What I’ve Learned Since the Election

A lot has been said about the last election. It was, no doubt, historic. The first African-American ever elected President of the United States won re-election by a rather decisive margin. He did so with a sputtering economy and an unpopular war on his hands; in doing so, he won the highest vote of any Democrat since Lyndon Johnson. In fact, he won the most votes of any Democrat in the history of the country and he was the first Democrat to get more than 50% of the vote two times in a row. You may not like it, but as I said, this election was historic.

This next part may not be historic, but it is interesting. This election saw the power of Religious Right begin to dwindle. Many candidates they backed were defeated, especially Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock. You remember those guys, they were the ones who made the idiotic comments about rape. And, then, as if to rub salt in the wound, 4 states approved of marriage equality, with Maryland, Maine and Washington approving of measures that legalize same-sex marriage and Minnesota rejecting an amendment that would ban it. If you’ve watched the news at all, you know all this hasn’t gone over well with the right-wing evangelicals. Reverend Al Mohler said it was “an evangelical disaster”. According to Franklin Graham, it put the country on “a path to destruction”. Tony Perkins warned of “a revolt, a revolution” with “Americans saying, ‘You know what? Enough of this!” That could be construed as a call to violence, which is especially nice since Perkins’ Family Research Council was attacked by a gunman during the past summer. Way to model Christ, Tony.

So, to what the title suggests this post is about, what I’ve learned since the election:

  • The religious right’s power is on the wane.
  • Marriage equality is gaining momentum in this country. The fact that 4 states rejected discrimination against same-sex couples is very heartening, even if my state (NC) and about 30 others still have legally and morally abominable amendments on the books.
  • The leaders of the right see the rise of marriage equality and it scares the crap out of them, causing them to do stupid things. Like Perkins’ comment about rebellion.
  • The tide is turning, but it will get much uglier before it’s over. The reactions so far have shown that.
  • That science is just as important to most Americans as faith. The right’s embrace of questionable science on the reproductive system, LGBT issues climate change was soundly rejected this election cycle.
  • I’m going to be optimistic with this one, but I believe this election is a rejection of the politics of fear. I hope it’s a sign that the majority of this country is starting to see gay people, undocumented immigrants, the poor, women, etc. as people, not “the other”.
  • That Americans will only take so much unfairness, especially when it comes to money. The defeat of uber-capitalist Mitt Romney shows that unbridled avarice is not an American value.

The right has always claimed this is a Christian nation. I hope we never become that because it would marginalize too many people. But, maybe, just maybe we’re on the way to living out some Christian ideals. And, that would be a good thing.