Disclaimer: I am a registered Democrat. I am not a fanatic liberal, but I do sit slightly left of center.
This election was a tough one. I almost felt a “new years eve” effect. After 2008 we were all built up on hope and change and looking forward to the “big event” of what was to come the next few years. Overall, for the most part, they were kind of a let down. I don’t feel that Obama did as good of a job as he could, though I don’t blame him solely. It’s difficult to lead a congress when more than half of the representatives are determined to see you fail, rather than work on policy compromise or viable options. “My way or the highway” really isn’t an effective tactic in a democracy.
I wanted Obama to win last night, but I honestly didn’t think he would – and there was a small part of me that wasn’t sure he deserved to. There were a lot of flaws and problems in the last 4 years. But, lets be clear, the economy isn’t hemorrhaging jobs anymore – though it’s not producing them at any significant rate either. The economy isn’t all that great, but it’s not as bad as it was. A lot of people are still struggling in a very serious way and that needs to be addressed. Pronto. Spending needs to be curbed, we need a damn budget (that’s congress’s job, by the way, something they’ve been negligent in doing for years – the last time we passed a full federal budget was 1997. Congress brings a budget, the President just presents his ideas).
Overall, I think that this election is very telling for the GOP. They have got some work to do, and a lot of challenges ahead of them. They need to reconfigure their approach in order to appeal to a solid majority. People want someone relatable, even if flawed. The vast majority of Americans are not super right-wing social conservatives – a contingent of the party that causes the GOP some serious problems in choosing a representative for presidential election from their primaries. The electorate is younger and more diverse now than it’s ever been. It’s a changing world, and the GOP needs to catch up. Yes, I’m a democrat, but there should be OPTIONS when it comes to president, viable options, not a picking the lesser of two disappointments. (EDIT: This article from the LA Times sums up what I’m trying to say here in a much more eloquent way.)
In the end, I think Americans had a tough choice last night. But, I think they made the right one. The economy isn’t the only issue, and the tenor of the country on many social issues has been changing over the last several decades. Obama in the white house means more protection for civil liberties. Period. That is reassuring to me. However, there’s a grey cloud of muddled disappointment sitting over me – not that Obama won, necessarily, but just at the general state of things. It will be interesting to see how Obama switches leadership tactics now that he doesn’t have to worry about being reelected.
What are your thoughts on the election? (Be polite please, this is just politics, I didn’t insult your mother by not being in agreement with you.)