After $6 billion, a Republican primary that rivaled the abnormality of a 1920s freak show, countless memes and a full-fledged war on women, the people of America have spoken. Though it's hardly the triumphant victory progressives would have wanted for their country. Alas, a win is indeed a win, and the socially enlightened have every reason to be celebrating today:
• Same-sex marriage has been approved for the first time ever by voters in three states
• The election of the first openly gay senator
• Colorado has approved the legalization of cannabis for recreational use
• More women are now in Congress than at any other point in history
• Both of those GOP members who made the insidious comments about rape were defeated. (Although I suppose a political party is in real trouble when there is more than one candidate partaking in very offensive rape commentary).
In terms of the assault on a woman's right to dominion over her own body, this past election cycle was simultaneously sobering and scary. No longer was the anti-choice rhetoric focused on Roe v. Wade, but Griswold v. Connecticut, a decision handed down by the Supreme Court in 1965.
As access to birth control took centre stage, perilous personhood amendments persisted in state legislatures, the terms "trans-vaginal ultrasound," "legitimate rape," "forcible rape," unfortunately entered into the political lexicon, it is patently clear why the President won the vagina vote.
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Oh, he also won the African American and Latino vote, further signaling to Republicans that they may want to try reaching out to some of those demographics, considering the cranky old white man vote just does not hold the same sort of prestige it used to.
Specifically, the slight majority of Americans have overtly rejected the fundamentalist Christian dogma that is now seen to be synonymous with the Republican Party. Which is, quite frankly, unfortunate for the Republican Party and its many sane members (and there are many, despite what headlines and internet memes may say).
But when a party's primary is a Who's Who of science-fearing religious fundamentalists, whereby the bulk of time spent on the debate stage is devoted to who believes in a literal interpretation of the Bible the most and believes in evolution the least, it is difficult for anybody who passed Gr. 8 science to take the GOP seriously.
Additionally, after several surges from candidates ranging on the scale of crazy, from the man who suggested America colonize the moon, a woman whose most flattering picture to date is this, and a man who somehow managed to make sweater vests even more square, all of a sudden a CEO family man who does not know why airplane windows cannot open starts to look pretty good.
President Obama has an arduous four years ahead of him. With an intransigent congress and a sharply divided electorate, I suppose he will need a little more of that hopey-changey stuff. Nevertheless, America should be congratulated and welcomed to the side of social issues where a woman is commander-in-chief of her own organs, two women or two men have the same right to enter into matrimony as a man and a woman, and providing health insurance for 50 million uninsured people is seen as patriotic.
Openly homosexual legislators, permissible pot use, and an increasing presence of XX chromosomes on Capitol Hill? Somewhere Pat Buchanan is crying into the pages of Leviticus while Michele Bachmann is refusing to acknowledge her near-loss with all the wide-eyed fervor she usually puts into denying her husband's sexuality. God bless America.