Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Who won the election?

Nobody is born a Republican or a Democrat.  People are born rich or poor.  People are born men or women.  People are born black or white or Latino.  Having been born one way or another, we collect various social images of ourselves and of others, and those collected images we call being Republican or Democrat.

A majority of men voted for Romney but a larger majority of women voted for Obama.   Women, not Democrats, won the election.

A majority of whites voted for Romney but a larger majority of everybody else voted for Obama.  Colored people, not Democrats won the election.  (Why is 'colored people' retrograde and racist, while 'people of color' is radical and right on?  What's the difference?)

A majority of rural and suburban voters voted for Romney but a larger majority of urban voters voted for Obama.  The cities, not the Democrats won the election.

This is an interesting series of factoids considering that most of the people who just won the election weren't even allowed to vote or hold office not that long ago.

Which make an interesting aside about being here is Australia.  Here, the Prime Minister is a woman, Julia Guillard, her finance minister is Penny Wong, the deputy leader of the parliamentary opposition is a woman, Julie Something, several premiers of the six Australian states are women.  The camera panning the benches of parliament during question time shows that about half of the members of parliament are women.

Question time is when the opposition puts questions to the prime minister and the other government ministers.  Of course the questions are tendentious, as are the answers, but they put the political debate out in the open and keep both the government and the opposition responsive to criticism.  In the US, the Congress cannot unseat the President by a mere majority vote, nor can the caucus of the majority party remove her, as happened recently when the Labor Party undid a sitting Prime Minister, Paul Rudd.

Here in Australia voting is mandatory.  Failure to vote carries a $100 fine.  I would have thought people would find that oppressive and absuord.  But they don't.  Every Australian we have spoken to, from cab drivers to prosperous guests at fancy hotels, has said it is a better system than our lackadaisical vote-if-you-feel-like-it practice.  I suppose it is worth that much compulsion to ensure that the government has the legitimacy of having been elected by the majority of Australian adults, not by the majority of those who got around to voting, invariably a minority of American adults.

The US could learn a lot from Australia.


  1. Jasmin12:13 AM

    Israel dogs will pay for this, things are changing. Our brothers now have weaponry capable of hitting rats in Tel Aviv, the Arab Spring means if the dogs bark too much, the whole Arab world will turn on her and no zionist stooges propping up our brothers states anymore. Bye Bye Israel

  2. The Muslims have been saying that for ninety years now. And Israel is not only still there but flourishing. Doesn't it seem strange that both Iran and the Arabs have oil, can pump unlimited amounts of money out of the ground, and yet remain poor backward countries? Israel on the other hand has no oil or mineral wealth yet is the richest country in the Middle East (except for the little UAE sheikdoms and Kuwait)? It seems the rats are doing better with their democracy, human rights, and good universities than the Muslims are doing with their oil, ignorance, and backwardness.

    As to supposed Muslim superiority, at what point do you geniuses figure out that Israel is doing something right that you are all doing miserably wrong? And isn't the daily demonstration of the inferiority of Muslim culture to provide a decent society in which all of its members can live in safely and prosperously, ever going to get through to you?

    When Japan and China realized that their societies were inferior to Western societies, they began by trying to import only Western weapons. Which didn't work. Then they introduced Western military organization, Which also didn't work. Only when, led by their intellectuals and revolutionaries, they made profound changes to the fundamental nature of their societies and became Westernized themselves could they compete with the West. Only when the Muslim countries realize in a fundamental way that Islam as a way of life is the millstone around their necks and do something about it, will they have a chance to escape from their backwardness.

    In spite of its backsliding in the past few years, the model for Muslim countries to follow is Turkey. Mustafa Kemal had a heavy hand but he was the Peter the Great of Turkey and dragged it kicking and screaming into the 20th Century. Until countries like Iran realize that the Islamic Republic compounds their problems rather than solving them, they will fall further and further behind the West (and Israel). Similarly Malaysia is a Muslim country that has chosen Westernization and has become prosperous and progressive. Muslim hostility to Israel and the West is celebrating exactly the things in Muslim culture that are the basis of Muslim backwardness and inferiority.