(Swans - November 19, 2012) On November 6, 2012, the American electorate delivered a consensus in favor of greater equality of economic benefits and tax responsibilities, as opposed to greater austerity to preserve the privileges of accumulated capital.
Barack Obama won the 2012 election for the US presidency because:
1. Both his appeal for support and his electoral promises were inclusive of a wider spectrum and greater number of Americans.
2. The Democratic Party had a better campaign strategy, and it was much better organized to execute that strategy by reaching and motivating individual voters.
Mitt Romney lost the 2012 election for the US presidency because:
1. Both his appeal for support and his electoral promises were exclusionary for a wider spectrum and greater number of Americans. Depending on the issue, "exclusionary" ranged between callously insensitive to rabidly hostile.
2. The Republican Party had a campaign strategy that was blinded by wishful thinking dismissive of scientific polling, and an underdeveloped organization for maximizing Republican voter turnout. Such organization had been neglected because funds and focus had instead been applied to legislative and legalistic voter suppression efforts targeting minority and lower-income people.
Blacks and Latinos made an especial effort to vote this year, and did so overwhelmingly for Obama and other Democratic Party candidates, because they believed their aspirations were far more likely to be approached with the continuation of the Obama administration. Also, they were repelled by the Republicans' attitudes toward their communities, and insulted by the Republicans' efforts to restrict their access to voting.
Today's demographic reality is that the Obama Coalition of blacks (13% of the electorate, 93% for Obama), Latinos (10% electorate, 71% Obama), adults under 30 (19% electorate, 60% Obama), single women (67% for Obama), along with other Democratic voters (e.g., 39% of all whites for Obama) outnumbered Republican voters in 2012. Whites were 72% of the electorate, and Romney captured 59% of them, which made up nearly 89% of his votes and 43% of the electorate. (See "The Return of the Obama Coalition: A Demographic Analysis of Election 2012 Results," Center For American Progress, 8 November 2012.)
That Mitt Romney and the Republicans were "shell shocked" by the extent of their losses on November 6 indicates the extent of their delusions. The realities of the world, the country, and themselves were not what the Republicans wanted to see while inhabiting their comforting delusional logic bubble. They had fallen for their own propaganda -- which reverberated ad nauseam in the echo chambers of right-wing mass media outlets -- so they were completely surprised when their bubble burst and they were confronted by the sight of the real world, which had refused to conform itself to their fantasies.
Does Barack Obama have enough of a mandate now -- and the will -- to implement policies creating a greater degree of economic equality in his second term than he was able (or willing?) to accomplish in his first? We shall see.
Has the Republican Party been sufficiently shocked by its stinging electoral rebuke to drop its sexism and racial prejudices (it is incapable of dropping its motivating greed, which fortunately for the party's future occurs in both sexes of every human type), and to adapt itself to the demographic reality of twenty-first century America? I doubt it, but we shall see.
Barack Obama received 61,681,462 votes, a 50.6% share of the national electorate, which garnered him 332 votes in the Electoral College. Obama won in 26 states and the District of Columbia.
Mitt Romney received 58,488,199 votes, a 47.9% share of the national electorate (ironically close to 47%), which garnered him 206 votes in the Electoral College. Romney won in 24 states. (See "United States Presidential Election 2012," on Wikipedia [accessed 10 November 2012].)
A second term to the Obama administration is clearly a better prospect than a Romney administration for the overwhelming majority of the American people, and probably the world. How much better is up to Barack Obama, and to the degree of political agitation an expectant Obama Coalition might create over the next four years.
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About the Author
Manuel García, Jr. on Swans. He is a native of the upper upper west side barrio of the 1950s near Riverside Park in Manhattan, New York City, and a graduate engineering physicist who specialized in the physics of fluids and electricity. He retired from a 29 year career as an experimental physicist with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the first fifteen years of which were spent in underground nuclear testing. An avid reader with a taste for classics, and interested in the physics of nature and how natural phenomena can impact human activity, he has long been interested in non-fiction writing with a problem-solving purpose. García loves music and studies it, and his non-technical thinking is heavily influenced by Buddhist and Jungian ideas. A father of both grown children and a school-age daughter, today García occupies himself primarily with managing his household and his young daughter's many educational activities. García's political writings are left wing and, along with his essays on science-and-society, they have appeared in a number of smaller Internet magazines since 2003, including Swans. Please visit his personal Blog at manuelgarciajr.wordpress.com. (back)