Election Results   Leave a comment


Content Note: Government Corruption, Civil Rights Abuses, Drone Strikes, Police Militarization, Incarceration, the Drug War, Homophobia, the War on Terror

So here’s my reaction to what happened yesterday.

Obama Won

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, in terms of judicial appointments, the direction of federal leadership, and the future of health care in this country, we are significantly better off with Obama than we would have been with Romney. Overall, I think the country chose the lesser of two evils.

On the other hand, those two evils probably weren’t very far apart in almost any other respect. Under either Romney or Obama, our fiscal policy will print money and give it to the banks, our foreign policy will consist far more of bombs than development aid, and rampant corruption will continue with federal agencies cheering it on.

And while I do ultimately prefer Obama to Romney, I have to admit I’m curious how the Democrats in congress, who have cheered on Obama’s augmentation of executive power, would have reacted to a Republican president with the power to detain and kill anyone political expediency allow. Ah well, it looks like the mainstream left will ignore civil rights abuses for another four years.

The Democrats Still Control the Senate

This has most of the same tension contained in my reaction to Obama remaining president. Granted that the Democrats in congress are mostly cheering on rampant corruption and the erosion of civil liberties, they’re still a far preferable bunch to the likes of Akin, Mourdock, and Brown, who all lost.

But while I’m ambivalent about the Democrats retaining control of the senate, I am ecstatic that the Republicans were mostly rebuffed. Akin and Mourdock lost in parts of the country that they should have won in, and it is a sign to me that the US isn’t hopelessly mired in destructive conservative ideology.

The Republicans Still Control the House of Representatives

Which was expected. Actually the near inevitability of Republican control of the House (along with terrible filibuster rules in the senate) added to my ambivalence about the presidential elections. No matter who won the presidency, congress was going to make any major legislative agenda impossible.

MARRIAGE EQUALITY!!!

This is the election result I’m most excited about. Marriage Equality was affirmed in one form or another in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington. I knew three years ago the demographics spelled the end of “Traditional” marriage, but I am thrilled that things are moving so quickly.

Marijuana Legalization

Several states voted to legalize marijuana, which I am praying is the beginning of the end of the Drug War. For those who don’t know much about our War on Drugs, it is arguably even more destructive than the War on Terror (even in foreign policy terms, if you consider its impact on Colombia and Mexico). The War on Drugs militarized our police force, drove gang violence, and gave the US the largest prison population in the world. It has torn apart families, and I’m hoping that these legalizations will be the first major step to end it.

For those of you considering moving to Colorado to open a pot shop, you should know that the DEA still considers Mary Jane illegal under federal law, and would be happy to prosecute you. Local police will leave you alone (at least, they should) but Uncle Sam won’t.

Monsanto’s GMO Victory

No good here. GMO’s will not be labeled in California. Monsanto and other big ag groups came in, outspent their opponents 4 to 1, and defeated an initiative that had more the 70% support a few months ago.

Overall

I’m far more excited about the election results than I expected to be. We’re still running our country into the ground in terms of corruption, infrastructure, education, non-lethal R&D, labor law, and general quality of life. But marriage equality and the rejection of reactionary Republicans gives me hope.

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