After my fourth bout with choking back tears last night, I realized this election has hit me and many of the people I know more than any others have before.
Being too giddy and in the mood to further stimulate the steadily improving economy, I wanted to briefly list some lessons learned and practices applied that helped make Election Day 2012 an unbelievable fucking bonanza of rights, progress, and the definitive end of the old white man era.
1. It is, as eloquently aforementioned, the end of the old white man era in the United States.
Sure. There are a lot of them out there still. But when Clint Eastwood regaled us with his serious rant about an imaginary Barack Obama in a chair this summer, I think we all realized it has come to a sad, long overdue dusk for the American male. Yes, old man. Gays, Latinos, Women and Blacks (like the guy we re-elected!) are collectively far more powerful than the base to which an entire political party has somehow pandered. And after the endless barrage of rape commentary placed inside our more educated ears by men who look like sitcom dads from the 1980s, the message that the Republican party is dramatically out of touch with most of America has never been more evident.
2. Chicks rule. No…really….women are ruling more than ever.
Tonight in my dreams, I will be going out for drinks on a classy patio with Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillebrand and Tammy Baldwin. Heidi Holtkamp will be hosting us and cooking bison burgers and steaks, since her victory came a little later than the others. Over the past few years, we’ve heard arguments that women aren’t funny, act too emotionally, or that men know women’s bodies better than they do. What a nice slap in the sack it was to have dramatically progressive women elected to the United States Senate in a wave the likes of Hurricane Sandy. Oh yeah, and while we’re at it, guys? Climate Change is a thing. A big thing. GOP, meet Sandy.
And one more tick in the column for women being awesome this election was the faint uprising of Sarah Palin on Fox News, election night, giving commentary in a tasteful blazer that was, no doubt, covering her Ed Hardy t-shirt. In conclusion, very few people were reminded that she was ever a dimly lit blip on the massive radar of American current affairs.
3. I want to be Diane Sawyer when I grow up.
Faint rumors circulated around Washington in the 1980s and 90s claiming the ABC News personality and broadcasting legend was the Watergate informant known as “Deep Throat.” In 2012, the only rumors about her that float about are ones that question where under the anchor desk she hides the chardonnay. A fun night of election coverage gave way to a slurring Diane who got fidgety and agitated that her projection call music wasn’t going off in a timely fashion. I was fearful that she would pass out on a much shorter and wee George Stephanopoulos, who, despite probably being one of those Cross Fit guys and looking the same as he did back when he worked for Clinton, likely wouldn’t be able to catch a slumping Diane in time. Especially since he was eyeing when Barbara Walters was finally going to nod off, or start yelling about Anwar Sadat or Hugh Downs. And if Diane had passed out, a composed yet upbeat Katie Couric would have pushed her against the window for her Franzia-induced nap and taken over like.it.never.happened.
But Diane lasted the night, and she was one of the bright spots of the broadcast (good, because she was the star). In fact at one point, she greeted us back from commercial break standing in front of the anchor desk, pointing and smirking. And if there is anything my three decades on this planet has taught me, it’s that when a drunk woman is standing, casually laughing/giggling and pointing at people, that bitch is here to stay and ain’t nobody closing THIS party down. In short, Diane Sawyer is everything I wish I could be.
4. You can’t scoff at the issues anymore.
Because ignoring minority voters, vowing to amend the constitution against gays, reform immigration so that anyone not peach-toned can’t get in/can be detained and ruling with your bible in mind TOTALLY WORKED FOR YOU, MITT.
5. I still don’t think I can keep you on my Christmas card list any longer.
A few weeks ago, with this election looming overhead, I wrote a heated blog post about my distaste for friends and family voting for Romney. Though I took a lot of heat for it, the vitriol remains fresh and evergreen. OK, so my guy won. The argument is out there that maybe I should lighten up a little. After all, different issues hit voters as being the most important thing on their minds when they head to the polls.
But to me, it’s not that simple. Or maybe it IS that simple.
You see, when a candidate runs and tells America that when elected, they will do their best to discriminate against a portion of the population, that becomes a significant part of their platform. They can run on jobs, the general economy, international relations, infrastructure, defense…you name it. But they are also running on a platform that includes discrimination. Whether that comes from their own fears or religious conviction, it shouldn’t matter. When I was growing up and I learned about constitutional law at a young age (because we start drilling this into kids around the same time they start controlling their own drool), I learned two very vital things. The first is that all are created equal in the eyes of the law. The second is that ours is a government founded on and invested in a separation between church and state. We learned from other governments over time, and since our creation as a country that these two basics are a surefire way to having a happier society that doesn’t feel the dire need to shoot out and blow up other societies across the globe. It’s essential.
When people tell me they are using their vote to get the economy back while in the same breath saying they support equality for all, I want nothing more than to call bully. No. The answer is no. No, you are not a supporter of equality. Equal pay, equal rights, the freedom to marry, have children, live as Americans. No. You don’t recognize that, because you say so with your vote and since that’s the only civic action you have taken on the subject, I’m going to have to go with my prior assessment.
So while conservatives are nervous-farting over what to do next, I feel a little sigh of relief. Marriage equality passed in three states, and a measure to ban an amendment on the matter in another got smacked back into the annals of history where it belongs. People who think rape is no biggie won’t be allowed to go anywhere near congress come January, and that guy I think maybe was faintly governor for a bit in my home state got to return to the set of “Father Knows Best” where he has been living since the Eisenhower days. I slept soundly for the first time in months last night, and though I know I’m only among half of Americans who felt the same way, I still feel like our mission to live among the free and equal is closer to being fulfilled.
And I still want to be Diane Sawyer. Or like her. Or at least hang out with her.