Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Five Lessons Learned from #Election2012

Before I get too giddy, let's review the fact that 57 million Americans voted for Mittens. Let that sink in. 57 million people thought Romney would be a better President than Barack Obama. I'm sorry, I just can't see how 57 million people thought that guy was qualified to make world-impacting decisions on a daily basis. Now whether it was disappointment or racism or party loyalty - who knows. Either way, that number is frightening. Somehow, we have to unite and come together as a country. Though I must say when I pranced into Starbucks in my "Got Hope?" T-shirt this morning... whew. Honey if looks could kill I'd be decked out in the purple casket right now.

But let's take a look at five of the important takeaways from these long, brutal and at times down right ugly election:

1. No More Rich C-students: After G-Dub, the American people are not going to accept just any old entitled so-and-so with a bankroll for the Presidency. It's no longer enough to be a "likeable" guy and truth be told, Mitt wasn't that likeable. But the point is this - all told it's estimated that over two BILLION dollars was raised/spent in the effort to get Mittens to 1600 Penn. And apparently you can no longer buy the White House with a half-assed candidate. I'm not saying wasn't smart but at no time did he appear to be on Obama's level intellectually or politically.  Conclusion - the bar has been raised. You have to have a candidate who can stand on more than a black card and a trust fund.

2. Minorities are no longer minor - Fact of the matter is that the Republicans spent a lot of time trying to segregate and categorize people. They wanted women in one bucket (next to the stove and the cleaning supplies), blacks in another bucket (out back by the cotton fields). They sort of assumed that Latinos were either on welfare or illegal and they bashed China (there goes your Asian vote) at every opportunity. Conclusion - If you shade all the minorities, they band together, turn into a majority and vote against you. Obama got over 50% of women voters, over 70% of Latino voters and over 90% of African American voters. 

3. No country for murkiness - What I mean by this is that your candidate actually has to be about something. You can't toss out some half-assed policies (and change your mind next week) and promise to be more clear when you get elected. That's like asking someone to marry you on your first date. People need to know what they are getting. Two weeks before the election I still did not know what Mittens was for or against. Conclusion - You have to have a platform. Even if it sucks. State it, claim it and stick to it.

4. Birds of a Feather - Even if Mitt was charismatic and charming, he both endorsed and surrounded himself with some pure D idiots. You are your crew, sir. And Mitts' crew was a train wreck. Paul Ryan looked like a child seated next to Biden. Mourdock had foot in mouth disease. Trump appears to need psychiatric help and/or medication. Karl Rove is a blathering hot head. This does not a great brain trust make. Conclusion - You can't just appease the money folks. At some point you need to pick people who can help you and not hurt you. Also doesn't hurt to surround yourself with a variety of viewpoints, not just the ones you like to hear.

5. Hope rises, hate fails - Hate-mongering and fear speech are old and cold tactics. It's harder to scare people who have access to 24/7 news cycles and Google. Sure you can just make things up and fling them out there to see who takes the bait but as Grandma Blanche used to say - the truth will always out. The Republicans called Obama everything but a child of God. CEOs threatened to fire people. Romney told people their jobs were being shipped overseas. I could be here all day listing the shenanigans but the conclusion is this - you can't win on fear if the other side is offering hope. 

This second term won't be easy but I'll be really surprised if Obama doesn't take the gloves off and come out swinging. He has no more elections to win. With his re-election, the healthcare plan, the immigration reform and the equal pay laws stay in place. I believe he'll try and reach out across the aisle but I also believe he'll work around any obstruction as best he can with no looking back. While the first presidency was an ascension, this is a solidification. I look forward to seeing what comes next.

Exhale everybody. What did this election teach you?


Anonymous said...

I want to share this on FB so bad. it sums everything up perfectly

Emanon VonWess said...

How can I tweet this and publish it in all major newspapers lol great review!!

thinklikeRiley said...

That number 4 is the truth. You are who you surround yourself with and Romney's inner circle looked real damn shady. Imma take a minute to enjoy these and then gear up for 2014 and 2016 cuz you know these right wingers are going all in.

DCbywayofCali said...

I think they knew they'd lose the Presidency, but the Senate? Oh, losing the Senate hurt. tee hee

GuessImJay said...

The Republicans are going to have to get a new bag of tricks. First they'll need a candidate that is not the same old same old. Barack changed the game. Background has to be virtually spotless. Ability to speak across races, age groups and party affiliation has to be there. Charisma has to be on 1000.

Once they find that person, it can't be about what the other person did wrong, it has to be about what you can do right, well and quickly. 2016 should be interesting.

GrownAzzMan said...

