Ans so the election was over without much surprise. I voted for Jill Stein yesterday. I believe that we need more truly liberal discourse in this country, and I believe that, by giving my vote to the Green Party rather than the Democrats, I can incrementally make that possible. Unfortunately, I don’t think she won enough votes in this election to gain any increased benefits or attention in subsequent elections, but I was continually struck by how she put herself on the line – getting arrested several times on the campaign trail – to make a statement and generate some of that discourse that’s needed. I wish that more candidates were willing to make such sacrifices.
In spite of all of that, though, and in spite of what I’ve said in the past, I am relieved that Obama won another four years as President. I don’t always agree with his policies, but he’s been able to make some headway against the conservative onslaught, and make possible some marginally progressive policies. My hope is that he will continue this trend in the next four years – perhaps re-energized and reinvigorated by his win – and that, ever so slightly, the discourse (and practice) will shift a little back to the left after years of being stuck far to the right. I think that, although Romney himself seems to actually be pretty moderate, electing him would have kept the push going right and we may have ended up going backwards significantly on issues like reproductive rights, gay rights, health care, and economic regulation.
Now that the election is over, my hope is that we all – Presidents, Governors, Congress members, state and local authorities, as well as ordinary citizens – can move ahead and work together to build a better world for everyone.