Wednesday, November 7, 2012

On Discussing the Election

It seems trivial to post an outfit the day after election day.  Although I feel a great deal of relief and enthusiasm for the four years to come, I remember how I felt around this time in 2004:  crushed, afraid, demoralized, rejected, angry.  If you are even the slightest bit political, there is no worse feeling than seeing a candidate you distrust or think is bad for the country be reelected.  After George W. was put back in office in 2004, I could barely look at Facebook because the celebration of my Republican friends felt like a personal insult.

So, while I am thrilled, I also know how painful this day is for those of you who were hoping for a different outcome.  Let's all try to be a civil as possible with each other today (and for the next four years), shall we?

Below, I'm compiling a bunch of interesting links and photos to contribute to your discussions of the election today, to the extent you have them.  Let me know what you think, and if you have anything to add please leave links in the comments!

Five-thirty-eight.  No discussion of the election is complete without understanding Nate Silver, statistical whiz kid.  Silver correctly predicted the 2008 presidential election (49/50 states correct), the 2010 midterm election, and the 2012 presidential election (50/50 states correct).  In fact, he is so eerily dead-on that the site, Is Nate Silver A Witch? has already cropped up.

Even when the Gallup Poll had Romney taking a lead, Silver explained why Gallup would be proven wrong.

Strategy discussions.  It's interesting to read Democratic and Republican takes on why this election turned out the way it did.  My favorite theory is that these results were a repudiation of the Republican strategy to block Obama's initiatives for their own political gain.  Of course, Forbes would tell you that we've all just decisively placed ourselves on the path to ruin.  Ultimately, this election belonged to women and Hispanic voters, in my opinion, whose records demonstrated that Republicans are going to have to recraft their messages on immigration and women's rights if they hope to take back power.  Relying largely on white men just didn't cut it this time.

The Electoral College.  Obama's narrow win in the popular vote draws attention to the role the electoral college plays in our voting system.  How much do you know about the electoral college?  I thought this video, which displays the size of the states in the Union relative to their status as swing states influential to the electoral college was fascinating and was a very quick watch.  It does a good job of illustrating the practical impact of swing states and the electoral college on election spending:

The Amazing Morphing Campaign Money Map from NPR on Vimeo.

Amazing Voting Stories.  If you want to stay completely nonpartisan in your conversations today, it's a good idea to focus on the importance of voting rather than the outcome of the election.  I enjoyed reading stories about voters overcoming the odds, like this woman who voted while in labor.  Her contractions started at 3am but she didn't want to miss her first presidential election, so she waited to go to the hospital until she could make it to the polls.  By the time she got there, her contractions were five minutes apart!

Voter referendums.  Marijuana legalization, gay marriage approval --- lots of amazing things happening in states this year, too!  Admittedly, these are not nonpartisan issues, but they make for interesting discussion.  I read one article that referred to the marijuana legislation in Colorado as "end[ing] marijuana prohibition."  Could marijuana become the next alcohol?  And, while not a voter referendum, three cheers to Tammy Baldwin, America's first openly gay Senator.  Progress!

Nonsequitors.  A few random LOLs:

What do you think of this old anti-women's suffrage pamphlet?

And don't forget...this election is probably not worth losing friends over.  Gala Darling wrote an article about how Mercury being in retrograde for the next week means that all of us will be less precise with our language and more prone to miscommunications.  Although I don't put much stock in astrology, I don't think it could hurt to be extra patient with friends on both sides of the aisle this week.

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