No. That is not why you lost. You lost because retrograde movement only works for planets. We think it’s wonderful that 1952 was such a great year for you, but your Mamma’s not in the kitchen in shiny pumps and an ironed apron waiting to serve you meatloaf and cookies. She escaped, and now she’s out there serving on the Supreme Court, running the State Department and writing consumer protection laws. And no, we’re not going back with you. You lost because you think reality is like some sitcom family room where we are all sitting and watching television, periodically adjusting the rabbit ears to get a better picture, and just changing the channel when you don’t like a program. Your fiddling with the facts showed you’re lying and hypocrisy to the entire world. The keyword here is VIDEO.
You lost because the spectacle of you sitting up there on the verandah of the big house, sippin’ mint julep with Haley Barbour and Bob McDonnell and all the other Confederate ghosts was just too much. Because at the end of the day, judging other people on their skin color is more un-American than anything else we can think of.
You lost because you have become that cliché of self-parody that we all used to joke about. Because that white-eyed homophobic bully we remember from the ninth grade was front and center, spitting and leering on Roger Ales’ Orwellian nightmare of a network. You lost because we knew the greatest propaganda machine since Hitler wrote the book on it was there for a purpose. You lost because you believed we are like you and Mitt and Charles and David, and we are not. Most people are not driven by endless greed and bottomless fear, and your attempts to divide and conquer only showed the world the true face of corruption. And you cannot buy what is not for sale.
You lost because the sight of Karl Rove and Dick Cheney waiting in the bushes at the back door of the White House like trick-or-treat ghouls before sundown on Halloween was really scary. Our memories aren’t that short. We knew this time they didn’t come for just the candy, and that they intended to back a big truck up, and empty the whole place out all the way to the inside of the front door.
You lost because you were beaten by sheer physics. Katrina. Sandy. These are not names of secretaries you fired because they had to stay home when a child got sick. The ocean is warmer, the seas are higher, barometric pressure has changed. You did this to yourselves, and also, to all of us. Your delusions are not buoyant enough to keep you from drowning in this new paradigm. You lost because Al Gore and Bill McKibben nailed it.
You lost because our love for our gay sons and daughters is greater than your self-loathing. Because their relentless struggle to find a dignified, respected place in society models what is best in a Democracy. And you lost because it looks too much, to the rest of us, like the fight for civil rights of the ’50s and ’60s, and because you look and sound too much like Bull Connor.
You lost because you were once again targeting the most vulnerable among us. And we can’t let that happen. Because some of us remember when Ronald Reagan emptied the institutions, leaving the mentally ill and developmentally disabled to die in the cold, in the streets and under bridges, engendering the first homelessness we were to see in this nation, just to cut taxes in order to fatten the wallets of his country club and Hollywood buddies. Because that is morally obscene and shameless whenever or wherever it is done.
You lost because we’re not going to allow our daughters and sisters and mothers to die, infected and still bleeding, in some overpriced and underfunded emergency room after their sheer desperation led them to a botched abortion in some back alley. Because we all know slavery when we see it, and our bodies will not continue to pump out babies to die in your endless wars. Maybe before contraception, when paternalism flourished, and when the church layered on sexual guilt like cake frosting at a birthday party, but not now.
You lost because you didn’t understand that ranting about the moral shortcomings of others’ is not the same as behaving in a moral fashion yourself. You lost because you did not know, or maybe care, that the fabric of justice is woven of the fiber of moral interactions, and that you can’t fake that. And that attempting to beat other Americans out of their vote with your money and your power gets you right here. Right to this place. The place where you lose.
You lost because the cast of characters you chose to represent you were unfit for any office. Seriously? Michelle, Herman, Mitt, Rick, Newt, Donald, Allen, Paul? Seriously?
You lost because you lied. You lied to America, you lied to the world, and you lied to each other. You even lied to yourselves. You lied about winning, you lied about the auto bailout, you lied about climate change, you lied about the economy, you lied about the adjustment to Medicare, you lied about taxes, you lied about the jobs report, etc., etc., etc.
You fell off your double standard and broke your overreach. Because somewhere along the road to that fascist hell you were dragging us to, you lost track of reality, because you don’t understand or believe in Democracy. Or character. Or fairness. Or other Americans. Or just possibly, anything, except the laizze-fairest open of open markets. And we do.
You lost because Willard Mitt Romney was the most obviously corrupt and beholden candidate ever put forth by a major party in the history of America. And he lost no time in letting us know this. And it was just too overt a move. He brought the devil to the table with him, and dealt in lies. You tried to put a predator in the place of the president. You lost because you tried to turn Christianity inside out. Bigotry is not a Christian value. Jesus was not the “prince of war.” Newt Gingrich does not get to lecture on the sanctity of marriage.
You lost because we figured out that 45,000 Americans, many of them children, die every year for lack of medical coverage. And that we are better than a 37th place in infant mortality behind what, Slovenia? And we are tired of losing our homes to medical bankruptcy and its resultant foreclosure.
You lost because we know what the military contractors are really up to, now that billions of dollars have floated away on a desert breeze, and men and women have come home to a new, and more insidious war; the fight to get some semblance of the care that was promised to them.
No. There were a lot of reasons Republicans lost. But I’ll tell you one big reason right now. The obscene spectacle of a major party rationalizing rape, and then rationalizing rationalizing rape, caused decent people all over this country to rise up in revulsion.
So please, just go on telling yourselves that the people who voted for Obama did so because they just wanted “free stuff.” I am sure it is much easier than trying to tell the truth at this late date. You will disappear, I believe, in a few election cycles, because no one is buying this anymore. Can you say “morally bankrupt?”