This time around, the general feeling is more akin to soldiers on a medieval battlefield the day after one of the kings had been killed or a truce has been called. We, the soldiers still hate each other. We still want to kill one-another. The truly unfortunate part is that, not only will one army not be picking up and heading home, but we now have to live with each other because this is where we all live! Those who supported Romney truly feel that this country is in a horrible state; the economy is floundering, millions of people are without jobs, programs like Planned Parenthood are still sucking money out of our pockets, gays are being allowed to get married and (gasp!) Big Bird is still teaching our children the difference between "near" and "far"!
"Truce has been called. But we, the soldiers, still hate each other. We still want to kill one-another.
In the other camp, men and women who recognized years ago that President Obama is on our side because he is one of us have come to realize just how many people there are among us who truly believe that it would be a good thing to abolish Planned Parenthood and ban abortion at the same time. We stood in awe of a country who would allow a man to run for president who had raised a Soviet Chinese flag on American soil in front of his company after firing thousands of unionized American workers and sent the production jobs to China. We stood and scratched our heads, wondering why this man wasn't forced out of the race when he wouldn't produce his tax records for our edification, as presidential nominees are required to do! Romney is not just a businessman, but a salesman; that is a blaringly obvious assertion. And everyone knows that you can NOT trust a salesman! Yet this man was allowed to carry the race all the way to the end, despite losing three of the four presidential and vice-presidential debates!
Confused, I opened my mind and searched for anti-Obama websites and literature, wanting to know what it was that I was missing. There had to be something-some substantial reason to why Romney supporters wanted him to win so badly! I looked, but I couldn't find anything other than the same gripes about the state of the economy. I spoke up where I had the opportunity to do so-attempting to illustrate to these poor people just how much good Obama has actually accomplished in his first four years.
This seemed to have swayed a few minds, but I knew there was no way for me to reach all of the Romney supporters this way. I knew I was hardly making a dent, yet I continued to try and I continued to search. Now it seems people are actually more willing to talk about why they supported Romney and it's even more disturbing than anything I could have come up with on my own. Most of the people I've spoken with have confirmed their own stupidity. One man even told my wife, "I don't believe in following the news, I don't believe in paying attention to the facts. I follow what my heart tells me.I follow my church's commandments." This is an actual statement made by man who voted for Mitt Romney. It was as terrifying as it was telling.
"I don't believe in following the news, I don't believe in paying attention to the facts. I follow what my heart tells me. I follow my church's commandments.
Look at the states in which Romney actually won: Louisiana, South Carolina, Georgia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Indiana, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Alaska, and Indiana. Not to encourage stereotypes, but when you close your eyes and think about the people in most of these states, what comes to mind? Do you think of business suits and lab coats, or do you think of cowboy hats and plaid shirts? Do you think of universities and museums, or do you think of farmers and coal miners? I once worked as a customer support representative for a company in which I talked to people from one side of the country to the other.
I'm here to tell you: some stereotypes exist for a reason, folks. I once argued with a man for forty-five minutes over the necessity of upgrading the firmware for his $300.00 gaming system and the ease by which it could be done, if he'd only follow my directions for five minutes. He argued back that he "paid a lot of money for his tractor, and when he gets in it and turns the key, it turns on. It don't have to be updated!" These people are, for lack of a less discriminatory sounding word, simple. They want things to be simple for them. They want to get up, go to work, come home, eat their dinner, watch TV, shag their wife and go to bed and get up and do it all over again the next day. Unless the next day happens to be Sunday. In that case, he wants to get up, go to church, come home, watch football, then shag his wife and go to bed. So many of the people in this country are simple. They want to be told what to do. They know they don't like it if someone tells them to do something they don't want to do, like turn in their gun or allow two men to hold hands as they walk down the street, but in the end, they don't think, nor do they want to.
"These people are, for lack of a less discriminatory sounding word, simple.
The rest of us, those who recognize that our brains are the primary reason that we, as a species are where we are and who value our ability to use our brains are saddled with the responsibility of taking care of people like the one my wife spoke with. Like children, they need to be told what to do and what not to do, but they'll throw a fit if someone tells them something they don't like, like when I tell my two-year-old that it's time to take a nap. Now the man who told them that he'd "like everyone to be part of the 1%" has lost the election and the man who told them that they have to be nice to the gay couple next door has been reelected. I'm tired. I wish I could feel some sort of relief and look forward to getting back to focusing on my psychology degree, but it seems that I've still got some work to do, explaining why "naps are good for you" and helping people to see that what happened last night was the best outcome possible-for all of us.