One of the most remarkable impressions of election night was seeing, in places like Times Square and the Obama campaign stadium in Chicago, crowds of young people, cheering, laughing, dancing, crying with joy over the result. Since these are the people who will have to live with the consequences of this election the longest, it is worth asking: what is it exactly that they are cheering? What do they believe?
They must believe that their future is bright, that it has been saved from the ravages of the evil, uncaring, racist and homophobic Republicans with that rich, white vulture of the weird cult at the top of the ticket. Their free education, free student “loans,” and free health care including contraception and abortion services are now secure. The fact that so many college graduates can’t find work today is George Bush’s fault, and that circumstance will soon be resolved by the wise policies of the revitalized Obama administration.
What do they believe about Republicans? They must believe that the 48% of Americans — half the country — hate women, gays and minorities, would force all women to have invasive ultrasounds, gays to be burned next to witches, and blacks sent to the back of the bus if not back to the cotton fields as chattel slaves. They must believe that Paul Ryan wishes to commit a Texas (or is it Wisconsin?) chainsaw massacre upon the entitlement programs that they are counting on and that those programs will now be solvent with no sacrifice required on their part. Continue reading