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These words are my diary screaming out loud

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

My take on the election results (And your fair warning)

Pre-upfront disclaimer: This is a bit of a ramble. But it's my blog, dammit, I can post whatever I want! :)

Up front disclaimer: I am a lifelong Republican. However, as I've shared before, this has been a very hard year for me. I was undecided much longer than most people, it appears, but ultimately, I made the decision that I made for who would receive my vote for President based on everything except which party affiliation was in parentheses after the candidate's name. 

So perhaps that's why I'm so perplexed at the anger I'm seeing this morning from people over America's rejection of the following:
- A return to the policies that got us into economic trouble to begin with
- A return to the 1950s on women's rights
- A presidential candidate who proved, over and over again, that he was willing to say absolutely anything, true or false, consistent or not, in order to win this race
- A vice presidential candidate who did absolutely nothing to appeal to independents and moderates
- A campaign that allowed A LOT of nastiness towards the President, much of which was attempted in 2008 but was shot down by John McCain

Here's the thing. Yes, we are in a lot of debt right now, and we have a large deficit. 12 years ago, we had a pretty solid surplus. Then 9/11 happened. You absolutely never know how the future is going to look. But what I do know is that as worried as I was when Barack Obama was elected in 2008, most of that worry has not materialized. The military is doing OK. Yes, there is downsizing happening, but its appropriate. The sequestration thing would be a HUGE problem, absolutely. But while that may have been a suggestion from the President, the Republicans that want to blame it on him VOTED FOR IT. The President never thought it would actually happen - the whole point was to put something in front of the supercommittee that was so ridiculous, so unbelievable, that it would never, ever pass and they'd figure it out and come to a compromise. Obviously, that was not what happened. But to say that all of the blame goes on the President for that is disingenuous. Do I absolutely love Barack Obama? No. But in this case, for me, it came down to a known vs unknown situation. I could not determine what his policies would be, what he would do about certain issues, and what he would actually do to help the economy, besides just getting rid of everything Obama had done. That, and I don't think Obamacare will be the death of this country. Does it need work? Yes. But that does not mean complete repeal with nothing to replace the really good stuff that's in it.

This campaign was dirty and nasty. It was full of negativity, stretched truth, and massive amounts of spin on both sides. But from one side in particular, I just saw so many instances of blatant lying, making things up, refusing to acknowledge facts and math and other things, that I just couldn't bring myself to vote for the person that all of those things were representing. And yes, I understand that most of the ads came from PACs, but those PACs were never denounced by the Candidate they represented, so therefore its on him. On both sides. Either way, I'm glad its over so we can get back to our regular TV ads for junk food, fast food, and weight loss products.

However, now its time to move on. The election is over, and like it or not, Obama won. What I absolutely hope will happen is that everyone who let politics get in the way of their personal relationships will put it all behind them and move forward. I hope that the Republican Party will step back, reassess, and move away from the extreme place they've gone for the past 6 years, especially with regards to social issues. This country is primarily made up of people who are much closer to the center than either extreme. The Republicans seem to have forgotten this, and throughout this election cycle, I saw very little attempts from that side to reach out to the moderates that were feeling torn between social issues and economic/fiscal concerns, like me. (And let's not even talk about why social issues are even still coming up in PRESIDENTIAL campaigns in 2012...)

President Obama said in his victory speech that he heard the concerns of those who didn't vote for him, and that he's going to reach across the aisle. Let's hope that's the case. So far, I've seen a lot more respect for the other side from both sides than I expected to see. It started with Mitt Romney's very classy concession speech, and has continued through watching Fox News and reading Facebook and Twitter. Yes, there is still a lot of vitriol out there, but there's also a lot of this is what have, now let's work with it. THAT should be the message moving forward.

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