So, the protracted and seemingly endless American election cycle is over for another 4 years. Everyone got a bit crazy there for a minute but its all over but the commentary.
As a Brit I watched the furore that surrounded the American election with a mixture of amusement and terror. I couldn’t avoid the coverage if I’d wanted to. As it was I stayed up until 4am with cookies and milk waiting to see what happened. I place myself firmly in the Democrat camp and was very pleased by the Obama victory. I always hoped it would happen but looking at the results it seems almost inevitable, no matter what Fox News would have you believe.
The Republican party has become almost a parody of itself to the point that it amuses and bemuses me in equal measure and yet the things its various members espoused during the campaign were terrifying. This election however has proved that not even the majority of their own voters support their extremes and excesses. The Republicans appeared to repeatedly shoot themselves in the foot, particularly over rape and abortion. Look at Akin and Mourdoch, both senators lost their seats on Tuesday despite hailing from states that voted for Mitt Romney and running against previously unpopular or unknown candidates.
Outside the Republican party those all important swing voters are veering even further away from Republicans over issues like gay rights. This has been quite a good year for LGBT people in America. In May it was reported that over half of Americans support gay marriage and this summer DADT was repealed. This election brought more good news; the election of Tammy Baldwin, the first openly gay US senator, in Wisconsin and the passing of gay marriage bills in Maine, Maryland and Washington and the defeat of a bill in Minnesota banning gay marriage.
The Republicans have pandered to the tea party for too long. America has grown up while the Republicans weren’t looking and it remains to be seen whether they can work with this new America. My advice, and the advice of many people more knowledgeable than me, is to clean house now or risk being reduced to an irrelevance.
- Sweeping 2012 Victories Show Promise Of LGBT Equality’s Future (thinkprogress.org)
- Mitt Romney lost because hardline Republicans betrayed him | Simon Tisdall (guardian.co.uk)
- Straight and gay, we all won last night (americablog.com)