Wednesday, 7 November 2012

This is not a rant


I heard second hand that one of my Massachusetts readers loves my rants.  Of course I like writing them, but I have not ranted since October 30th (the day I voted).

 More than enough has been said by others

So this is not a rant.

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As I walked out for the second time this morning (hooray for the end of daylight savings time, and for cooler weather) my pal Bill drove by, just as I was greeting Dominic, another walker.

With the election result in mind I gave Bill a big “thumbs up” which he reciprocated, even as he grinned from ear to ear.

I know nothing about Dominic’s political convictions, so I said “Bill and I are both members of the Democratic Party and we are pleased about the election”.

Dominic responded “did Obama win?” “Yes” I said.

Then Dom danced a little jig.  He went on to say that he had not watched T.V. last night because his anxiety levels goes up and up whilst watching the results.

I was glad to be the first to give him the news, and heartened to learn that I am not the only one who “hates” election night.

In a similar vein, my friend R.E. who lives in Somerville posted on Facebook this morning that she stayed in bed for an extra fifteen minutes this morning so that she could put off knowing the result .... in case it had gone “the wrong way”

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President Obama’s re-election is remarkable given the intense opposition he has faced in four years: from

1. Republicans in the House and Senate have placed every conceivable roadblock in his way.

2. Extremely wealthy Americans (e.g. Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers) who  have thrown multi-millions of dollars in campaigns to defeat Obama.

 (Isn't  it  strange that Republicans always say “you can’t solve problems by throwing money at them – unless “their problem” is a Democratic President!).

3. The American Roman Catholic hierarchy, and Christian fundamentalists (the tail which wags the evangelical dog)  which did their best to instruct their adherents how to vote.

4. The wacky fringe called the “Tea Party” which espoused all manner of conspiracy theories in fanatical opposition to our President.  (I heard a Tea Party woman in Ohio saying that Obama was “a Muslim, and atheist and a communist” (go figure) and that Gov. Romney was a “christian” (it’s not so long ago that evangelicals described the Mormon religion as a “cult”).

5.The attempts which were made to suppress  voters in various States.

Despite all this (and much more) the President never lost his dignity, and he prevailed in the election.

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My cousin Janet in England asked “are you happy this morning?” I replied “happy but not ecstatic”.

I am happy because:

1. I believe that the President has restored a sense of dignity to the Presidency -  something which Presidents Bush and Clinton ignored in their attempts to be “good ole boys” of the left and of the right.

2. I am grateful for Pres. Obama’s success in bringing health care reform into law; for his steady as she goes” approach to the economy; for his affirmation of women, gays, immigrants etc.  Gov. Romney would have tried to reverse all this.

 I am not ecstatic because:

1. I am disappointed that Pres. Obama has said little about the misery of the poor (are we all middle class now?), and has been less than active in his advocacy for African Americans and Native Americans.

2. I am deeply opposed to his use of drones as instruments of military and foreign policy.   He has also set back the cause of civil rights and privacy for all Americans. J. Edgar Hoover would be proud of him.

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Therefore I voted for the President whilst holding my nose.

He is hardly a radical but the option of a Romney presidency was unthinkable.

 So I am happy, but not ecstatic at Barack Obama’s re-election.

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Meanwhile I salute friends such as Pat A in North Carolina, Anne M in Massachusetts and Paula J  in Ohio who, even as I sat on the sidelines, worked like beavers to ensure Obama’s re-election.


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In Florida

State-wide we returned Bill Nelson (D) to the U.S. Senate, that is good.

Locally, (I forget that I live in the Republican minded Sarasota County).  Here we returned two Republican hacks: Ray Pilon to the Statehouse in Tallahassee, and Vern Buchanan to the House of Representatives in Washington D.C.

On the other hand in this county (and throughout the State) we rejected some odious proposals to change our Constitution.  Most notably the voters said NO to (1) a proposal to recall three Florida Supreme Court Justices [this was a ploy by our Repuglican Governor to stack the Court with his cronies], (2) a bogus “religious freedom” amendment, (3) an anti-abortion proposal, and (4) a silly proposal to reject Obama’s Health Care Reforms.

Even Republican voter (mostly) voted against these amendments – demonstrating that some voters can indeed see the wood from the trees.


So: my glass is more filled than empty even though I am an incorrigible lefty.



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