Wednesday, November 07, 2012

A Great Day For America And The World

Yesterday's U.S. election went as well as any left-leaning observer could've reasonably expected.  And it went just about exactly the way Nate Silver, at FiveThirtyEight predicted it would, based on his aggregation of thousands of polls.  If Florida goes to Obama, as it looks like it will, then Silver will have gotten all 50 states right, as well as most of the Senate races.  And yes, Elizabeth Warren, one of my favourite voices on economics, will be sworn into the U.S. Senate in January!

Now that it's over, here are a few reflections and observations on what it all means:
  • Nate Silver FTW!  It's fun to watch the same Conservative attack dogs who, just a few days ago were claiming that Silver's results were "skewed" by his liberal bias, suddenly declaring that "he just averaged the poll data; he didn't do anything special."  That's right, you dummies: he didn't do anything special, and yet it was still more than you could manage!  Makes one wonder what value any of you have, doesn't it?
  • So yeah, the rampant denialism about what the polls were saying about the election, among Conservatives especially, was soundly and dramatically thrashed.  What are the chances that those folks will learn anything useful from that experience, such as what that might say about their similar attitudes toward climate change and evolution?  (Slim to nil, is my guess.)
  • In my mind, the single most important outcome of last night's events is that Obamacare will survive long enough for the American people to get used to it.  Yes, there are going to be problems with it, and likely some will hate it.  But what won't happen, that's been occuring with shocking regularity over the past couple decades, is families won't be going bankrupt when someone gets sick any longer.  And people won't decide against visiting a doctor about a condition out of fear of not being able to afford it.  I personally believe that, once they get a taste of this - a watered down version of what the rest of the industrialized world takes for granted - there'll be no chance of ever getting rid of it.  Welcome to the second half of the 20th century, America!
  • Mitt Romney, the Etch-A-Sketch candidate, has finally been erased from the political landscape. He may enjoy firing people, but in this case he couldn't even land the job in the first place. Romney can now continue not caring about the 47% of Americans who he views as parasites, and in fact can just go back to focusing on the top 0.01% of income earners, which is where he does well.
  • These results aren't going to make the country to our south any less divided, but that would've been true even if Romney/Ryan had won.  The growing diversity within the U.S. - blacks, latinos/latinas, gays - is something that those who fondly remember an America that never was just aren't going to accept.  It's possible, maybe even probable, that their children will, but that's at least another 10 years away.
  • Having said that, the fact that several states legalized gay marriage last night is huge!  These are examples of a popular vote favouring it, rather than a judge or political figure.  That shows real progress, if you ask me.  But, of course, as someone tweeted overnight, the real progress comes once it's not called "gay marriage" any longer... but just "marriage."
  • And did I mention that Elizabeth Warren will soon be a U.S. Senator?  I can't wait to see what effect she has on that stodgy out institution when she gets there.
Anyway, it was a truly exciting night. I coughed most of the way through it, unfortunately, but at least the good guys (and gals) won. And that lessened the pain considerably.

No comments: