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two observations about the US election

Firstly, the win was not that big. Obama won comfortably, but I would not say that he blew McCain away. The states that were expected to be close were for the most part quite close. It was expected that Obama would win, he won convincingly, but the Republicans did surprisingly well in my view. George W. Bush is as unpopular as any sitting US president has ever been. It would have been unthinkable for McCain to actually win given how unpopular the Bush regime is. The Democrats also did not exceed expectations in the House or the Senate. Sure they picked up seats in both houses of Congress, but they did not win by a landslide.

Secondly, gay people in the USA lost big time last night. California and Arizona passed bans on same sex marriage. Florida also passed a constitutional ban, even though there was already a law in place banning same sex marriage. Perhaps most depressing of all, though not surprising, is that Arkansas passed an initiative prohibiting gay people from adopting children. The rights of gay people in the US took a major step backward last night, at the same time that the nation says it is taking a major step forward by electing the first black person president in the history of the nation. While it is laudable that Obama, a black man, has won the presidency, the state of gay rights in the US just highlights how strong bigotry still reigns in many parts of the USA. Hopefully Obama’s victory will usher in a new era of race relations and America will finally being to truly confronts its horribly racist past, and its still racist present. Hopefully while healing the wounds of racism, Americans begin to look at other people in their society who are not treated equally.

So while I am happy that Obama won, I think that the night was terrible for gay Americans. I also think that Obama’s victory was not as big as it should have been given how charismatic he is, and given how unpopular the Bush regime is. I have faith that Obama will be a good president. He seems to be very intelligent, very careful, and very calm, all qualities that are lacking in George W. Bush.

After nearly two years of campaigning, and nearly non-stop coverage for the past year, I am glad to be done with the election. I am also very glad that I am Canadian. Not only do we have a much more sane political system, we also protect the rights of all minorities, and not just those with substantial political power.

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November 5, 2008 - Posted by | Politics | , ,

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