democracy demands tolerance and compromise. Our country was founded by people who profoundly disagreed about what kind of government was best. The  basis for many of those arguments still persist. Resolving those arguments has wrought a great nation -- let's not 'blow' it...

23 comments:

  1. Quite agree...there has to be effective opposition, and it has to be treated with respect.

    What worries me is that all majority political parties work on similar assumptions, giving no real alternatives and thus turning people from main stream politics.

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    1. People are frustrated and as so often happens, frustration turns to anger. It is disheartening to realize that what might seem an obvious solution to me is total anathema to another. The idea of 'live and let live' is becoming a rarer and rarer phenomenon.

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  2. I felt exactly the same as you in 2000 and 2004. I think your post is incredibly thoughtful and tolerant. I think these people who are so upset will get over it, eventually. I know I did in 2004. And then Dubya almost brought the country down...

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    1. It's hard to get over this kind of disappointment. But I was so surprised the the American got it together and elected Obama -- who'd have thought it possible in 2000 or 2004?

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  3. We are such a nation of spoiled brats who love drama and chaos. Do the people who want to secede even begin to consider the ramifications of such an action?
    We argue over such things as who gets to have the most money and forget to be grateful that as a whole our nation lives quite comfortably when compared with most of the rest of the world. At this time of year with all the gratitude lists going around, it makes me think of how I'm grateful that I'm able to feel gratitude. Period.
    Okay, I'm down off my soapbox now. :)

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    1. Well writ, Rubye Jack! And a very happy Thanksgiving to you ...

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  4. As an outsider who is also very relieved that President Obama was re-elected and who has lived through a number of elections here where my side didn't win, I keep wondering why this particular election has triggered such overwhelming distress and extreme reactions on the part of some on the losing side.

    I so agree with you that every nation needs what, in the UK, is called a 'loyal opposition'. These times in the political wilderness should be used to work out what went wrong and how your party can reinvent itself for future elections, rather than threatening to take your bat home because you lost this game.

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    1. Part of the problem lies with the inordinate amount of money that is spent 'whipping' people up with lies and mis-truths. It's hardly surprising people are thinking crazy thoughts and doing crazy things.

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  5. The pendulum has swung away from the Republicans and Conservatives, for now. We Democrats need to solve a few of the country's problems while there's a momentum to do so. Minority parties still need to participate in government, not obstruct everything until they're back in power.

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    1. Yes, I agree. I also think the Democrats let the side down when they had the majority. Such is the drive for re-election and then they didn't get re-elected anyway...

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  6. Agreed to all of the above. Especially Rubye's observation of the spoiled brat syndrome. Do the secessionists understand they would be seceeding from highways, running water, cell towers. Unless, of course, they have adequate funding to lay down the infrastructure of their new land.

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    1. It's a lot of stamping of feet and holding the breath until the face turns blue, dontcha think?

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  7. I've been surprised by the venom expoused by Republicans who are sore losers. I hope we can get to the point where we can all move forward rather than rehashing old wounds.

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    1. Sadly, for some rehashing old wounds becomes a way of life.

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  8. Dear Broad, there are so many vying factions in the United States, among them the Tea Party, which truly wants to destroy the federal government. Those in the Tea Party seem to have no appreciation for what the government does for all of us--from super highways to social security to medicare to national parks to protection from terrorists to monitoring the toxins in drugs and food to name just a few of the benefits of having a government. Also, we have a large group of white men and some women who remain racist and cannot abide having a "black" man--a boy--tell them what to do.

    Everyone here to step back from the fray and consider the benefits of democracy. Then we need to make a list of all we are grateful for. We live in a country that has so much more than so many other countries and one of those things we have is being able to complain without fear of being killed or tossed in jail.

    Well, that's enough of my tirade for the day. Thank you, Broad, for your clear presentation of what's happening here. Peace.

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    1. My mother who is 93, going on 94, firmly believes that the hatred and vilification of Obama is steeped in racism. Of course, no one is allowed to say this -- especially in the media -- the accusation of 'playing the race card' is far worse. I pray every day that the Lord keeps him safe ...

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  9. Absolutely weird. Have your compatriots not heard of democracy and the majority vote getting to run the government until the next election? Shrieking and throwing tantrums won’t help, neither will secession.

    It’s quite simple really. If your man lost, you have to accept that the other man has won.
    Anything else is insanity.

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    1. Oh, they have heard of Democracy all right -- and waged some recent wars for the sake of it, too! Hearing about something and understand what it is are two different things, however!

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  10. I am no historian but I have a suspicion that there is a pattern throughout time of rich successful societies which start to tear themselves apart, dividing themselves into factions so that they become disunited - and therefore vulnerable. A disunited group of people staring suspiciously at each other are surely no match for any focused fighting machine that comes along. Help, I'm starting to scare myself!

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    1. I often have very similar thoughts, Jenny!

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Receiving comments is a joy and I thank you all for taking the trouble and showing your interest. Makes me feel all gooey and stuff!