Sunday, November 11, 2012

Republicans Finally Get the Memo

It's hard to believe that the losers in the 2012 election are shocked by the outcome. Did they really think their plastic, prevaricating candidate could fool the American people? A politician whose spokesman once said that their camp wasn't going to "let fact-checkers run our campaign" was clearly not going to allow a little thing like reality get in the way of his mission to take the White House. The GOP was betting on white men and seniors to put them over the top. Instead, African-Americans, Latinos, Asians and a lot of angry women delivered a whopping victory for Obama. It's time for Team Red to wake up and smell the coffee. Rachel Maddow of MSNBC and others have pointed out that conservatives have been living in a self-styled bubble, thinking they could insulate themselves from shifting demographics. They clung to the illusion that strides minorities have made were some sort of meaningless blip on the radar screen. They've been stranded on an island of denial, vainly struggling to preserve a Wonder Bread world. For Republicans, multiculturalism is a dirty word. Democrats proved that, as Dylan so aptly observed over forty years ago, the times they are a changin'.

The mandate demonstrated that putting the first black president in charge of the country was no fluke. Team Blue mobilized against GOP efforts to suppress the vote, they were determined to give Neanderthals like Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock and Joe Walsh the boot, and were eager to prove that both genders should share power. Twenty women are headed to the Senate, gay marriage was approved in four states and Colorado and Washington voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use. This is cause for celebration, not an excuse to go back to "the good old days" of June Cleavers, closeted homosexuals and people getting busted over a single joint. Slowly but surely, America is shaking off its puritanical leanings and there's no turning back.

Republicans risk becoming obsolete unless they get a bigger tent, stop trying to control women's bodies, stop impeding the liberties of same-sex couples and cease obstructionist tactics that block progress. There's a clear need for fiscal responsibility, a balanced budget, debt reduction and bi-partisan cooperation. But we won't get there with half of the country believing we're a nation of "takers" rather than producers, the 1% should retain their tax breaks and the affordable health care act is a socialist plot. The people have spoken and the message is clear: we stand for inclusion, reproductive freedom and the right of privacy. Hopefully the Republicans will heed the call and revise their strategy. If not, the elephants may be destined for extinction.            

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