Growing up in East Germany, Gorbachev, Reagan, and Thatcher were my world leaders. I knew nothing about them and their politics yet I liked each one. Bush Senior was a blur and Clinton was memorable only because I was living in Ghana at the time of his first win (1992) and a lot of Ghanaian people really liked him. When it came around to his second win (1996), I was solidly in America and still politically apathetic although the excitement on my New England college campus was quite electric and I won’t ever forget that other first year student, a Mormon woman from somewhere in the middle of America, who run out of the TV room in tears when she realized Dole wasn’t going to win and that she wasn’t among like-minded people. That was also the time I learnt what great horror it is to ride around in a car with Dole/Kemp stickers on it. It is akin to unintentionally having sold your first born child to the devil, in case you were wondering.
When I shipped off to medical school in a mid-Western state in 2000 I realized I was amongst a different sort of Americans. It was they that made me question my views. Granted, I had read a lot of Russian children stories such as The Three Fat Men (1924) by Yuri Olesha (a magical fairy-tale which I can now clearly acknowledge as a revolutionary tale of class warfare) and the Ghanaian Ananse stories that caution against greed and selfishness so it makes sense that I would be for government and not so much for capitalism. Yet I am Ghanaian and I am Catholic. So Catholic that when I joined the Women for Choice group on my college campus (because why wouldn’t I be for choice) the clear choices were “abstinence” and “keep your legs closed until marriage”. Apparently neither were on the ballot and I was turned away by the candor with which people spoke about abortions. I was also quite taken aback by the degree with which large swatches of my first year class (it seemed) suddenly discovered that they were bisexual and lesbian (until graduation apparently) just as I was equally impressed by the rate in turnover of boys for those who decided they were going to stick with the D.
So you see, I too am a conservative I would say in my head as politics was discussed around me in my new rust-belt mid-western city. But it did not feel right at all. Bush Junior and his cronies just seemed to say and do all the wrong things. I just couldn’t with him. So imagine my true surprise when he won again in 2004. Utter shock. I said I’m done, Americans don’t know what’s good for them, and I’m just not going to bother. The next four years I hardly watched the news. I couldn’t bear to see and hear Dubya. By the time the world began to fall apart in large strides in 2008 I was back in New England busy with infectious disease fellowship. Obama caught me by surprise while my college sisters were busy lauding the candidacy of our fellow alumnae. Things were going swimmingly until Palin hit the Republican ticket and the circus broke loose. So when Obama won, I was content.
But the last four years have brought out real ugliness in people. It’s appalling. From Republican Senate Minority leader McConnell’s “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president” to the Birther’s movement and that annoying Trump. That is a true shame. If you’ve been elected to represent your constituents, the agenda shouldn’t be to get someone on the other party kicked out by hoping that unemployment rises for example. How does that make any sense? How can one be that selfish? Hopefully this time around knowing that Obama can’t run for a third term, sabotage will be replaced with compromise….that is unless we are to continue with the primary mission of getting Obama out of the White House by any means necessary.
Democracy is not only when things go your way. I know it’s going to be another four years of fear-mongering, negativity, bigotry,anger, righteous indignity, tantrums and not so subtle racism and sexism from over there in the far right but you know what, the tactics did not win AGAIN this year so I would like to see them bring the same back in 2016. It would be the final nail in the Republican party as we know it.
Romney was not a terrible choice. Who else was going to get as close a
margin this year? Certainly not Gingrich, Perry, Bachman, Cain, nor
Santorum. Back in the spring when the other Republicans begrudgingly
acknowledged Romney as their presidential candidate, I thought wow Obama
really has competition now. I was quite excited for a real show-down seeing how he’s been a limp president. But
just like McCain four years earlier, Romney moved right of center and on
top of that chose Paul Ryan as his vice-president. And to make matters
worse, he kept flip-flopping on his views. Poor man!. Still, I expected yesterday to be a long night
and I was surprised when Fox News abruptly called it for Obama while Karl Rove voiced his opposition. I believe it was him also who said yesterday that
Romney lost because he wasn’t conservative enough. I don’t buy that. He
lost because America feared he would be the puppet of the
ultra-conservatives.What this election has shown is that the
demographics of America are fast changing and the Republicans need to get with the program.
I don’t feel sorry for the folks who want
their America back. I have some pity for them though. We will not be turning the
clocks back to a time when women and minorities knew their place, sorry!
We won’t even be turning it back to 1980 when non-hispanic whites where
89% of the electorate. That number is now 72% and will likely continue to decrease. America has always been
a nation of immigrants. A great melting pot. Why would anyone put aside
their own backgrounds in favour of a mythical once upon a time land.
Wake up, its 2012. The American president is being elected by its
people as it has always been done. And if the people want to be
spoon-fed their breakfast, I guess that’s what they want. No
conspiracy. I read somewhere that Romney won 59% of the white vote yesterday. Interesting, because that same 59% white vote helped Bush Senior claim
426 electoral votes (to Romney’s 206) in 1988. My! My! Seems to me the GOP must
open its eyes. Negativity does not inspire. Anger does not lead. Respect is due to those you do not agree with.
Am I better off now than I was four years ago. Yes. Will I be better off in the next four. I truly believe so. And I say this despite the fact that I’m a physician and the rumour around the water cooler is that Obamacare is going to be the death of medicine as we know it. Oh well then. Don’t get me wrong. Yesterday’s election was more a choice of ‘the lesser of two evils” than anything else. Obama may want to make physicians slaves to government, but how was Romney going to be any better for physicians, he would have sold us off to the insurance companies and in the end it’s all the same. Physicians are royally screwed.