On Tuesday, Nov. 6, the largest media circus the world knows drew to a close. The people of the U.S. voted to keep Barack Obama around for another four years. The anchors with Fox News shook their heads in dismay, while I sat back and smiled to myself; my prediction was accurate.
While the election was a victory for the Democrats, it was also a victory for every pot smoking homosexual out there—in certain states, at any rate. Washington and Colorado voted in favour of legalizing marijuana, while Massachusetts voted in favour of legalizing medical marijuana. That being said, both Washington and Colorado are going to be facing an uphill challenge, as marijuana is still illegal federally.
Washington, Maine, and Maryland voted in favour of legalizing same-sex marriage, joining the 12 other states that currently have some form of civil unions for same sex couples. Minnesota voted against a ban on same-sex marriage. This is good news, no matter how one looks at is. There are now 15 states that allow same-sex unions in one way or another. Several are still only civil unions, but that is a step in the right direction. It seems that the people of America have spoken, and that they might finally be crawling out from their backwards ways. However, 15 states do not nearly make up half of the U.S. When will the others join the bandwagon?
There are several things that can be taken away from this election, and one of those is the idea that the population of the U.S. may be becoming more liberal. It may suggest that the norms and ideals of a country that has been, in the past, bogged down by tradition, religion, and fear of differences are starting to change.
That being said, there are some clear reasons why Mitt Romney didn’t make it into the White House. Here are some quotes that may explain why so many turned out to vote, and why so many voted against Romney and the Republican Party.
Todd Aiken, Missouri Republican, stated in Aug., “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.” Richard Mourdock, Indiana Senate Candidate, said if a woman becomes pregnant from rape that it was “something that God intended to happen.” Allen West, Republican candidate for the House of Representatives from Florida, stated that hospitals should turn away women wishing to receive abortions, even if that abortion would save that woman’s life. Paul Ryan, Vice Presidential candidate for Romney’s campaign, stated that rape is a “method of conception.” Steve King, Republican candidate in Iowa, stated “I’ve never heard of a pregnancy from rape or incest.” Rick Santorum, who at one time was running for the Republican presidential bid, stated, “Rape babies are a gift from God.” Luckily, none of the listed above Republicans won their seats.
Well, if I were a woman, I wouldn’t have voted for Romney, and such statements alienated women voters.
So, what does four more years of Obama mean? It means more drone wars, more repressive social policies, and more secrecy in regards to military actions. Four years ago, when Obama was elected for the first time, he said he would close Guantanamo Bay, and it is still open. He has, thus far, ruled on a series of false promises. The pull-out of Iraq turned into a slow withdrawal as opposed to an on-mass evacuation.
What does this mean for Canada, and B.C. in particular? Obama has yet to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline, which is good for the Canadian environment, but terrible for Canada’s economy. The legalization of marijuana in two states has already raised the question in B.C. that perhaps it is time for British Columbians to challenge that question in our next election. All in all, it’s a mixed bag.
Personally, I think a lot of the results have to do with the youth. There is an ever-expanding generational gap between baby boomers and the youth of today. The youth don’t see homosexuality as an issue, for the most part, and don’t understand why it is still such a point of contention. They often see women as having rights over their own body. More and more, they are turning away from God and Christianity, embracing atheism instead—take for instance the multi-use forum-based website reddit, where the most popular and highest visited subreddit, or subforum, is r/atheism. However, it is useful to keep in mind that the majority of reddit users are college students in their late teens and early twenties. A quote from Winston Churchill comes to mind: “If you’re not liberal when you are 25, you have no heart.” Keep in mind he was saying that in regards to the Liberal party of Britain at the time, but the idea is still relevant. It is also useful to note that the youth voter turnout was higher than the 2008 election.
In conclusion, I think Obama was not the right choice, but neither was Romney. It was a choice between two evils, and the lesser evil of the two won. Now time to wait and see what happens.