"While the first presidency was an ascension, this is a solidification. I look forward to seeing what comes next."


Marioned said...

True on all points and they all factored into Trust!  There were folks looking to vote for anyone but Barack but many of them just did not trust Romney.  All the flip flopping, the 47% comment, and just being out of touch with real folks.  The whole " borrow money if you have to from your parents to go to college and start a business."  Really now!!!  Also he was rich not because he was savvy and smart but because he was born in to a family of means and had access.  Actually an interesting article detailed that if he had been smart he would have made much more.  There were others with him at Bain Capital that have 3 to 4 times his wealth.  And lastly he was willing to say and do anything to win.  He never showed any intellectual curiosity/smarts and kept his foot in his mouth every time he spoke: so Not Presidential!

ClayJones said...

N'Awlins is funny today. Some folks are tight and others are literally dancing in the streets waving mardi Gras beads. My takeaway - you can't win election with disgruntled white men. Not any more.

tiffanyinhouston said...

I'm not in the mood to be gracious. Eff Mitt and nem. I'll be nicer tomorrow.

Sol_dier said...

over 70% of Latino voters and over 90% of African American voters.  < ---makes my heart sing.
These fools TRIED to drive the wedge between black and latino. They really tried. Latinos are stealing your jobs! black people illegal immigrants are stealing your jobs! You know.. dish washing, labourers, floor cleaning. blue collar jobs.

It never occurred to them that the world and indeed black people have moved on. We are no longer fighting each other for crumbs.  heck we don't even want a seat at the table any more. 
We are combining our efforts and strategies to own the the gaddamn building. 

They no nothing but divisiveness and that will be their downfall. They can't work with anyone without puffing their chests trying to claim some divine superiority complex. It might win sometimes, but damn it feels good when that schtick doesn't.

And boy the era of Obama has taught me something amazing. Be strategic with your ish. Let everyone scream and rant and rave, you stay on point, stay on target and be strategic.

Now I need the Dems to start grooming someone for 2016. 

rozb said...

This election has taught me that there are some folks who never knew how deep their feelings were about race and qualification beyond skin tone until they had an actual minority in office. It seemed too easy to say "I don't know much about him at all. He isn't like us." (Yes, I have heard this come out of somebody's mouth.) Anybody else, and they would be able to cite every book about him, every biographical fact, etc. And yet, it was more convenient to say this than to admit they never thought a Black man could qualify in their lifetime to lead our country.

It saddens me to think that a large part of that 57 million would not have had any problem voting for my President if he were a White man. Not a race baiter - I call it like I see it. To think so many women voted for Romney when he clearly let all of us know back in the primaries he would disenfranchise a huge swath of us at the expense of our health and very lives. I found the Romney ads insulting, when they kept saying women only care about the economy right now. Well - the women I know are smart enough to know my reproductive health and freedom is an economic issue - one we cannot afford to let old and out-of-touch White men co-opt and relegate to the back seat like everything else.

Politics has gotten uglier than anything I have ever seen. Fox News, "conservative" talk radio, and hateful blogs and websites only served to stir up hatred and division. Low information, open-mouth breathing citizens use these resources to validate their feelings of insecurity and provide a respite for the lowest denominator of human beings. The fact is, politicians felt emboldened to say the most heinous crap (political leaders stating publicly how they intend to make Obama a one-term President from the first day, or screaming out at a nationally televised House function that the President is a liar) and show a level of contempt and disrespect usually reserved for evil foreign leaders.

Sorry about my rant. I am beyond joyful our president will be able to continue to work for us. I am proud to have a leader who the whole world respects, rather than a laughing stock who embarrasses me. But I want my political system to be better, and I want our pundits and political leaders to just do better.

OBAMA 2012!!!!!!!

Chree Carr said...

To me, the theme of the Republican election (on national and local levels) was 'Taking our country back.'  From what?  From whom?  I looked at the audience during the RNC and last nights Republican election party and realized that they are a party of one:  one (narrow) mind, one (caveman) belief, and one look.  If almost everyone in your political party looks, acts and thinks like you that is not America! 

The Democratic party -- full of different races, religions and creeds -- is the true representation of America.  What minorities did last night was show the Republican party what America really is, and what it will become. 

They can either stay right or get left!

blackprofessor said...

In the words of my new crush, John King of CNN, demography is destiny!  The demographic trends are not reversing so white men need to get with the program.  The resounding message was that Republicans need to catch up with the rest of the world or they will be left behind and out in the cold.

Jubi The Great said...

I think & hope we're gonna see a true knock-down drag-out fight for the Republican party - moderate conservatives are going to finally push back against the pundits, operatives & evangelists holding their party hostage. The question will be - will the party splinter & if so, will that ulta-conservative group become its own 3rd party?

