Day by Day



05 November 2008

America 1, Media 0...



One hundred and thirty-six million American citizens cast their vote for the next president of the United States. Unlike the election of 2004, their votes were each cast for a candidate, rather than characterized as against. Each vote represented the manifestation of what those individuals believed was right for the country.



Our process then distills these votes into an electoral representation and allocates them to the various candidates.



President-elect Barack Obama will serve as the 44th President of the United States. I am disappointed that my candidate, Senator John McCain did not win, but I am overjoyed by the process. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the energy and enthusiasm of the voters was inspiring. There was engagement in our political process, an engagement repeated more than 136,000,000 times across the nation.



As a dear friend, and fellow servant of the Constitution, Mud-Shark commented.



WE win.



That’s the collective WE. The American people, not the special interests, the unions, the corporations (although they are representations of the people) won last night.



So who lost?



The media.



For days and weeks they pandered to our most base instincts. There were cries about underlying racism, the Bradley effect, and general stereotyping of the American public and by extension the voter. There were continuing vilifications of the usual suspects (the present administration, big business and Wall Street).



And yet, at the end of the day – none of that was real or true. The people made their choice regardless of race or gender. Notwithstanding Tina Fey’s deadly interpretation of Governor Sarah Palin, tens of millions of Americans made their choice in her favor. Joe Biden’s repeated gaffes were overlooked as even more people voiced their confidence in his running mate.



But what is different about this election from previous? In 2004 we reelected George W. Bush over John Kerry. In 2000 Al Gore was beaten in an electoral showdown. It was a tough process, requiring the exercise of contingencies almost never used. Nonetheless, it was the process and subsequent analysis by numerous investigations revealed no wrongdoing or illegal activities.



The country will rally around the new President in 2009 because that is the right thing to do. There will certainly be those who continually cast criticism on his administration, but that is expected in the give and take of politics. What will NOT happen is the ridiculous disavowals which took place after 2000 and 2004.



Why?



Frankly, the members of the Republican party are better losers. It is my contention that they acknowledge their duty and commitment to our election process. We did not see this in 2000 or 2004. A cottage industry arose to denounce the elected President as “illegitimate”. This was wrong. It reflected poorly upon us as a nation and flew in the face of the covenants upon which our country is founded.



One of my good friends still clings to this belief. That somehow the process was “hijacked” in 2000 and 2004. That the electorate was “fooled” or manipulated by the machinations of Karl Rove. When Barack Obama thanked his campaign strategist in his acceptance speech, should we infer nefarious activity behind the scenes?



No.



Barack Obama ran a relentless, efficient and effective campaign. End of story. His message convinced more of America than John McCain’s. Voters may be driven by self-interest (who isn’t), under- or mis-informed at times, but they are not stupid. They never have been. We didn’t suddenly send the population of the United States off to college at the end of 2004 in order to prepare them for this election.



What is equally disturbing is an opinion voiced by Citizen Prime this morning. She was worried that if the election were close (McCain popular versus an Obama electoral), there would be civil unrest. Sadly, many people probably believed that this was possible.



Who led us to these terrible stereotypes of our fellow citizens?



It is the media. In their quest for the most sensational, salable story, they will latch onto the most base and low view of our society. The adage of “if it bleeds it leads” was coined in newsrooms across the country. Despite the peripheral reporting of extreme events, the candidate’s campaigns were focused, fair and tough.



I ruefully shook my head to listen to the collective media pundits’ professed surprise that everything went as smoothly as it did. That somehow we overcame the worst traits they attributed to us to make our choice. Miraculously, they mused, America had lived up to its founding father’s expectations.



What self serving bullshit.



We live up to our ideals every four years. The smooth, non-violent transfer of power is a process which has served the Republic for more than two centuries. The rules don’t change.



It’s time we recognize that as a people.



Country first.



3 comments:

sonicfrog said...

Hooray, Prop 8 won. I'm still a second class citizen!

Citizen Deux said...

Sorry to hear that. Hang in there, it will evolve.

captjackharkness said...

Speaking of second class citizens, who is the drag queen with the baby wrapped in the flag????