Reflecting on presidential election
Now that the presidential campaign is over and Obama has been re-elected, I am patiently waiting for peace to break out. Or at least waiting for the “left” to hit the streets again in solidarity with the peace movement (which would have been the result of a Romney victory). I am not holding my breath on either account. Just for the record I knew very few in the peace and social justice community who voted for Obama -- most voted for Jill Stein.
I didn't watch any of the election night festivities; I got home at 10:30 PM after a grueling 17-hour day as an election inspector for the city of Saratoga Springs and was simply too tired to get the bad news either way. I got up at 6 AM the next morning to my Daily Gazette headline announcing that there would be “Four More Years.”
I will admit to being slightly relieved for the reason that the big money (the very rich, the 1 percent) didn't win. There are still more of us than there is of their money; and I found some much-needed hope in that.
Still, it was quite a show watching the old guard, desperately trying to hold on to power by any means possible, including organizing, under the guise of voter fraud, the biggest and most orchestrated voter suppression campaign this country has ever seen because they knew that would be their best chance of “winning.” It was not just people of color that were targeted, but for the first time white people, the poor, the elderly and the disabled -- to name but a few -- were thrown off voting rolls as well. The second Bush administration did a study on voter fraud and found that it was less than one person, per state per year -- in other words voter fraud in the country is non-existent.
I watched Mitt's extemporaneous concession speech after the fact and found him to be quite gracious, if not prepared, and found the fact that such a speech had not been prepared a bit peculiar. And apparently it took him something like an hour and 45 minutes to accept that he had in fact lost the election, so Obama ended up giving his victory speech at 1 AM. I also watched Karl Rove's umbrage on FOX when that station called Ohio for Obama. He practically said, “What do you mean Ohio went to Obama? We paid for that state; I've got the receipt right here.”
Voter fraud is one thing, election fraud is another. Interestingly enough, the servers went down again this election year in Ohio 1 minute earlier than they did in 2004. (Some coincidence, huh?) We had Karl Rove on national TV insisting that FOX had to wait for results from 3 counties that in 2004 officially had a huge swing in the way people voted from 2000 and in which exit polls in 2000 did not match "official" results. That alone in a “third world country” would have been enough to bring in the UN to investigate and monitor future elections.
The “hacktivist” group “Anonymous” is claiming that they installed fire walls and “caught” Rove's ORCA (Oak Ridge Cyber Analytics) trying to hack into the Ohio voting system 105 times. So far Anonymous has not provided any evidence that they prevented Rove from stealing Ohio (again). You can read more about this story here.
The show continued even after the election when Paul Ryan said that Romney lost because of the “urban vote.” He certainly didn't mean the folks on Central Park West or the Upper East Side. Why not just say sp*^%s and n*&&%^s and be clear about it? Then at least we could have an honest conversation.
Then we had Romney trying to console his rather substantial funders (think billionaires and multi-millionaires, folks who NEVER have to worry about where the rent, food or health insurance money is coming from), trying to head off any demands for refunds by blaming Obama's “gifts” of health care, student loan assistance, and birth control to the above referenced citizens – at least he included women which is more than the GOP did when they held hearings on contraception on Capitol Hill earlier this year. Why the gift of free health care alone was worth $10,000 a year to some of those families Romney claimed. Gift? I always thought of that as public policy. At least that's what I was taught in graduate school. What a concept, spending our tax dollars here at home to care for people instead of spending on bombs to kill people in other countries.
And finally we now have folks in the GOP saying that they need to find a way to reach out to “those people” if they're going to win elections and be a meaningful political party (translation: one with power). Really? You call almost half of the country lazy freeloaders, try your best to keep them out of the election process and now you're going to “reach out” to them? I can't wait to see what their plan is. For starters, stop referring to them as “those people.” I'd also suggest going to charm school.
Somewhere near $6 billion was spent on the elections this year. I can't help help but think how much peace that would have bought for us. So much potential for good. Clean water for the entire planet. Decent housing for at least this nation. No one would have to go bankrupt due to medical bills (which account for 62% of all bankruptcies) and the list could go on and on.
Six billion dollars and we still won't be getting any change back.