By Dr. Aslam Abdullah, TMO Editor in Chief
People view various newspaper front pages showing President Barack Obamaâ€™s victory on display at the Newseum in Washington November 7, 2012. REUTERS/Gary Cameron
Republican Pundits had predicted a landslide for Romney. Noriss, Gingrich, Rove and many others were so confident that they had advised Mitt Romney the night before election to write only one speech, the victory speech. That explains the delay the Republican nominee had in conceding to President Obama. The logic of Republican pundits was simple. No president has ever won the re-election with such a high rate of unemployment and the victory has always belonged to the one who is backed by the Prime Minister of Israel and the powerful lobby of Israel, AIPAC and this time the power of Israeli prime minister was with them. They were confident that anti-abortion and anti-gay groups within the GOP would bring out enough of their voters to oust the President from White House. They had also ensured that the presence of Joe Walsh and Allen West would inspire Islamophobes to come out in droves to make Romney win the Presidency. And, they were also confident that the organizational skills of the Mormon church coupled with evangelical strength would give the Republicans control of the White House as well as the Senate besides the House.
Yet, when the ballots were counted, all their calculations failed and billions of dollars they had spent on convincing the voters to support their candidate went down the drain. They forgot something that is so fundamental in democracy. Each citizen has a vote and the citizens of the United States include, women, Latinos, Muslims, blacks, Asians, poor, liberals, and many more including non-evangelical Catholics and Protestants, They also forgot that not all Mormons and not all Jews were their supporters.
There is no doubt that the Republican party increased its votersâ€™ roll among Jewish and Mormons. But what they failed to do is to bring Americans of all shades and colors and persuation to come together, something President Obama team did quietly and effectively. America under Obama is not a divided nation, it is a representative of all section of the society.
Latinos voted him overwhelmingly, some 73 percent of them in Colorado, New Mexico, Florida, Wisconsin, Ohio, Virgina and Iowa made a huge difference. Some 80 percent Muslims voted rejecting the call of those who had argued that their religion does not allow them to participate in election and out of those voted some 85 percent supported Obama and the Democratic party. Not only that but they were also instrumental in terminating the congressional career of Walsh and West. Some 55 percent women voted nationally to ensure the party that had ridiculed them and insulted them does not occupy the highest political office in the country.
The GOP re captured congress because redistricting favors it and until 2020 this redistricting would not change.
The 2012 election created the vision of a new America, a vision where Latinos, blacks, women, Asians and the poor would play an equally important role in shaping the direction of the country, a vision where younger people would play an active role in shaping policies that would impact their lives. Anyone who has to win white house and the senate must ensure that he or she has the support of Latinos, black, Muslims and women. This election has changed the electoral dynamic for ever as more and more Latinos and Muslims would be added to electoral lists in 2014 and 2016.
The election also proved that money cannot buy voters, Rove was confident that his superpacs with their deep pocket would buy election for Romney, yet he was shocked that people refused to succumb to hatred, anger and emotions. Romney got 48.1 popular national vote because half of them cast a negative vote, as they were angry with Obama for reasons best known to Rove and the GOP. The Republican establishment could not convince the majority of voters that Obama is alone responsible for economic mess.
The election result may bring out monumental changes in the Republican party and its leadership. It would tone down its Islamophobic and anti-Latino rhetoric. It would open up its door to minorities and women in particular. it would be sensitive when it talks about abortion rights. It would be careful when targeting big government and healthcare reforms.
But what is important now is to see how the President govern in his second term. At domestic front, he has to work on education and environment to ensure that America is ready for the future. At international level, he has to ensure that the Middle East comes out of its conflict and those who have been deprived to live as citizens in their own country are given the country that they seek and deserve.
Politics will change and America will change. It would change because there are new players in the game now, the new players who were always pushed to the periphery. This election has given them the confidence that they can also play the game effectively.