The President has won a hard fight. Congratulations Mr. President. Congress will edge blue with the Senate gaining some Democrat seats but it will remain divided with the House gaining Republican seats. And a tight popular vote difference of of one percent difference will add to the confusion of interpretation of campaign results by the parties.
America is divided. Some in both parties may claim this close vote as victory of their message and point to the failings of personalities or tactics as excuses for such a close result. The preponderance of evidence says otherwise, that neither message was enough to draw the nation toward a firm direction for our future.
Yet will the Democrat Party be propelled toward compromise? The President did not show the propensity to negotiate even within his own party over the past four years. After staunchly defending his agenda against old, powerful white men for most of his adult life, my hope is that a much more reflective Obama will emerge from the fires of this tough election with a strengthened purpose enveloped in moderation.
This vote might likely cause the Republican Party to collapse in infighting for control of its imploding power structure of ideals. Republicans will be challenged to keep from splintering in two. This dark horse potential, however slight, could actually result in a brighter era of tri-party party politics that could emerge from this turmoil. At the very least, Republicans will emerge from the shadows of this election in disarray.
America hopes that the Republican Party will realize that if it could not win with a strategy of asking America to turn back the reins of power to the party of business in one of the worst economies of the last century, that its tactic of non-compromise will fail further as the economy continues to improve. This was not a loss of Mitt the man, his religion, or his party’s perception of his hidden liberal agenda. It was not his statements about the 47% or his choice of vice president. And it wasn’t the last week fluke of Hurricane Sandy. It was a failure of his party to put forth a viable and clear strategy that could unite employers, employed, and unemployed.
The President did not win, however, because America was convinced of his grand vision. Yet, his genius skill as the organizer of his emerging coalition of the future, young and Hispanics in support of traditional Democrats, held strong. His support for unions who lashed out at the 2010 Republican tactics, his support for immigration and Medicare reform, and his state-of-the-art ground campaign all helped his re-election. However, a decidedly important factor was that our nation’s unemployed needed temporary respite from the economic storm and the party of the people offered that respite.
The American public instead has spoken a narrow message. We will not change party power. We will give no party a mandate to run ramshod over the other. We will give the President a reset button to reach out to Congress. We will remain patient another election cycle in hopes of gaining compromise (perhaps the President might even recognize his weakness and bring a great compromiser like Bill Clinton, a powerful ally in his campaign, into his cabinet as business czar to make compromise a priority). We will expect sacrifice from everyone, including the 1%. Hispanics will not be allowed as a subtle scapegoat for lack of jobs but jobs must be a top priority. And Republicans will pay in 2014 if they follow McConell’s lead again.
With Republican’s certain infighting for control of their party’s future, they may likely not coalesce around the realization of this simple post. In their turmoil however, America may have the opportunity to have the results of this election realized, if only confusingly. We may indeed see compromise, if only temporarily.