With 62.2 million votes to 58.9 million, 332 Electoral College votes to 206, surprising gains in Senate seats, and the legalization of recreational marijuana use and same-sex marriage in several states, the 2012 election was a staggering win for liberal thinkers across America. President Obama took the election in much more of a landslide than was being predicted initially, sweeping all but one of the major battleground states. To go along with his tremendous victory, the Senate saw Democratic gains, which reestablished their majority with 53 chairs. Finally, Washington state, Maine and Maryland legalized same-sex marriage while Washington state and Colorado legalized recreational marijuana use. This win was both imposing and symbolic of a greater trend in America—one of strengthening support and passage of liberal ideals.
It would be in poor taste, however, not to recognize Mitt Romney’s hard work and dedication to his campaign over the past months. He stood as an honest competitor against the president and came closer to an upset than most of his Republican Primary competitors would have. He worked hard to compete with the president and showed honest dedication and drive. For that, he should be congratulated. As The New York Times reports, Romney will likely take some time to himself before finding a new job. As a former business executive and a governor, he is being considered a hot commodity and a potential asset by many businesses.
With the election over and the resentful pre-election arguments between friends and family, liberals and conservatives coming to an end, it is important to look forward. Fortunately, the signs for the next four years are bright. Seeing that they could not defeat the president and prevent a second term, some Republicans have begun to take steps of cooperation.
Speaker of the House John Boehner showed this step towards cooperation, stating in a speech following the election, “If there is a mandate, it is a mandate for both parties to find common ground and take steps together to help our economy grow and create jobs.”
This renewed belief in bipartisanship was agreed upon by many Democrats, President Obama included, as he said in his victory speech, “By itself, the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won’t end all the gridlock . . . But that common bond is where we must begin. Our economy is recovering. A decade of war is ending. A long campaign is now over, and whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you, I have learned from you and you have made me a better president.”
The election is over. The American people have spoken, and they have made it clear whom they want to lead them. The coming four years will not always be easy, nor will they always be defined by cooperation between parties. However, with President Obama reelected, with the Democratic Senate majority reestablished and with the newfound drive for bipartisanship in members of both parties, there is no question that America is headed in the right direction.
By AJ Simmons