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Blog: Election Affirmed Core Values

A few thoughts on Tuesday's election.

My maternal grandmother had four pictures in her living room. One was an old sepia-tone portrait of her parents and siblings in Budapest, two were of her daughters’ with their respective families and the fourth was an official portrait of Franklin Roosevelt.  I have a very early memory of asking whether the man in the photo was also a member of our family and I recall my father, just a few years out of his World War II uniform, explaining that no, he wasn’t actually a relative, but that everybody in our family thought of him that way.

My family's faith in Roosevelt's programs may have been naive, but underlying it was a strong belief that, through programs such as social security and the WPA,  he had established the principle that society, through government, was responsible for ensuring the welfare of its citizens. 

As I grew up, my own politics shifted to the left of the New Deal Democrats, especially during the wrenching 1960’s, but over the years, my differences with liberal Democrats have become more a matter of nuance than fundamental argument.

My core values coincide with the concepts that shaped the New Deal, concepts that are at the heart of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party.

The Republicans attempted to limit discussion in this campaign to an argument about the economy, ignoring every other aspect of their severely regressive platform.  But as important as the economic issues are, the stakes in this election were even higher. This election was a test of this country’s core values. At stake was whether the values we embraced 80 years ago, with Roosevelt’s New Deal, would still guide this country’s direction.  

I believe that the social contract requires us to help ensure the collective welfare of every member of our community. Just as we assume collective responsibility for protection from external threats, fire, criminal activity, we, as a society, assume responsibility for educating our children, caring for our sick and injured, ensuring we can apply our resources toward providing a basic quality of life for the oldest, poorest and weakest among us. The Ayn Rand-espousing Republican right sought to up-end that precept. On this past Tuesday, they failed.

I believe that the future of our world must be guided by a clear-eyed view of what we must accomplish to slow the damage to our environment and produce non-lethal energy sources. I believe educators  and textbook authors should no longer have to fight the same battles of “creationism” that were hashed out in the 1925 Scopes-“monkey” trial, that neither innovations in stem cell technology nor women’s reproductive rights should be handcuffed by religious ideology. I believe that women shouldn’t have to fight for equal treatment in the workplace and immigrants--like my own grandparents--shouldn’t have to live in fear.  The Republican platform took the opposite position. And this past Tuesday, their arguments were rejected.

Although the Republicans attempted to reduce this campaign to a simplistic argument over economic issues,  whether the Democratic Keynesians should be replaced by the Republican supply-siders, we all know that the stakes were higher than that.  This election was a test of core values. And though I have no illusions as to the difficulties this country--and this President—faces in the four years ahead, I am both relieved and proud that this past Tuesday, the core values I hold so dear were affirmed.  

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

The MOG November 14, 2012 at 06:12 AM
I'd like to share some thoughts too. First, I voted for Romney. My political affiliation is Green. I left the Democratic Party after Clinton & the so-called New Left took over. My political heros include FDR & RFK. Jimmy Carter is my favorite Pres., I've always liked & admire Jerry Brown. I voted for Hahn, rather than the current mayor, & 4 years ago I voted for Cynthia McKinney for Pres. My politicals are simple, Peace, Equality, & Social Justice. 2nd, FDR & RFK would have some serious problems with the current administration's policies. He would have never supported a platform abandoning the destitute & impoverished, so he could spend tax payer money subsidizing Middle Class Life Styles. While the ranks of the poor, mostly made up of brown & black citizens btw, are provided Food Stamps, Middle Class people, mostly white, get Government help with their mortages, health insurance, & sending their kids to University & College. 3rd, Women, Youth, LBGT, Hispanics overwhelmingly voted for the Pres.? The question is, why on earth would you vote for a candidate who has done nothing for you, except a lot of Lip Service? He was never a true Advocate or champion of Gays. LGBT have only themselves, & the natural process of things for the cultural advancements society has gone through. There won't be true Equality, however, until Marriage is extended towards everyone, regardless of sexual orientation. I can also say, with some confidence, that there is zero chance for immigration reform
The MOG November 14, 2012 at 06:42 AM
PART 2, there is zero chance for immigration reform this year, or the next. Based on his record so far, it's only reasonable to assume we can only expect more of the same. That would be a continuing of the shrinking of the squeeze Middle Class, low & stagnant wages, continuing of rising prices, high unemployment (still higher than Bush), increased spending, high taxation. That much is certain, as I say, based on past experiance. There's really no reason to believe the second term will be any different than the first, is there? (You should had some faith with that kind of blind "Hope". Then you could at least pray...) Now, I predict we will see another recession lasting until the end of 2014. I think that for the next 26 months there's a good chance for another war in the Middle East, a military confrontation with Red China,(North Korea, Iran), and a domestic scandal much more serious than Watergate. 4th, You can never figure out the mind of a democrat. They will raise unholy hell to inumerate all the illigitimate evils of War, The Patriot Act, & Guatanamo,& then go all out to elect a candidate that supports those very things they claim to be against! That's called hypocracy. If democrats voted like they say they believe, we'd have a Green President, & all those things they say we want. Instead we have a miserable, crumbling status quo, that dems want everyone to believe is all the fault of big bad, evil, racist Republicans! If this election proves anything, it proves that...
The MOG November 14, 2012 at 07:07 AM
PART 3, This election proves that dems will literally vote for ANYONE&ANYTHING, as long as it has a "D" by it! That's the only way you can explain why women, minorities, & young people, would vote for Barak HUSSEIN Obama. Unless they were really voting against Mitt Romney, which seems likely. Considering that the dems spent 100's of millions relentlessly smearing him. Finally, Romney represented those values, morals, & ethics that were once considered good & decent in this country. Hard work, personal achivement, businessman,family man, religeous. He espoused low taxes, smaller; yet more efficent government, a merit based society, a strong national defense, & most importantly, free up capitol for increased commerce, i.e. JOBS! These are all the traditional ideals that made this country great in the first place, & these are the values rejected by the voters in this year's national election. That should give any thinking, non-partisan, serious person somber pause. So, suffice it to say, I strongly disagree with Eliot's premise. That this election affirmed our country's traditional values. Quite the contrary, the election was a rejection, & abandoning, of traditional American values. Having said all that, I'm a firm believer, that you get the kind of government you deserve. Soon, very soon, democrats & the rest of us, will have to live with the awful reality of the election's results. May God Bless us all! Really. I mean it, sincerely.
David Lyttle November 14, 2012 at 02:35 PM
I voted one time in my life......... When George McGovern lost to Nixon I abandoned my choice to participate. "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." - Plato

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