What I took from last night was simply the pace of how much our world is changing. Just 2 years ago, you couldn't get a gay Senator elected, and a female one at that. Last night was a great night to see just how much progress we've made...and to also see how much that progress scares folks who think that others who are undeserving (minorities, single women, GLBT, young ppl) are taking something from them.

Just_A_Thought1218 said...

1.  This election cycle I learned firsthand how truly amazing Obama's campaign apparatus is.  It was awesome in 2008, but evolved into a m*&thaf#@!ing BEAST in 2012 in spite of the additional challenges coming up from some of his supporters.  I didn't think that he would be able to surprise me this cycle (I always thought he would be reelected unless there was widespread foolishness like those malfunctioning machines in PA O_o), but the sheer efficiency and efficacy of the Obama machine had me in awe.
2. I learned how many seemingly progressive people, mostly white but not all, have never given systemic and structural racism a passing thought until 2011-2012, and how many will go to any length to deny it even exists. *files nails*

3. I learned that giving $ to a cause you believe in, in spite of 50'leven emails, is the bare minimum in putting your money where your mouth in regards to your values. And yeah, Michelle Obama and 'nem, sending me an email 10 MINUTES after I've donated is not the business. Especially when I volunteering in spite of my work schedule.

4. I learned that we need to do a better job of grass-roots activism with our young people before they turn 18. If I had a dollar for all the stupid ish i heard from the mouths of 18-22 year olds (mostly first time voters) I'd recoup the money I donated to Team Obeezy and have enough left over for some red bottoms.

5. I [re]learned Tom Joyner and Frank Ski are complete azzhats and are not to be trusted outside of their endorsements for President Obama. When Teeth Harvey is the voice of reason, you have gone astray my friend.

6. And finally, silver tequila is the perfect safeguard against election night anxiety, as I didn't even bat an eyelash when our President was behind in electoral votes when they first started announcing returns.  A little more moderation next election, and I think I will have perfected the perfect election night ritual.

Londa said...

You know how last time, when the President was first elected, we had to go around covertly dapping, secretly thumbs up'ing, surreptitiously snickering and clandestinely doing the cool head nod(you know, the kind where you lift your head up?) all because we didn't want to add insult to injury, hurt "somebody's" feelings, and/or get fired because our boss was republican?

Tell me, did anyone besides me wanna bust out with the full throttle, football-touchdown celebratory run/leap into the air chest bump with a fellow Obama supporter this time? Hurt feelings and all that secretive stuff be damned? Anyone?

Londa said...

I can't officially claim to like this message. You know, being a responsible leader and all.

But I don't dislike it. :-)

JaymeC said...

I spent a good part of the last of this campaign overseas. I have to tell you the rest of the world thought America was batshit crazy for even looking at Romney. I wish more Americans saw themselves as the world sees us. Obama has definitely helped our cause on foreign soil, Romeny would have set us way back.

Chiqui said...

Well I had my visa application to Australia all ready to go based on the election results (I miss my Aussie friends) but now I just get to plan a holiday and not be part of the mass exodus out of the US. I am still shocked at all the foolishness that people displayed during this election and then after the results were given. 

invectiva said...

 Every line, truth.

In this election, I learned that people will harm themselves, throw away money meant for their own futures, and take food out of their own children's mouths in order to prevent the inevitable change that's gonna come. That is just sad and wearying.

We have to stay vigilant so the angry losers don't try to ruin it in the short term for those who will inherit this country from us in the long term.

GrownAzzMan said...

If anything, the voter supression made folks want to vote even more. Some waited in cold and rain for HOURS. They made me proud.

GrownAzzMan said...

Done and done.

WB formerly known as Stank_0 said...

I had this thought when the election started.  Win or lose, the Republicans are looking at a schism.  Conservatives/TPers vs the shrinking moderates.  McCain and Romney losing is only more ammo for the Right Wing to state that no more moderates need to be presidential candidates.  If that takes hold, then it could be a generation before the GOP ascends to the White House.  Remember the last stretch with a Democratic White House? We got Civil Rights Act, War on Poverty, etc.

I'm not calling the death knell of the GOP but if they don't get a handle on who holds the power in the party, they could fall into just being a regional party.

CorettaJG said...

Oh they are mad.  Racist tweets and postings. Loose assassination talk o_O ??? Seceding from the dang union??? 

Foolishness abounds. 

But they will be alright. We survived George W. They will survive President Obama.

One Chele said...

 When you talk about charisma, our President definitely has it. He has not flinched and is nothing short of consistent. They can't stand it...


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