Today I woke up in a world I wasn’t looking forward to; a world that had decided that four more years of the same was the solution to the problems our nation has faced these last four years. I don’t like it, but it’s the world we will be living in for the next four years, so I’m going to get used to it, and I suggest you do the same.
I want to share my viewpoint with some of you, especially those hot-headed die-hards out there that won’t ever let it rest. Let’s take a look at the figures.
The entire population of the United States is approximately 350 million across all age groups; seniors, adults, teens, and kids. If the figures above are correct, and I have no reason to believe they aren’t, then it changes how I look at things. President Obama pulled in 60,386,002 votes across the country, capturing 50.4% of the popular vote while Romney pulled in 57,593,566, landing him 48.1% of the vote. This wasn’t a landslide victory, but neither is the small difference of no matter. In itself, it speaks volumes about us as a people. The total amount of voters that voted for other candidates numbers just shy of 1.5 million, another important thing to reflect on.
I don’t know the actual number of voting age adults in our country, but I’m going to do some basic math and make some generalized assumptions. Assuming all things equal, I’d feel comfortable stating that out of 350 million people, two thirds of those are probably voting age; say about 230 million people. With 230 million people old enough to vote, we had approximately 120 million people turn out. I compared that guesstimate to the voting numbers for previous election years and it seems to trend about the same. There were 231 million voting-age people in the 2008 election and approximately 132 million actually voted.
Overall, almost 3 million people turned out to support President Obama over Romney. Don’t think of that in terms of percentages, or of numerical statistics. When I think of that, I try to visualize three million people as an actual tangible thing… 3 million. That’s a lot of people. I’m only one person, so in reference to myself, I just accept that three million of me would be a lot, higher than the population of some small countries. The world spoke yesterday, and it spoke loud and clear.
Rationalize it however you want to yourself. I’m sure hundreds of thousands of you are going to. It’s because of the money Obama spent campaigning. It’s because Romney was weak on this issue or that. Obama is black, so blacks voted for him. Regardless, it’s done and your reasoning affects the future climate of our country not one iota. We the People have spoken. I don’t necessarily agree with what We said, but I live in a country that allows us the freedoms to have these kinds of elections, so I’m trying to be gracious about that right this moment. After all, I have to have something to smile about today.
Voting Your Conscience = Wasting Your Breath
Before I get to the heart of the matter I want to address another thing first. Whether we like it or not, we live in a country that is a two-party system. We are either republican or democrat. Those are always the end choices. If we want to change that, and I agree we should, the time to start that is right now, NOT during a national election. That’s an eleventh-hour hail-mary pass with no chance of winning, and I hope the American people can at least finally see that after last night’s election figures.
People have been disagreeing with me for weeks when I state, with 100% conviction that you’re either voting FOR Romney, or you’re voting FOR President Obama. Regardless of the candidate’s name you put on the ballot, that is what you are doing. I sincerely hope that some of you understand that what I said was true. Did you see your candidate’s name on the election pages anywhere? Did anyone see a single poll tracking the progress of Gary Johnson, or Donald Duck, or Tommy Jordan? No. Every single American who voted for any of those, voted for President Obama. I’ll put it into perspective for those who still think it’s crazy. There were 120 million votes for President Obama and Romney. There were 1.1 million votes for Gary Johnson, with the other candidates coming in so significantly low so as not to be worth including. The point is, that .91%, that’s right, LESS THAN 1 percent, of America voted outside the main party lines. Why? Because they understand that as much as we all dislike it, there ARE only two party lines currently within our government. You might as well have stayed home.
As luck would have it, you don’t have to be stoned to death this time because in the end, your vote didn’t matter. If all the popular votes for all the candidates combined were added to Romney’s numbers, President Obama would still have won the office. The 1.5 million votes wouldn’t have been enough to change anything. However, we only know that in hindsight. Luckily, we don’t have you to blame this time. Those who understand politics will merely shake their heads at your failure to ever learn, and continue to disregard you as they have been in every election since this country was founded.
So, if you DO want a chance to elect a third-party president, now is the time to start working on it. Don’t wait three and a half years to put your fire behind a candidate you support. Start working today if you care so much. Otherwise you’ll just continue to waste your breath at election time. Change of the magnitude you (and I) desire happens slowly. Get started today.
What Happens Now
For better or worse, President Barack Obama is going to be leading our country for the next four years. Take a moment and let the advice I’m about to give you sink in, ok? Get over it and stop whining.
I didn’t vote for him either. Like hundreds of thousands of others last night, I remained glued to my TV set hoping against hope that some electoral college vote was going to come out of the wind and skyrocket Romney’s numbers, but it never happened. Like a car that ran out of gas before the end of the race, Romney quickly hit 203 votes, and then… nothing. I kept wanting to poke his score as if it were a wounded animal, hoping maybe it would bump up just a little. Maybe shock it with a cardiac kit. Zap it to life for a moment. Move damn you. Come on.. get up. Climb you bastard! Nothing. His numbers just lay there dead on the side of the road as President Obama blew past him and kept right on going.
I went to bed last night wondering what I was going to do about it. How am I going to fight back? I awoke this morning with a thought going through my head, a common sense approach I try to use for most things in life. I always ask myself when something goes wrong “What can I do right now to fix this?” If the answer is nothing, then I tell myself to stop worrying about it and focus on things I actually can fix. I just don’t sweat the things I can’t change.
Well, this is something I can’t change. For better or worse, 3 million more Americans decided last night they would like to keep President Obama at the controls of this nation. So be it. Now it’s up to me to do the best I can to do what’s necessary to do my part to make the nation continue moving forward. I’m one single tiny cog in a huge machine, and I can either break and fall apart and do no one any good, or I can do my job and roll along and try to help the whole system keep working.
So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to pay my taxes, whatever they are, and I’m going to do what’s required of me and my family to keep this country going, and I’m going to continue to try to improve the life of my family for the future. I’m not going to sit on Facebook and uselessly rant about the unfairness of it all. It WAS fair. I don’t like the outcome, but the fairness of it isn’t in question. So, move on.
Maybe someday I’ll run for a local office of some kind, or run for the NC House, put myself in a place where maybe I can affect change on a larger scale, but for now, my duty to my country is to fall in line and know my place. That’s the duty of us all. You can choose to move forward the way this ship is heading, or you can just abandon ship. From what I hear, Canada is nice if you’re considering the latter, but if you’re staying, do us all a favor; stop yelling and whining and do something productive to help the situation. If you’re in a position to do so, create jobs. If you’re not, then get one. Don’t wait for hand-outs. Take your life in your hands and make the best of it in a way that benefits you and those around you. At the end of the day, all you have is your name and your word standing behind you, so make both of them things to be proud of and leave them shining for your children to have when they come behind you.
I don’t like that President Obama won the election, but he is the duly elected leader of the country I love, so for now, to President Obama and the United States of America, God be with you, and with us all. Congratulations, Mr President.