Friday, November 9, 2012

Onward Christian Soldier

Most of us here in the U.S. know that Tuesday was a big night. Barack Obama was re-elected in a decisive victory over former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney as the 44th President of the United States. However, the fact that the Democrats came out on top isn't the topic of this post. What this post is about is the Republican response to their defeat. Specifically, Facebook Republicans. In deference to inoffensive Republicans everywhere (I'm sure there are some, somewhere), I'm giving Facebook Republicans their own category.

Within moments of the decision, angry Republicans were posting hateful rants on Facebook. Bad losers are nothing new. What struck me was how many of them were self-professed Christians. One of my "friends" posted this on her Facebook Wall: "I had no idea I lived with so many uneducated people. (We) are considering MOVING out of this F*CKED up place." (It should be noted that many respondents to her post inquired as to where she planned on moving.) She claims to be a Christian. And what I thought was, if these are the kind of Christian values Romney and Ryan were fighting to protect and preserve, thank goodness they lost.

Christians were calling their friends "stupid", "dumb" and "uneducated" if they voted for President Obama. Ironically, most of the vitriolic rants I read were stupid and dumb and appeared to have been written by uneducated people. And this is a generalization, but it didn't surprise me a whole lot that so many of the rabid Romney ranters didn't seem that bright given the states that many of them hail from. It seems to me that the hypocrisy of so many so-called Christians was part of the reason that their candidate lost the election so badly.

Things have changed in the United States over the last several years. As Al Cardenas, the head of the American Conservative Union and a longtime GOP leader, stated on pro-Obama cable news channel MSNBC, the Republican Party " too old and too white and too male". I thought that was an interesting observation. When the demographics were sliced, diced and digested, President Obama simply appealed to a wider group of Americans. Hispanics are the fastest growing minority in this country and the Republicans didn't take that into consideration. It appeared that Romney's message was almost exclusively aimed at rich white men and, oddly, working class white men. Well, it's not 1980 any more. America of 2012 is more of a melting pot than ever before. Our leaders need to acknowledge and address that. And at least one leader is.

I was going to post the following before the election, but I didn't get around to it. I'm going to post it now, after the fact, so take it for what it's worth. If Mitt Romney had become the President of this country, I would've been mortified. I'd have been outraged, disappointed, scared, and just plain sad. But I would've supported him and given him my loyalty freely because I'm a patriot and that's what patriots do. I most certainly wouldn't have called my friends stupid or dumb or uneducated if they hadn't voted for Obama. I have plenty of friends who didn't vote for him, and they're all bright people. (They're wrong! But bright.)

This campaign seemed endless and was filled with half-truths, out-and-out lies and no small amount of drama. Election night was exciting, boring, frustrating, interesting and, ultimately, amazing. Romney gave a short, eloquent concession speech (albeit, about two hours later than he should've given it), and President Obama's acceptance speech was heartfelt and inspiring. After so much hand-wringing and angst, it was indeed a joy to emerge from the morass of campaign ads victorious.

Facebook Republicans that are out there licking their wounds need to revisit what being a patriot is all about. In this country, patriotism isn't about ethnicity or gender or economic standing or sexual preference. It's about being an American. And, right now, I'm proud to be one.