Election 2014  
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What Propelled Obama to Victory and Sent the Plutocrats and Racists to a Brutal Defeat

We hear that every election is the most important election of our lives -- it's a cliché. This year, it may well prove to be true.

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A unified America was a winner as well. It's likely that most voters didn't grasp just how reactionary the Romney-Ryan agenda really was. They would have turned vast swaths of our already threadbare social safety-net over to the states to administer, making deep cuts in the process. As a result, people living in “blue” and “red” states would have effectively become citizens of different countries. The poor and working class in those red states would have been eligible for far fewer public benefits. The disparities that now exist in funding education, job training and the like would have become far more pronounced. We would have no longer been citizens of the United States who happen to live in Alabama or Vermont; we would become Alabamians and Vermonters, citizens of states with markedly different philosophies of government.

Gays and lesbians emerged victorious on Tuesday. Not only did the first president to come out in support of marriage equality win – one whose administration has worked tirelessly, often below the radar, to advance LGBT rights – but Wisconsin's Tammy Baldwin will also be seated as the first openly gay senator in the history of the United States. As of this writing, marriage equality passed by a popular vote for the first and second times in history – in Maryland and Maine. A third ballot initiative recognizing marriage equality is ahead in Washington State; a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage is trailing in Minnesota.

After the running the most opaque and mendacious campaign in memory, “post-truth politics” lost on Tuesday. Never again will a candidate think he or she can promise to reveal his or her plans after the election and hope it will fly with the public.

Fat-cat, right-wing donors spent billions for nothing. As Paul Blumenthal notes, Casino Magnate Sheldon Adelson went 0-5 in campaigns in which he invested over $50 million. As much as $6 billion was spent in an election that returned the same Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader, and the same man in the Oval Office.

Reality-based analysis, personified by nerdy number-cruncher Nate Silver, landed a devastating blow to a legion of lazy pundits who make their living relaying what their guts are telling them. Who's got “the MoJo” -- who's winning the soccer mom vote or the waitress vote or white working class men – is now an irrelevance, trivia.

The Tea Party lost again. Two years after they pushed Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell to victory in Republican primaries, only to see them beaten by mainstream candidates, history repeated itself. Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock went down in flames, giving the Democrats four senate seats that they should not have.

Now, for progressive America, the fight turns. We can savor a victory over those who would take us back to an earlier time, but only briefly. Now we have to organize, and turn our energy to pressuring the Democrats to fight for our ideals. We now have a progressive coalition in the United States that can win against steep odds. That coalition is ultimately the big winner of the 2012 election.

Joshua Holland is Senior Digital Producer at BillMoyers.com, and host of Politics and Reality Radio. He's the author of The 15 Biggest Lies About the Economy. Drop him an email or follow him on Twitter

 
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