I can remember my apprehension at about this time 24 hours ago. There was this real fear that Barack Obama will lose, that somehow enough Americans will let their disappointment, ignorance and/or hate cloud their judgement and put the Republicans back in power.
As I told a friend over Facebook, we haven’t even gotten out of eight years of Dubya: are the Americans going to put us back in that situation again?
Thankfully, a convincing number of Americans saved their nation and the world.
I haven’t really slept – for various reasons, US elections anxiety just being a part of it – so I won’t be tagging stuff right now. But then, if you’re reading this then you probably have seen or heard the various analyses and articles from everywhere. If you haven’t, then this is a good time to practice your Google Fu.
If you have been diligently following the most anticipated US election in recent history, then you know to whom we owe this save: the young of America and its women.
According to articles I’ve read, the Republicans were banking on disillusionment among the young to keep them away from the polls at worst or outright defect to Romney at best. America’s young responded by turning out a hefty 19%, if I remember the numbers from CNN correctly. And they all overwhelmingly voted for Obama.
But for those of us who almost went nuts at the prospect of a return of the Republicans in the White House so soon (this was before the exit polls went West of the Mississippi), the true heroines were the women. Whether because of Obama’s own positions, his amazing wife, or the way Republican leaders treated them, America’s women fought back in a way that early Women’s Lib protesters will approve: more than half of total votes cast were from women, and they overwhelmingly voted for Obama.
I am actually in awe of this. Through the exercise of their democratic right, the women of America have shown just how powerful suffrage is. Radical elements wanted to silence them, to put politics into their reproductive concerns. Some political leaders even condescended them. In response, the American women voted Obama back into the White House and voted a stellar cast of women into positions of power, including Elizabeth Warren and the first openly gay Senator of the Union.
My lack of sleep – I’ve technically been awake for at least 24 hours now – is keeping me from properly expressing what I feel about this, or to illustrate to you just how… changed, and I think for the better, the public sphere of the world’s foremost democracy is after 6 November 2012. For now, this I will say: the young and the women of America have spoken. And it is a mighty declaration, indeed.
I’m sure the more astute of you will infer the implications of that.
Thank you, youth of America. Thank you, women of America. The rest of the world can not only breathe easier because of you, but perhaps hope for better things.