As longtime readers, friends, or family will know, I attended the celebration rally in Grant Park 4 years ago. As his presidency has continued, through setbacks and achievements, I knew I would vote for him again. I don't want to necessarily write about why I voted for him, but I would like to express some thoughts that I have had in reading statuses, statements, and comments in the past few weeks.
First, a word about the election itself. If you expected a landslide for Romney or were never in doubt that he would win, you need to seriously consider expanding your reading materials. Reading stuff that you already agree with might be comfortable, but it can also keep you ignorant.
Second, a word about liberals. To some conservatives, "liberal" is a bad word and is used to equate people with communists, socialists, etc. Most liberals are moderate, just as I believe most conservatives are moderate. Liberals love their country every bit as much as conservatives. We didn't vote for Obama because we are lazy, confused, stupid, or evil - we honestly believe he is great for this country. Even if you disagree with us, grant us that.
Third, a word about conservatives. Many commentators have already noted voting divides in this country along lines of race and gender. Someone on ABC said that this is the last election where the Republicans will rely solely on white voters, and I believe that is true. Many Republicans realized this before the returns came in:
“If I hear anybody say it was because Romney wasn’t conservative enough, I’m going to go nuts,” Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said in a Nov. 5 interview with Politico. “We’re not losing 95 percent of African-Americans and two-thirds of Hispanics and voters under 30 because we’re not being hard-ass enough.”Conservatives are simply going to have to start caring about issues that are important to minorities and women, and they are going to have to start bending a little if they want to get those votes. I said to a friend today that if Republicans would just say, "OK, marriage for all couples, and free birth control for everyone. NOW, let's talk about that f-ing economy!" I truly believe they would have been a much greater force to reckon with in this election, on all fronts.
It's time to do some serious re-strategizing, and they're going to have to start acting on new policies BEFORE the next presidential election so that the change doesn't just look like empty rhetoric. And I think ultimately that will be a great change for everyone, liberal and conservative alike.
Congratulations again, Mr. President, and good luck!