The good news is, it wasn’t a blow out. The better news is that the people who voted for Obama looked like America. (Which was part of what Bill Clinton insisted we do when we were staffing the Departments and Agencies in 1992.) “The political appointees in the US Government,” we were told, “need to look like America.”
I admit I bought into the bullpucky about how women would vote their purses rather than their personal rights. And I was wrong. Well, not exactly wrong, but not exactly right. Women did vote their purses and they felt that President Obama was more likely to understand their needs and frustrations. (As did Black and Hispanic Americans.) But here’s where I underestimated both young and women voters.
Because there was no great outrage or outcry when Murdock talked about rape and Ryan talked about abortion, for those of us who remember the days of dirty backroom illegal abortions, we could not imagine going back. But for young and poor women, who have never lived through those days, who have always had access to professional medical guidance, I thought they might not realize the consequences of turning back the clock. Personal freedoms, whether access to medical care, respect for individual differences or same sex marriage, are important to people who think that the Government has no business in the personal decisions we make.
It is encouraging for those of us who worked so hard for civil rights, women’s rights, (human rights), that this next generation is not going to give up. It’s kind of like, if you have never been in a car accident, you don’t see the need to wear seat belts and air bags – until someone hits you and totals your car and you live to talk about it.
Our reality in terms of “rights,” especially having to do with abortion, is two-fold. The technology has so greatly improved that a baby born at 6 or 7 months, now has a chance to survive. Maybe with many medical problems and at great expense to loving parents, but it is still a human being. The other discussion has to be, about the parents’ ability to care for a child. Is it better to carry a child (sometimes as a consequence of incest or rape or the mother’s health) into a world of poverty and rejection, or does it make more sense to take the morning after pill.
There are those who would say making more sense is not the issue. No, the issue is to make personal decisions about your own personal body, without government regulation or interference. The people who voted in this last election, were not intimidated by the lies or threats or stupidity of some elected officials. The whole political discussion should have been about the economy, not about regulating person freedom. If that had happened, maybe Mr. Romney would not have had to compromise what he really felt in order to have Party support. And if that had happened, who knows.
Thankfully, the President was reelected and now that the Republicans realize he’s not going away, they all will put the welfare of the country first. (That’ll be a First!) There will be compromise and progress. And the best news is that we don’t have to waste six months on another painful government transition. Which is actually what I wanted to blob about. We’re just sayin’... Iris