Archive for November 13, 2012

We are almost a week beyond the election and the discourse has continued. Unfortunately, the two sides of the issue are taking some extreme, unnecessary reactions.

Before taking a look at the conservative uproar, I would like to calm the liberal-leaning Americans down just a little bit. There are a lot of things to be proud of coming off of this election. The steady growth of the economy can continue under Obama’s policies (and hopefully will not collapse with the fiscal cliff). Equal marriage has won huge in four states. More women have been able to break into Congress. Still, there is no reason to gloat. The reality is that the House and Senate are still divided. When Congress is under the gridlock like we have seen over the past two years, progress is impeded. It is not necessary to attack the conservative side when they care about the direction of the country as well. It is more important to maintain an open mind and keep moving in a direction that helps the nation as a whole.

So now with the conservative woes…

I have already talked about the meltdown at FOX News and the challenges with understanding how Obama won the election. The thing is that the denial is much broader than a biased “news” organization. Since the election ended, excuses have been aplenty and thousands of people have attempted to challenge the results, more than even Karl Rove attempted to on election night.

One of the more organized efforts to fight the decision has been to gather conservative views within certain states to request secession from the United States. While it may be believed that the red states would be the ones to push this agenda, a couple of states won by Obama actually posted petitions as well. This is not new, as there have been several states that have taken this tactic after the past few elections. This is also mostly a gesture, since it would never be approved by the federal government. The problem is that secession is a tactic of avoidance rather than partnership. It appears to be more of a sour grapes move taken to show that it is our way or the highway. The nation is complicated and needs a diverse set of viewpoints to be able to make the right decisions for the largest numbers of people. If we start dividing as a nation, we will struggle to maintain stability even within the individual states that try to split off. Again, the message is about partnership, not division.

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One of the other significant issues has been the public social media outpouring. It has been a major struggle to see some of the comments, particularly from young people. Twitter has been a significant venue for a sense of freedom from consequence. Jezebel has gotten into some trouble after they decided to take action and post the information of the high schoolers who used the “n” word, other defamatory names to describe Obama and posted comments about threatening the life of the president. This was more than unsettling but rather downright dreadful. It is unbelievable to think that we have progressed as a people in regards to oppressive views and actions, only to find that our nation’s youth seem to be perpetuating deceitful and damaging mindsets. Jezebel may have taken their fight a little too far in posting and reporting to their schools the types of comments they were posting, but it does not make their Twitter discussion any less of a problem.

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So the lesson really is about unity and partnership. As we continue to play the game as an “I win, you lose” mentality, we will maintain this strong division as a nation. The reality is that Barack Obama is a moderate president, not a socialist. Mitt Romney was not a horrible guy, but his party and choice to bring in Paul Ryan created an extreme conservative narrative that ignited the conservative base but lost the moderate and liberal vote. Post elections, there needs to be an environment of productive discourse and not divisiveness. Let’s hope that we can first get past the fiscal cliff and see the government thrive through the next four years, regardless of who controls the executive and legislative branches.