Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Thoughts on Election Day, 2012

The day has finally arrived.  A day of reckoning for a president who has, at best, a mixed record.  A day of reckoning for a candidate who, at best, has provided a mixed argument for why he could do better.

One is going to prevail; I suspect it is going to be President Obama, though stranger things have happened.  As a mathematician, I tend to be swayed by data and numbers, and find Nate Silver's 538 Blog to be pretty convincing.

Four years ago, I voted for Barack Obama.  Mainly because I did not like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also because he seemed to be a different sort of candidate.  One who said the right things - offering optimism that things would be better if he were elected, not fear that things would be worse if he weren't.

My very first "blog" post here was a reaction to the the election; I read through it today.  In summary, my thoughts came down to this:

I agree with Barack Obama that there should not be a Blue or a Red America. To that end, I also reject that there are ethnic "winners" (and therefore, by necessity, ethnic "losers"). It's up to him, and not talking heads with little to recommend them beyond good hair (e.g., Anderson Cooper) to decide that America, and not splinter groups, have won. 
And I guess that is part of the change I am hoping for.

In part, because Mr Obama has failed to deliver on this change, I have voted for his opponent this year.  However, it is not my goal or desire to tell people at this point how to vote.  By now, most have heard the arguments, and have made up their minds.

I only would make the following suggestion.

Whether your candidate wins or whether he loses, we simply have to remember that our political opponents are not our enemies.  In the end, we are all in this together.

I disagree with the Democrats, largely.  But I do not believe that they are evil.  They are just wrong.

They don't want to wreck the country.  Their vision to making it better is just different from mine.

This has been a very nasty campaign in which both candidates and, more to the point, their proxies have said and written terrible accusations about the other.  I guess that's the nature of winner-take-all-politics.

I reject the idea that Barack Obama is a secret communist who wants to destroy our capitalist system, subjugate us to sinister, supra-national powers, or hates success, however you want to define it.

I reject the idea that Mitt Romney is a heartless villain who wants to starve poor people, toss the elderly and weak into a lake, or hates women.

Your political opponents are largely your neighbours, your colleagues, and dare I say it, your friends.  And thus, when we wake up tomorrow and your "team" won or your "team" lost, let's try to remember that fact.

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