Satan didn’t win, though I know some of you may hear a different assessment of the U.S. Presidential election this weekend from your friends, family members and even, perhaps, your clergy, rabbis and religious leaders. Ah, holiday gatherings in an election year – so much with the tense awkwardness.
In case anyone is still wondering, here is what happened in the election. Or as my friend Janine Dunmyre points out: “They keep talking about the amazing coalition of Women, Gays, African Americans, Asians, and Latinos who swept Obama into re-election. I’d like to thank a group of people that are not being mentioned at all: Super Cool Straight White Guys. Thank you, Super Cool Straight White Guys, for joining us. You know who you are.”
I have heard from many in the conservative media that Obama won the “slut vote.” (Rush Limbaugh)
The 47% just want free stuff. (Mitt Romney)
A wise and respected man like Colin Powell voted for the President because they are both black. (John Sununu)
People are losing their freedom. (all over the internet)
And we better stock up on guns and ammo. (Glenn Beck)
These statements are not based in reality. And you know what that means. Carl Jung embedded it in this bit of wisdom, “Neurosis is always a substitute for legitimate suffering.”
What is happening is what Darwin said happens: The survival of a species is not as dependent upon the survival of the fittest so much as it is on the ability of a species to successfully adapt to a changing environment.
In the face of Citizens United and an unprecedented expenditure of money in this campaign - the Bourgeoisie lost. That’s a win for the individual and for all of us. As evidenced by the Sunday morning talk shows, this reality isn’t sinking in. It appears we need to have “the talk” in more ways than one. Let’s get down to the cold, hard truth.
Gay people are real. They have always existed. They fall in love just like straight people do. And there is no legitimate reason to deny them equal rights, even though some people with particular religious views don’t like that idea.
They didn’t like that idea when women wanted to vote.
They didn’t like that idea when slaves wanted to be free.
They didn’t like that idea when Jim Crow was being challenged.
They didn’t like it when the Voting Rights Act and the ERA and Equal Pay laws were enacted either.
And women have sex. Shocking, I know. The kind we have with men makes us concerned about pregnancy. Now, some people apparently see preventing unwanted pregnancy as being slutty. Others call that being a responsible human being and exercising our self-determination.
The GOP is asking: What can we do to be more appealing to women, young people and Latinos?
Here’s a clue: Stop trying to control us, limit our opportunity and pay us less. Be for things we care about: fair pay; better healthcare coverage; healthy food, safe air and drinking water; civil rights; affordable, quality education; decent jobs. Stop sending our children to war. Stop talking about rape like it’s similar to getting a flat tire. Stop protecting child abusers and sexual predators in our churches and schools.
Stop being that guy at the water cooler who tells “that kind” of joke. Stop believing that all poor people are lazy and arrived at their situation through a character flaw or poor decision-making or lack of effort. Stop believing that poverty or an unplanned pregnancy or war will never happen to you. Stop worrying that marriage equality will somehow destroy America and families as we know it when 50% of heterosexual marriages already end in divorce and quickie marriages and annulments are easy, cheap and legal. The consequences of national protected civil rights to allow Gays to marry means that Gays get to marry and has zero bearing on your rights or your marriage. You’re not better than they are. Get over it. Stop believing that people of other national origins who come to this country through the desert on foot and by trucks rather than wading through red tape are trying to steal something from you. What happened to “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses longing to be free?” How did that turn into give me your doctors, your engineers, your astrophysicists? What’s a poor Guatemalan farmer supposed to do?
And, apparently, the President is black. That’s cool, not a cause to sound the alarm. If that registers a modicum of concern for you – you might be a racist. Get. Over. It. A black man is president. And it’s about damn time. And if the GOP keeps this crazy stuff up, we can pretty much guarantee the next President will be a woman. And not the one from Alaska who did an interview in front of turkeys being slaughtered. (Situational awareness is a mighty fine thing.)
In short, what the GOP can do to be more appealing is in the same way writer and blogger John Shore summarizes the Golden Rule – “don’t be a d**k.”
the people remembered they still held the most powerful thing in the world – - – the ability to think for themselves.