Friday, November 9, 2012

Election Analysis, 2012

A successful election for the Democrats, and I am glad that Obama won by a huge margin and didn't need Ohio, Florida, or Virginia. I hope this will be his chance to really push to fix a lot of problems personally.
From a historical perspective this is an anomaly for several reasons. Many people looking back will study this past election. It is the first election without a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant. It is the first election where there are two Catholics, and the first Mormon. It has changed the dynamics of how our politics looks, at least as of the Friday following, with recently unprecedented speeches from the leaders of both major parties calling for compromise following two years of butting heads. Obama being elected as the economy is growing slower than we would like is a remarkable achievement.

With the last election being preceded by the taking over of the house it would have been very reasonable to expect Romney to win based just on this fact. That happened prior to Franklin Roosevelt being elected where the Democrats took over Congress 2 years prior to Roosevelt being elected after Republican domination, and two years prior to Harding being election in 1918-1920. It more resembles 1994-1996 when the Republicans took over Congress, but did not succeed in taking over the Presidency. Hopefully Obama will work better with Congress, because everyone remembers how Clinton and the Republicans got along (not).

Washington, Maryland, and Maine have approved gay marriage, and Minnesota has not made gay marriage unconstitutional. This is will become a trend and I am fully convinced gay marriage will be fully legal within 20 years.

More importantly on the House elections is that although a majority of voters voted for their Democratic candidates, the Republicans continue to control the house. This is a symptom of gerrymandering. With the Democrats increasing their share in the house the 2014 elections will be absolutely critical to Obama potentially fulfilling more of his goals.

On foreign policy, I don't expect many changes because their is consensus about Israel, the Arab Spring, China, Russia, Latin America, and other potential issues. There is disagreement about Iran, but I don't expect any action because of their ties with Russia. The Republicans talk a lot but with the nuclear weapons that Russia has and their vast resources, I don't expect any changes in their policy. With the relationship Russia and North Korea have, I don't expect to be saving the North Koreans any time soon. Everything depends on how the governments of China acts. If there is a Chinese Spring and their politics becomes democratic and the Republic of China comes back to Beijing in the next four years everything about global politics will change. We will gain a valuable ally and Russia will be left alone. North Korea will be in trouble (the people jubilant) and the economy of Vietnam and Laos will be in question. Tibet and Xianjiang will become independent which will change the geopolitics of the entire continent of Asia. If the Russian people say they want real democracy, not the pseudo-democracy they currently have, than again, the entire geopolitical world will be changed and North Korea, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Iran, and Syria will be left without friends. If both Russia and China move towards democracy everything in the world will be different with the governments of those five countries with close ties to Russia without foreign support. I expect we will leave Afghanistan, the graveyard of empires, and the entire relationship Pakistan has with us and India will continue to be extraordinarily complicated.

The fiscal cliff will be conquered I am sure because both Democrats and Republicans know the American people want them to fix the issues. If we fix the budget issue we will have a lot more money in 30 years once all the debt is paid to either diminish taxes, spend more on infrastructure, education, and health care, or both. The American people want a solution, our elected officials know this. The question is how fast will they find a solution to the problem, and if they postpone increasing the debt, how far in the future will that be? How will this effect the 2014 elections? All of that is uncertain. But one thing is certain, if the Republicans want to keep their jobs, they will need to compromise.

How will the referenda on no health care legislation play out in the courts? That is a blatant obstinate refusal to follow Federal law, and thanks to the 10th Amendment there is no way to know if they will stay in force and how they will effect Obamacare.

With unemployment falling and the stock market growing on average, there is no doubt the economy is improving, although not as fast as we would like without a doubt. Whether our government will find real solutions to this is another big question. The economy is getting better, the stock market is still a buyer's market and after the budget deal it will be even more so.

Democrats continue to lead Washington (my home state) and have taken over the legislature in Oregon, which is very important. The possibility of some liberal constitutional amendments is rising.

I am optimistic about the future, this election is one of the most fascinating in all of history. It will be used by people like myself to argue for election reform so that it is less likely that a party can win a majority of the people's vote but not get a majority of the seats in the House. Turnout was high, so the votes are valid for the opinions of the American people. Hopefully we can see reform sooner than later. Hopefully minor parties will work on this and get some seats in state legislatures to push for real reform in two years.

I hope that our two parties can work together, I hope they will look at the exit polls and take it into their political analysis. I also hope that the Democrats (who share most but not all of my viewpoints) will use any potential blockading by Republicans against them in 2014. Preferably though I would like to see them get along. A lot of people have talked about the hispanic vote and how that impact will be felt in the near future. Hopefully this can turn some solid Republican seats in the Southwest to solid Democrat seats in 2 years.

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