I voted for Barack Obama. Twice.
For the record, I am not asking for, nor do I expect, a handout. I have worked since I was 17 sometimes two and three jobs at a time. Right now, I have two. NOTHING I have has been handed to me for free and quite frankly I’m getting a little tired of having to defend myself and my choices against people who see this country as “us versus them.”
It’s about we. You know “We the People…” They're not just words. They refer to actual real people. They refer to US. All of us. Young and old; rich and poor; educated and not. There is no means test to be an American. There is no minimum effort required. If you are lucky enough to be born here, you are an American. Others find their way here to join us. Because of what we stand for. What we are. What we represent. Freedom and fairness.
More than half this country voted to re-elect the skinny black guy with the funny name. Somehow though we are either too stupid and/or ill-informed to know what a disaster we are unleashing on the nation. Or, we are doing it for personal gain. We, the majority, are attacked for being stupid and lazy and irresponsible by those who refuse to look at their world-view as being out of synch with the MAJORITY of their fellow citizens. By casting blame outward, they are engaging in a form of intellectual cowardice that allows them to shift the burden from themselves and place it on “others.” Or, they’re whiny brats. Either way, they lose. Now they’re talking about seceding because evidently if you lose, you take your ball and quit the country.
Those who voted for the president’s re-election, all 62,154,025, had their own reasons. I’m sure that some voted against Romney but I’m more sure that the majority of them voted FOR the president. Pretty confident that most people won’t stand in line for seven hours to hate-vote. Unless the person they're voting against either slept with a mate or killed a pet.
The morning after the election, there was so much stupid on my Facebook page that I felt compelled to post this:
“Look, I'm sorry your "side" lost but the President was reelected by a majority. I'm insulted that my patriotism and intelligence is being called into question because of my choice. I will put my knowledge and integrity up against any single person in this country. To patronize me AND the majority of this country b/c your guy didn't win says more about the content of YOUR character than our intelligence and patriotism. Grow up.”
One party does not have a lock on patriotism. One party does not own the American flag. One party does not decide which voters are more worthy of the vote. African-Americans, Latinos, Christians, and women are not special interests. Our votes are not less important than the votes of the white male establishment. It’s time that our government reflects the reality of America. We are a diverse and vibrant country. Our diversity is one of our greatest assets and I’m glad that we are, finally, embracing it. In the upcoming Congress the House Democratic Caucus will seat the most diverse and inclusive delegation in the history of the United States. That’s something to celebrate.
Electing a black president is not a one-time event. They’ll be more. In fact, I look forward to the day we have Jewish presidents and Muslim presidents and Latino presidents and women presidents and LGBT presidents.
I hate to break it to you but it could be a 100 years before a white guy gets to be POTUS again.
If that scares you, maybe it’s time for some self-reflection and not finger-pointing.
Barbara Mulvey-Welsh is a mother, writer and blogger raising kids and a husband in Plymouth. Check out her blog at "Did I Say That Out Loud?" Use caution when reading around the family, there is some strong language.