I was ready to go to school today and recognize Mitt Romney's victory by playing for my students videos of Romney speaking French. How better to inspire students to learn a language than to show their President's fluency therein?
Now I get the best of both worlds. I can play those Romney videos to promote academic achievement, and I can say "President Barack Obama" for four more years.
President Barack Obama won the election not by speaking French but by speaking the language of a changing America:
- White folks voted for Romney over Obama 59% to 39%. But non-white folks make up 28% of the electorate, four times the proportion of forty years ago.
- President Obama won 93% of the black vote, the best Democratic performance among that demographic since LBJ's 1964 victory.
- President Obama won 69% of the Latino vote, a larger percentage than in his 2008 victory.
- President Obama won the under-30 vote 59% to 37%. Romney won the 65-and-over vote 57% to 43%.
- President Obama won the women's vote 55% to 44%. Romney won the men's vote 52% to 45% (showing more men are silly enough to go vote for the fringe radical anarcho-capitalist candidates like Dan Kaiser).
The Tea Party was a one-hit wonder. They will savage Romney as a "weak moderate" because they know moderation means sharing the pie with all those brown people coming to the table. Angry old white men, scared by an America that is looking less like them, will now scramble to cling to power like the last apartheid regime, trying to hold back the swelling ranks of minorities ascending to majority with tricks like voter disenfranchisement and SuperPAC spending sprees. The Tea Party will squabble over the scraps of a shrinking demographic until their core dies off, leaving them with about as much influence in Washington as South Dakota Democrats have in Pierre.
The crowning irony (you may read that as a euphemism for lie) of the Mitt Romney campaign was his promise of "real change." Romney's greatest electoral strength was among the old, the white, and the rich who most fear a changing America.
We have tested Sarah Palin's shrill "real America" hypothesis twice. We have rejected it twice. President Barack Obama won because he is the real America: a mix of races, willing to reach out to others and include everyone in the American dream.