On Monday, November 5th, 2012, I found myself sitting in my dorm room with my eyes closed, anxiously attempting to envision what a Romney America would look like. Contrary to what your assumption may be, this anxiety was not developed out of fear of Mr. Romney being our Commander in Chief, but out of fear of the American people.
Since the dawn of society, independent nations have always laid host to conventionally radical leaders. Willard Mitt Romney is not an enigma, in fact, I would argue that he is the norm. I noticed a lot of my fellow students were perplexed by the fact that the race was so close this year, but I was not. It made a lot of sense to me. Many Americans view the ideal America as the oppressive superpower from the 1950s, but according to Tuesday night, the majority of our citizens do not. (I am by no means claiming that every Conservative supports oppression; that would be ignorant. What I am claiming is that there is a decent amount of Americans who have adopted their morals from the first half of the 20th century; in most circumstances, these citizens align with the right wing of America.)
When Obama was predicted to win the election, the campus at my college, Oberlin, erupted. Fireworks were ignited, marching bands marched, and middle-aged men cried out of joy (I’m not sure if any student quite knows how a group of 50 year olds ended up celebrating with us, but their presence was a delight regardless.)
The energy in the air was unparalleled and many students were shocked that the winner was declared before midnight. I would argue that even though Obama was running for reelection, it still felt like an underdog’s victory. Again, I believe this is because Romney strongly represents Neo-Conservatism. Many Neo-Conservative values have been engrained in our modern culture for what seems like forever.
It was a victorious night indeed, and I would argue that Obama’s reelection was not even the biggest victory of the night. As most already know, Gay marriage was legalized in three states (Maine, Maryland, & Washington) and Marijuana was legalized for recreational use in two states (Washington & Colorado – America has now adopted some of the most liberal marijuana related laws in the world.) We also elected our first Asian congresswoman, our first Hindu congresswoman, and 20 other women were elected to congress. In fact, after Tuesday night, white males are now a minority in the House Democratic Caucus. Oh yeah, and Puerto Rico may become a state.
This all happened overnight. Obama’s reelection resulted from a long and tiring battle, but preceding the election, the aforementioned victories generally weren’t publicized on a national scale. The presidential race is what drove people to the polls in the first place. That being said, these laws & congressional candidates were presented to most citizens for the first time when they entered the voting booth. They voted in favor of these laws and congressional candidates based upon their natural inclinations.
Tuesday’s results signify the natural progression occurring among the American public. According to the polls, the majority of Americans in Maine, Maryland, and Washington instinctively believe in LGBT rights, and Americans from a variety of states believe that neither gender, ethnicity, religion, nor sexuality defines a politician’s ability to lead.
This year’s election was truly a pivotal moment in American history. To me, it represented the beginning of the future for America. I never, in my wildest dreams, would have thought that Tuesday would have unfolded the way it did, but the American people proved me wrong. If I could speak to my cynical 18-year-old self from Monday night today, I would say those three legendary words, made famous by our President back in 2008: yes we can.