The last 10 days have been tumultuous for TGATP and the nation. That bitch of a storm Sandy left our beloved State of NY and our immediate neighbors NJ in a state of devastation with homes and loved ones lost. On our end, we suffered tremendous business loss, as almost two weeks later, Internet service is still down in our neck of the woods with no remedy in sight. For an online publication, this is a business disaster and we have learned to never rely on one carrier again!
Nerves were additionally frayed by the fact that when Sandy showed up, we were already smack dab in the midst of one of the most politically contentious campaign trails in history! Instead of choosing the President based on who would best represent ALL of the American people, Americans seemed to be taking things more personal and dividing on every level – economic, racial, gender, religious and sexual orientation. Fortunately, despite some wingnuts and attention hounds like hair challenged Donald Trump making all kinds of idiotic claims about our President, logic prevailed and President Obama was given the second term, he so richly deserved. TGATP is proud to congratulate our President and First Family (my how the girls have grown!) and we look forward to the next four years!
Over the months of the campaigns tons of things – some great and some not so pretty – were exposed about the mindset of the American voting populace. Here are eight things we learned about America through this crazy time.
1. Republicans have a people problem, not solely a Latino one.
In a CNN article the day after the election, it was stated by Republican strategist Ari Fleischer that “Republicans are going to have to wrestle with the Hispanic issue”. But within that statement lies the very problem! If you are referring to a race of people as “an issue,” you are exposing yourself as racist and also revealing that in the future you intend to pander. First, just like all White Americans do not have the same political leanings, neither does any other race ALL share one political viewpoint! We never discuss the White vote in the same way that we discuss the so-called “Hispanic vote” or “Black vote.” Individual views on any issue are influenced by educational background, wealth level, and many other factors outside of race. Secondly, the issues facing Americans should not be broken down along racial lines. We are all Americans and as such, our futures are all linked! Thus, rather than a Hispanic issue, Republicans have an American PEOPLE issue. As this election mandated, the time of catering only to rich White people and expecting to win is fortunately, over.
2. The media has no idea what the American people really think.
We need pundits that are not sitting in ivory towers. Many of the political pundits like, George Will are completely out of touch with what we, the American people, really think and care about. And many of them are so partisan, that they are blindly touting their party’s agenda and hoping and praying that we are buying it. In addition, supposed news outlets like the blatantly far right winged FOX, are no longer even reporting news. They are instead just promoting right winged propaganda when it comes to politics. We should not even know the political affiliation of our media outlets to that extent and some middle ground should be able to be found.
3. Despite media perception, most Americans are not far anything.
While the squeaky wheel (think Tea Party) always gets the most attention, most Americans are not firmly parked at one extreme end of the political spectrum. While I am a Democrat, I skew a bit more to the right on the issue of immigration as I see how much devastation the hiring of illegal immigrants at sub-minimum wage salaries is having on American workers. For example, there is one catering company in the NY movie industry that through hiring illegal Mexican immigrants and paying them just $75 a day, has monopolized the business. Since the going rate is $200 to $250 per worker per day, this practice allows the aforementioned company to hire up to 10 people per project, which naturally means better service. However, it is also putting Americans out of work and other companies, who play by the rules, out of business. These types of things are happening all over the country and need to be stopped if we are ever to recover.
In addition, I agreed with Mitt on the China issue, even though it was hypocritical of him to speak of jobs going overseas when he participated in the whole Bain debacle! But we do need to bring manufacturing jobs back home. It is RIDICULOUS that every single piece of clothing, shoe, electronic, jewelry, food packaging, and other product in my house (and every house in America) is made in China. This does not only rob us of manufacturing jobs, it robs us of administrative jobs, as well. Plants also need accountants, bookkeepers, secretaries and other administrators to run them. The solution is simple. Make it more expensive to manufacture outside of the States by raising the import taxes. You wanna hire cheap labor and make it outside of the States then bring it back here, it will cost so much more to do so that it won’t be worth it!
5. While nonchalant on the outside, our youth are fired up.
There was constant talk during the campaign season about how the “youth vote” were not as fired up as in 2008 and that Obama might lose because of this. This turned out to be totally untrue! Not only were young folks voting, they were out in greater numbers than in 2008! I find the vast difference between the youth of America and older citizens is that our youth do, and don’t necessarily, say. Politics is not so much a discussion; it is an action.
6. Lies don’t work in the Internet age.
The defining moment during the third debate was when Romney openly lied about supporting the auto bailout and Obama mentioned “fact-checking”. This probably cost Romney Ohio. You see, nowadays most people are watching TV in a second screen way with a TV on, then a laptop, tablet or phone going at the same time. (Hell, I am usually on 3 or 4 screens!) Thus, a lie can be fact checked in seconds! Until that night, I didn’t know about the damning Romney Op-Ed that called for allowing the auto industry to go bankrupt. But the minute it was mentioned, I went straight to my laptop to check it out, which leads me to number seven….
7. You are never off the record in a smartphone age!
What could Romney have been thinking to actually get up and denigrate American people in a public place? Did he really think we would not find out about his “47%” statement? Nowadays, unless you are totally alone in your own house and have swept it for hidden cameras, nothing can be said or done that is not going to end up on You Tube and thus, viral. And you especially cannot talk about a class of people you consider lower than yourself and not have them retaliate! The theory, that the bartender or one of the catering staff at the $50,000 a plate fundraiser filmed the speech, makes perfect sense since the workers at an affair, such as this, would definitely not approve of this sort of elitist rhetoric. Since this was reportedly recorded on an iPhone, this is another reason to thank God for Steve Jobs! Imagine if a President had been elected who secretly had this sort of irrational disdain for what he considered almost half of the American people!
8. Race still matters.
I’ll admit that this, while not a surprise, IS a disappointment. I was very disheartened to see that in 2012, a full 500 plus years into our history; America is still such a racist country! A recent Associated Press poll revealed that 51%, a majority of White Americans, harbor racial prejudice against African-Americans. And interestingly, (but again no surprise to TGATP) while explicit racism is the providence of the Republicans – 79% Republican to 32% Democrat – there was little difference between the parties with 55% of Democrats and 64% of Republicans expressing anti-Black feelings. I see this every day in the glaringly racist way that writers of color are treated by some of the more prominent PR agencies in New York. (Oh the stories I will one day reveal!) But I was hoping for more progress than this, in less artificial American environments. It is time for us, as a nation, to realize that we live and thrive together! In a rapidly changing technological and environmentally challenged age, we can no longer afford these idiotic, superficial separations of the past. It is time to band together as One and kick some serious innovative, economic, manufacturing, and environmental ass. Otherwise, we will continue to spiral downward into an economic abyss bested by China and other countries, who are not stuck in this irrelevant racial rut. I don’t care if you are White, Black, Latino, Asian, Gay, Straight, Old, Young, or anything else. If you are smart, professional, and drama free, I want you on my Life team! Let’s be a nation of collaborative doers instead of separatists watchers.