Help! The third edition of my textbook is coming out in a few weeks and they held the presses just so I could write the final paragraphs on the election. It's due at noon. Here's what I've got. Help me with suggestions!
The campaign was filled with frustration and anger, reflecting the
sullied economy and continued political divides within the nation. The
plague of racism still hung around Obama, as mannequins of him were
occasionally lynched in effigy, a vivid reminder of America's racist Jim
Crow past. And Romney was dismissed as a greedy oligarch akin to the
robber barons of the early Industrial Age, concerned only with
preserving his vast wealth.
On election night, Obama's record of ending the war in Iraq and
winding it down in Afghanistan, of locating and killing Osama bin Laden,
of preserving the battered American car industry, and, perhaps most
importantly, of overseeing several consecutive months of slow economic
growth, led him to a relatively easy re-election, winning nearly all the
battleground states in nearly every region of the nation.
Perhaps most tellingly, however, was how the changes of the previous
50 years had transformed the electorate, especially the transformations
brought about by the 1965 Immigration Act and the increasing
recognition of the diversity of the United States. For instance, a
record number of ethnic and racial minorities voted for Obama (making up
45 percent of his total popular vote--a record), while white Americans
overwhelming supported Romney (59 percent to 39 percent). Meanwhile, more than 55 percent of women
voted for Obama, while only 47 percent of men did. Reflecting similar
trends, in Wisconsin, Tammy Baldwin became the first openly gay person
elected to the U.S. Senate. Ballot initiatives allowing same-sex
marriage passed in Maine, Maryland, and Washington(?), while Minnesota
voters rejected a constitutional ban on the practice opening up the
possibility that same-sex marriage might be legalized there too.
But the nation remains politically divided. Obama won only 50
percent of the popular vote to Romney's 48 percent(?), and Republicans
maintained control of the House, while Democrats kept the Senate. But
as Obama said in his victory speech, "These arguments we have are a mark
of our liberty. We can never forget
that as we speak, people in distant nations are risking their lives
now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance
to cast their ballots like we did today." And then he rejected the
notion that the nation was as divided as it seems: "I believe
we can seize the future together because we are not as
divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits
believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we
remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and
forever will be the United States of America."