Cheating, voter fraud, voter suppression, succession from the union, leaving the country, impeachment; you can tell it’s post-election time. Accusations and vitriol fill the airwaves. Recounts and lawsuits are at a minimum, thankfully. We can be grateful for the lack of hanging chads.
The outcome of the election has been decided. The country, by a very narrow margin, voted for President Obama. Perhaps they wanted to give him a second chance. Perhaps they weren’t impressed by Mitt Romney. Maybe they just didn’t want to vote for the “rich, white guy.”
One thing should be very clear to both sides. He WAS elected. He didn’t steal the election. He didn’t rig the machines. It’s time to face the reality of the situation. Our country has been moving further and further left for several decades. It’s hard to pick the exact moment. Maybe it was Vietnam. Maybe it was even further back in post- WWII suburbia. Was it Kent State? Was it bra-burning? Was it Watergate?
Whatever it was that tipped the scales, tip the scales it did. We are not the nation we were sixty years ago. We’ve become an anything-goes society. Live and let live. To each their own. (Pick your own idiom). At the risk of sounding far older than my 35 years, skirts are shorter, music is obscene, video games and television are filled with violence. People don’t go to church on Sundays. Divorce rates are higher, as are out-of-wedlock pregnancies. Alternative lifestyles aren’t just celebrated, they’re protected by law. What was important to us sixty years ago doesn’t seem relevant today.
This election season is a perfect example of what has become “important” to people. Birth control, gay marriage, “free” healthcare, and sharing the wealth. We’ve allowed a handful of men and women to shape the debate. 535 people and their PR teams along with the administration and their PR teams made sure that we argued over Sandra Fluke and the pill. Really? That’s the defining issue of a generation, especially women voters? Susan B. Anthony would be so proud.
My theory is it’s all about what’s tangible for a majority of voters. Entitlement spending is more important than a balanced budget. It’s what’s real to people. It affects them personally, today, in the now. It’s very easy to ignore something that doesn’t affect you personally today. Raise sales tax 2% and watch people raise holy hell. Report on an increase in deficit spending and watch them yawn and change the channel. (And since we can just print more money, who cares right)?
Voters want results, right now. They aren’t thinking about the things we need to change for the future of our nation. The truth is we’ve become a very selfish nation. Sandra Fluke wanted all women to get “free” birth control. It’s real. It’s tangible. It’s immediate. Fixing Social Security before it implodes in 20 years isn’t real enough for many voters. It’s in the future. We have time, right?
Non-issues seemed to be at the fore. Shouldn’t the focus have been the economy? Did we have a real conversation about the unemployment rate? Did we demand Congress explain to us the lack of budget for the last several years? Did we tell President Obama that the buck stopped with him? Why didn’t we light a fire under our leaders until they explained what went so very wrong in Benghazi? Did we tell Congress to focus on something more than rhetoric and name calling? Or did we, once again, get pulled into a game of gotcha politics? We allowed people to tell us what was important. We seem to have forgotten who’s really in charge.
Meanwhile, the 535 people that we pay to make decisions for us have an approval rating of right around 17%. At least that’s up from the 10% it was in August … when the TSA had a higher approval rating. These are the people we trust with our nation?
It’s time to decide what defines us. It’s not time to throw in the towel and walk away from this nation. WE make the choice. WE elect our leaders. WE have the right to demand action and answers. It is up to us to remind Congress we want a balanced budget, not a pack of pills.
To my fellow conservatives, enough sour grapes. It’s time to move forward as a nation. That doesn’t mean we compromise our morals and beliefs. It does mean redefining the agenda. Remind the nation what’s important; our safety, our economic viability, and our role in the world. I refuse to accept that we aren’t a great nation because President Obama was re-elected.
And I refuse to take my ball and go home because I didn’t get my way. Get back in the game, America. It’s only halftime.
Image: courtesy of Amar; Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.