Before I finish my post-election article, I am putting the text of an open letter to the GOP here. Please feel free to use portions of this letter to write to your GOP elected officials no matter where you are. Our message must be heard over the next four years, not just at the polls. Politicians on both sides of the aisle have short memories and the GOP is living in Fantasyland. Don’t think for a minute that they have any intention of cooperating. What they are expecting is for Barack Obama to compromise on every issue. That must not happen.
An Open Letter to the GOP and Its Supporters
The election is over. The American people have overwhelmingly rejected your positions on many issues and your proposed plans for this nation. At the end of the day, this election was not close on so many levels. Yet, you remain in denial of the facts in front of your collective faces.
You, your supporters, and right-wing pundits insist that we are a center-right nation. You claim that Mitt Romney lost this election because of Hurricane Sandy (interrupted his momentum) and/or Democratic voter suppression. You also claim that Barack Obama did not receive a mandate on Tuesday, November 6. None of these things are factually true. President Obama carried the critical swing states of Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida, receiving 332 electoral votes to Mitt Romney’s 206. If that isn’t a mandate, nothing is.
Throughout this campaign, you criticized Nate Silver for his projections, claiming that the race was too close to call. Nate Silver was spot on. He projected that Barack Obama would win 332 electoral votes. He did just that. Nate Silver was dead accurate calling 50 out of 50 states. He was right because he did the math, something neither Mitt Romney nor Paul Ryan could do when it came to their economic policies. They couldn’t show us the math because the math didn’t add up.
You live in a world that exists only in your collective minds. The exit polls prove that America is anything but a center-right nation. In fact, the polls show that America is full of progressives:
- 77% of those polled want abortion to remain legal.
- 74% of those polled want to see same-sex marriage legalized.
- 64% of those polled are in favor of a tax increase on the wealthy and protection of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
- 74% of the American people believe that climate change is affecting our weather right now.
As difficult as this message is to swallow, here it is:
Women do not want you telling them what they can and cannot do with their bodies. Although the issues of abortion and contraception were settled years ago, the GOP chose to make them 2012 election issues. Five GOP candidates who have spent a considerable amount of time discussing and redefining rape have been voted out. In contrast, a record number of women are now serving the nation. Massachusetts put its first woman in the Senate in Elizabeth Warren. In Wisconsin, Tammy Baldwin became the first openly gay Senator in history. Add to the list Tammy Duckworth (WI), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), and Maize Hirono (HI). All six of the women running for reelection won. Women not only want their voices heard, they want to be part of shaping policy.
The American people have always been ahead of the politicians on the issue of same-sex marriage. For years the GOP, prodded by the religious right zealots, have pushed to have same-sex marriage become a ballot issue. You got your wish this election cycle, and same-sex marriage became legal by vote in Maine, Maryland, and Washington state. The vast majority of Americans want you to deal with real issues, not manufactured issues. They want you to stop wasting taxpayer dollars supporting the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which has now been declared unconstitutional by a record-breaking eight federal courts.
The American people favor a tax increase on the wealthiest Americans, and they want Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security protected. Americans know that Social Security is not “nearly bankrupt” as the GOP continues to insist. They know that the trust can be preserved for years to come by balancing the equation: There’s no reason why a millionaire should be paying Social Security taxes at the same rate as someone earning $110,000 a year. By the way, the American people do not see these programs as “entitlements.” They are “earned benefits” that have come from years of work and paying taxes.
While the GOP spends its time denigrating the science behind global warming, the majority of the American people now believe that climate change is having an effect on our weather right now. The GOP energy plan to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline and drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will not bring us energy independence, and will only add to our environmental woes. It will also ensure that we are tied to fossil fuels for years to come. This may well be what big oil wants, but it is clear that the American people want our nation to move in another direction. You do not govern for the corporations. You govern for the people.
Because of Citizens United, the corporations and special interests in this nation poured in excess of $300 million dollars into this election trying to get Mitt Romney elected. This too was overwhelmingly rejected by the American people. Corporate America might have thought this ill-advised decision would stand forever because it is unlikely that the Supreme Judicial Court will ever reverse itself. However, on election day, Montana and Colorado became the 10th and 11th state to formally call for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. We are more than one-quarter of the way toward meeting the Constitutional requirements for an amendment to overturn.
Finally, do not think for a minute that you have the upper hand. You do not. The American people have President Obama’s back, and believe that his second term belongs to them. They will no longer settle for compromise. They are tired of obstruction. On November 6, President Obama was indeed given a mandate to move this country forward. Either you get on board and help shape the nation that the American people have called for, or you will be voted out in the midterm elections.