Some have suggested that America made an immoral decision on Election Day when voters re-elected President Obama. In spite of such narrow viewpoints, President Obama’s re-election was indeed a "moral" victory, certainly in comparison to the alternative.
It was a moral victory for tolerance and the distant beckoning light of brotherhood over hate and intolerance. President Obama has suffered the indignity of having his nationality challenged and besmirched as an interloper who does not understand America. He is even thought of as a Muslim by many, as though religion matters in a so-called secular nation.
From the racially-laden polemic by Donald Trump who demanded the president’s college transcripts be released, insinuating that a black man could not have succeeded at Harvard, to Sarah Palin’s racist dog whistle comment about "chuck and jive," to John Sununu calling the president lazy, we have seen that racial and religious intolerance is not afraid to rear its ugly head.
Yet, a two-by-four of Democratic pine hit that head on election night.
It was a moral victory for science over ignorance. President Obama takes science seriously -- like the science behind climate change. Sadly, neither he nor any politician seriously addresses climate change, but at least he knows it is real. Far too many people in our country are ignoramuses, denying climate change like a person refusing to admit that smoking two packs of cigarettes a day contributed to their emphysema.
It was a moral victory for women and equality over sexism and misogyny. From Republican Neanderthals in congress who refused to vote for the Ledbetter Act granting women equal pay; to their supporting a "Personhood Amendment" given citizenship rights (such as property ownership and voting) to unborn fetuses; to over 400 state laws passed by conservative legislatures limiting access to reproductive rights and, therefore, personal freedoms; all the way to the intellectual knuckle-draggers who believe a woman’s reproductive system can shut down during a "legitimate" rape or, juxtaposed, believe that pregnancy from a rape is a blessing from God, the right wing has shown that the only thing that can shut down is the capacity for logical thought and ability to show compassion.
Sadly, no aspirin will cure that dysfunction.
Women can sleep more easily knowing that the government will not insist upon getting into bed with them since any nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court over the next four years will be a pro-choice advocate. And if anything could be considered a "blessing from God" it would be the U.S. Senate now having 20 women and the Democratic caucus in the House having more women then men.
And it was a moral victory for the young leukemia sufferer that President Obama spoke about in his victory speech who has health insurance, as well as the millions who will also have coverage, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
Many right-wing, church-going conservatives fighting against that law every step of the way reminds one of the words of Mahatma Gandhi who said that the Christians’ Christ was beautiful, but Christians were so unlike him.
America and the world still have many problems and the Democrats are very far from perfect, often doing little more than trying to prop up a failing system. However, the base word of "progressive" is progress and progress moves forward. The nation skirted a major step backward on election night.
The moral victory that the nation experienced Tuesday cannot be gainsaid.
Jason V. Francis