Gina and I are relieved that a good man was re-elected President. Whatever Barack Obama's flaws, he listens. He is, first and foremost, an American with integrity, a man who loves his country. While the President has an extremely difficult road ahead of him, his administration did not create this mess, nor are they excelerating it.
Thank you, Obama, that my wife and I can put our youngest on our health care until she's 26. Thank you for helping to revive the U.S. auto industry. Thank you for making us safer at home. Obama didn't cause my job layoff in 2010, and probably didn't help me
find work 18 months (and then 26 months for my second job) later. But it's a slightly better environment for all of us.
And I must mention that if you look at the popular vote, Obama barely won. This country is so deeply divided. But to our elation, it's coming around where women's issues are concerned, as those cretins running for senate seats in Missouri (Todd Akin) and Indiana (Richard Mourdock) were soundly defeated, thanks in part to their ridiculous "legitimate rape" remarks. When Rush Limbaugh said similar Draconian things about activist Sanda Fluke ("she wants to be paid to have sex") a few months back, he obviously offended women, but he also hit a raw nerve with men who love their female partners, friends, family members. It would be fitting if one of his radio callers told him, "Thanks, Rush, for giving the election away."
We decided that we would not try and counteract our neighbor, who put a Romney sign in their front yard, with one of our own. Gina feels, just as my late parents did, that voting choices are a private thing. Nevertheless, I got a little crazy when Obama got past 270 electoral votes--I ran to car and honked the horn, much to my wife's displeasure. Holy crap, it was fun.
It would be a level playing field if we could ever do away with these incredibly flawed electronic voting machines, which can be manipulated. To paraphrase Progressive Talk Radio host Thom Hartmann, "I'm not encouraging this, but if some computer hacker could show that Mickey Mouse received the most votes on a ballot with two senators running, the country might finally be alerted that these voting machines are subject to tampering on a huge scale." Thankfully, it didn't come down to voting machine manipulation on election night. The billions of dollars that Karl Rove's organization and the Koch Brothers poured into regressive issues and candidates went up in smoke. Voter supression is sickening and very real; no one should have to stand in line for hours and hours to vote. Gina and I had ten days or so to mail in our paper ballot (we dropped them off at a voting box; I know someone who purposely took theirs straight to the county courthouse).
It's hard for me to understand why Democrats and Republicans can't work together. I'm firmly in the former camp, yet I realize that it's going to take sensible Republicans--not Democrats--to break down the Dark Ages mentality of so many citizens in the red states. This stalemate has to begin dissipating; look at the blue-red map and it appears that the Civil War is still going, 150 years later. It's insane.