Now that the 2012 election is behind us, what have we learned?
* Donald Trump is an idiot. This is not a new lesson. Those of us who live in New York City have known it since the 1980s, when SPY Magazine revealed his idiocy on a regular basis. My son, the economics major, points out that, despite The Donald’s claims to be a brilliant business guy, his fortune is less than half of what it would be if he had simply left his inheritance in an index fund. However, the depths of his stupidity, compounded by his overbearing ego, have rarely been so well defined on the national stage. Can we all agree to ignore this loser from here on in?
* Speaking of return on investment, it seems that all the money in the world doesn’t make a difference if the electorate doesn’t want to be persuaded by your message. The hundreds of millions of dollars that Karl Rove raised from various billionaires was less effective than the Obama army of volunteers. Citizens United did not beat citizens, united.
* The United States is changing. We are a more diverse country. If we are going to have a Republican Party (and we should), I would like it if they were more like the Party which counted my mother and her father as supporters, at least until the Viet Nam war changed their minds. This sounds like a contradiction (the country is changing, so we should go back to the 1950s?). Howerver, Republicans at that time believed in small government to solve problems. They didn’t deny the problems. They were not necessarily the party of the rich. They were the party of the local. Today, they are the party of the hyper-rich, and then the rural, the old, and the stupid.
* As we become a more diverse country, we should remember that there is not just one way to be a patriotic American. The best way we can do this is to get God out of politics. I’m not opposed to religion per se (I, myself, am pleased to be Jewish, albeit of the Reform variety), but rather the way it is used to stifle debate, which goes against my religion (see: Jewish, Reform). You can believe any damn thing you want, but once you tell me that God wants you or your candidate to win, you reveal yourself to be an idiot, and you should know that.
* Similarly, if you tell me that for me to do something that is forbidden by your religion violates your religious freedom, you tell me that you don’t understand what the term, “religious freedom,” means. It is my fondest wish that the Supreme Court will remember this. As long as Scalia is on the bench, I’m not so sure.
* The changing demographics demand a different level of discourse. Over the past 48 hours, I’ve heard pundit after pundit talk about the Hispanic vote (which has grown a great deal since the last election). They talk about how candidates must appeal to this massive voting bloc. Which would be all well and good, except that there is not a single Hispanic bloc. There are citizens whose ancestors came from Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Equador, etc. These groups have different traditions and values. In some cases, they don’t even like each other. And, of course, even within these groups, there are individual differences among humans because, despite what the pundits seem to imply, Hispanics are humans like the rest of us.
* People waited on line for hours to vote. This is fabulous. Well done, America!
* The black guy won. Again. Get over it.
Media Goddess Martha Thomases is not gloating. Well, maybe a little.