Obamaâ€™s Re-election Heralds Victory of Evolving America
Republicans are at crossroads and their message has no resonance with the new growing majority. Their tax-breaks-for-the-wealthy, â€œsmall governmentâ€ ideology was roundly rejected as Democrats retained the Senate and White House. And had it not been for Republican Gerrymandering tactics they may well have lost the House of Representatives too.
Obamaâ€™s Re-election Heralds Victory For Evolving America
[Speaking Truth To Power]
President Barack Obama’s resounding re-election win last week was a move in the right direction for an America that has been plagued by the past prejudices and brutal bigotry that has robbed the nation the opportunity of reaching its maximum potential.
More needs to be done if we’re to transform America into the “shining city on the hill,” that former President Ronald Reagan merely gave lip-service too—and if we’re to make the American Dream real for average Americans.
And the question we must ask ourselves is: now that this election is over what should we all be doing today to make the dream of that America real tomorrow?
Last Tuesday’s win was a celebration of the hard work and sacrifices many made to make America a more equitable nation for everyone. Those sheroes and heroes—too numerous to mention—who fought hard in the Civil Rights Movement, as labor leaders, feminists, and anti-war activists, all laid the groundwork for the historic change we’re now witnessing. This is our time and we must continue to seize it.
Cynics will say nothing has changed. They’ll tell us President Obama’s victory hasn’t fundamentally altered American politics. The truth is President Obama’s victory, in of itself, won’t completely change the corrupt nature of Washington’s Beltway politics. One man just can’t do that.
Democracy requires an enlightened electorate to remain vigilantly engaged at all times with the workings of their government.,Therefore, we must be mindful of making the same mistakes we did after President Obama won in 2008—when we assumed he could correct the horrible policies on Capitol Hill alone.
America’s governmental system of checks and balances requires three branches of government—the judiciary, and, especially, the Congress and White House—to engage in cooperative compromise to get things done for the people.
And “we the people” must be the final check on all branches of government. Unfortunately, lately, cooperation has been seen as an act of treason by some in the Republican Party—especially, as it relates to working with President Obama.
Moving forward, this must end.
For months now, we’ve been told by Republicans that if President Obama was re-elected the republic would be doomed to destruction. So, are we to believe both House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell were really unavailable to speak to President Obama—who called them after Governor Romney finally conceded—because they were, supposedly, asleep?
The disrespect and racism against this president has been off the charts. This too must end.
In the coming weeks and months, it will be interesting to see what course of action Republicans take. Can they afford to continue obstructing everything the president proposes like they’ve done over the last four years—because they know this pleases some of the regressive racists in their base? Will they allow Tea Party crackpots to paralyze them with fear, or, will they finally stand up to them and reengage in political compromise to get something done for the American people?
The first test of this will be the looming standoff over the expiring tax cuts for the rich, which Obama wants to end after its expires on December 31, and the need for an agreement on spending cuts and more revenue -- president Obama wants the rich to pay more taxes. The debts ceiling also looms again, meaning there will have to be a new agreement to raise the limit.
The Budget Control Act of 2011 agreement reached between President Obama and Republicans, allowed the Congress to raise the debt ceiling and pay the government’s bills. ,The agreement called for $1.2 trillion in budget cuts and $1.2 trillion in savings, the latter was to be identified by the Simpson-Bowles “super committee.” However, the committee’s failure to find $1.2 trillion in savings will lead to automatic cuts in the beginning of 2013 if another agreement isn’t reached. Also, it would cause automatic tax increases for everyone and hinder economic growth.
To get the Budget Control Act of 2011 passed, Republicans used extortion tactics pressing President Obama to extend tax cuts to America’s richest 2%. But President Obama has insisted he won’t agree to that deal again. Many Americans now agree the richest people should pay higher taxes. Do Republicans dare hijack the upcoming negotiations by insisting on tax-breaks for the richest 2%?
As President Obama embarks on a second term, he must let Republicans know obstruction will no longer be tolerated. The president has said he will enlist the support of regular Americans to tackle the upcoming “fiscal cliff” debate. This is a wise move he should utilize for the rest of his presidency—especially, when faced with Republican recalcitrance.
Republicans need to face this sobering reality: they lost the election and their party is facing extinction if they don’t change their bigoted backward ways. For decades, they have employed the “Southern Strategy” and used racism to ride their way into the White House and Congress.
But those days are coming to an end, especially, in terms of presidential politics. In two straight presidential election cycles, President Obama has been able to defeat dog-whistle Republican politics because of the emerging demographic reality with Latinos, African Americans and Asians comprising an ever-growing share of the electorate.
This new demographic reality is transforming America before our eyes and many are terrified by it—because it highlights an America less White than it was a few generations ago. This is equivalent to Armageddon for many American bigots. And in the coming weeks and months their vicious vitriol will ferment to the forefront. In fact, some have already started.
For example, Texas’ Hardin County Republican Party Treasurer Peter Morrison said Texas should push for an “amicable divorce” from the rest of America and the “maggots” that reelected President Obama, presumably the 39% of White voters as well.
Mr. Morrison, particularly, singled out Latinos and Asian-Americans in his attacks. Mr. Morrison and others say they want to secede from the United States.
Fox News loudmouth Bill O’Reilly also claimed the president’s reelection was won by an “entitlement vote” that represents the death of “traditional America” and that the people who voted for him are just freeloaders who love “stuff.”
Doesn’t this sound eerily similar to Governor Romney’s comments about the lazy 47 percent of Americans who weren’t worthy of his interest? Apparently, some of these Republicans are still living in their bubble of self-delusion.
Republicans are at crossroads and their message has no resonance with the new growing majority. Their tax-breaks-for-the-wealthy, “small government” ideology was roundly rejected as Democrats retained the Senate and White House. And had it not been for Republican Gerrymandering tactics they may well have lost the House of Representatives too.
Hurricane Sandy was a reminder of why we need government. Think of how much more devastation we would’ve faced if the Republican model of downsizing government agencies, like FEMA, had been implemented? ,But the truth is their “small government” rhetoric is meant to champion the interests of big business that want no regulations—so, they can steal from the American people and pay no consequence.
As 2013 approaches, America is facing a new dawn. Yes, President Obama’s re-election is a monumental historic occasion. No, Washington isn’t completely transformed. But this election can be the beginning of changing America into a more “perfect union” mirroring all those lofty words written in America’s Constitution.
"Speaking Truth To Empower."
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