The Editorial: O

The Editorial: O

No gloating. No jubilation in the streets. (This isn’t 2008.) But, man… what a load off! It felt there for a while like we were this close to retreating into some trenches of a draconian, wild-wild-West world. So, death to the robber barons and grief to the Gordon Gekkos of the world! Human decency and pragmatism have won!

There’s now light at the end of the tunnel for marriage equality in one of the largest democracies on earth. (Civil rights issue of our generation, kids. This cannot be understated.) The planet will be on path towards more responsible international relationships. Corporate excesses will at the very least continue to be curbed. And the absurd discussion about rape, abortion, reproduction (didn’t we do this in the 1970s?) will shift back towards the realm of reason.

I think Debbie Millman summed it up best on on her Facebook feed this morning: “Reproductive Freedom? CHECK. Marriage Equality? CHECK. Supreme Court? UH HUH. A message that democracy rules? HELL YES.”

There is so much to say about what a second Obama term means for the nature of the world this decade and beyond. Nobody is naïve enough this time around to believe that the election of one man could change everything: his first term wasn’t all roses. But despite an obstructionist and politically extreme legislature, Obama’s proven a remarkably effective leader. And the hope he inspires in people – American or otherwise – is something to feel very, very optimistic about. His very presence changes the nature of the discussion.

Now, the giant slap-in-the-face to those neocon crazies – the ones who stood behind terrifying candidates like the slithering Newt Gingrich, imbecilic Rick Perry, extremist Rick Santorum or homophobic misogynist Michelle Bachmann, and then went on to support ol’ Mittens – feels pretty great. These “patriots,” the self-proclaimed liberty lovers must now stop, once-and-for-all, with their claim that a warped, neo-1950s world of “order” (read: exclusion, corporate dominance, sexism, homophobia) is what the people want. My only hope is that they come out of their holes and get to terms with a new world in which the social and economic dynamic they espouse is entirely untenable. And that the whole world thinks they’re morons. But I digress…

It’s a new day.

We spent last night hopping around London’s various election-themed evenings. Most notable was the opening of the compelling “Mapping America,” which attempted to demonstrate through dozens of excellent infographics the complexities and contradictions of the American electorate. What seems an opaque, straightforward red/blue dichotomy has much, much more boiling under the surface than we normally consider… Racial distribution, income, popular culture, guns, education, geography, businesses: America is a stunningly complex nation.

Catch it while it’s on at KKOutlet in London’s Hoxton Square until the 24th of November.

Tag Christof – Image courtesy of KK Outlet