Saturday, November 15, 2008
How They Won
Exit polls clearly showed that President-elect Obama and the Democratic winners in Congress won largely in part due to the economic crisis. Since the nation perceived that this looming recession was due to the Republicans [partially false, Democrats held the congressional majority since 2006], all Republican incumbents were on the defense. Hence, Senate Democrat majority leader, Sen. Harry Reid, clearly and accurately stated: "This is not a mandate for a political party or an ideology."
To illustrate his point, you could simply take a look at California and Florida, which gave their electoral votes to the Democrats but the same voters actually went against the Democrats' agenda of same sex marriage. The majority of the people voted to ban same sex marriage. Instead of voting for a liberal, progressive idea, the voters voted conservatively, opting for the traditional cultural and religious values that they identify with.
This type of social conservatism isn't going away any time soon. Even the fastest growing voting block, American minorities such as Asians, blacks, and Hispanics, are attached to the traditional definition of marriage: that it should be between a man and a woman.
Social conservatives aren't going away soon, in fact, in this election, it showed it's still strong and growing.
Map source: CNN.com
Rougly 52% of Americans voted for Senator Obama and 46.3% voted for Senator McCain. Obama's fight wasn't easy, but the economic mess and the perception of the nation that the Republicans were the cause, gave him the luckiest break in history.
McCain clearly recognized he was the underdog after the economic slump in September 2008. The fact that he was ahead in the polls mid-September was a miracle in itself. The Republicans already faced an uphill battle with an unpopular president and an unpopular war. But the economy was the nail in the coffin. I don't think anyone else could have pulled better election results than McCain from the Republican side.
The Palin effect
Some pundits have stated McCain would have been worst off, if it wasn't for social conservatives actually voting for him, thanks in part to his choice of Gov. Palin as his running mate. Her pro-life, pro-gun, evangelical Christian views was the most electrifying part of the campaign -- more people came to Palin rallies than to McCain rallies. While McCain needed independents like me to gain traction in terms of single percentage points, he needed his double digit base to even look formidable in the election.
"I Have A Dream"
What's clear -- this was a historic election. Obama will be the first black, dark-colored president of the United States. Martin Luther King can now rest in peace that his dreams were fulfilled. Note, there were other presidents with African ancestry like Abraham Lincoln, but Lincoln and others were able to pass off as pure "white" because their skin color wasn't dark.
While there's still racial elements in the country, this election clearly showed that they are a minority. America has grown up and its sins of the past has come back full circle. The White House, which was partially built through African slave labor, will now have an African American sitting on it as their president.
Respecting the Office
While over 46% of the nation didn't vote for Sen. Obama, including myself, we have to come to terms with the results and be able to live with it and respect the office of the president.
While many may disagree with the tax and spend policies, and pro-choice positions of Obama, we must trust in the U.S. Constitution as our supreme law of the land and follow the principle that's inked in our dollar bills -- "In God We Trust".
A man named Saul, who killed innocent people until he saw the light and was renamed to Paul, wrote in the Book of Romans (chapter 13, verse 1), very enlightening words of wisdom that's applicable to these troubled times:
"Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God."
To keep it short -- let God's will be done. Do your best [vote] and He'll do the rest.