Right after the election I heard a lot of, "The majority of America wants blah blah blah." We talk about this majority of America much like people talk about foreign aid. In 2001, a think tank found that "the average American believes that the United States spends 24 percent of its budget on assistance to developing nations, more than 20 times the actual figure.*" Twenty-four percent isn't a majority. Obviously. But it is a conflated number. When I hear the word "majority" I think "Holy crap Democrats won 74% of the vote." But the reality is more like 52%. OK, so the electoral college had Obama win by more than that (365 to 162- http://www.realclearpolitics.com/), but I don't give a damn about the electoral college and neither should you. Real Clear Politics has the national results ending up at 52.6% to 46.1%. The way I read that is not that Obama had a huge victory. I read that 2.6 more than half voted for him. So while yes, he did win a majority that means that at least 46.1% of the population isn't real pleased about it. There still is a desperate need for a conversation in this country.
Sometimes while driving I have 3 realizations in quick succession. It always happens while driving and I'm not sure why. Probably because I'm listening to news radio. But here's the triple whammy-
1. Conservatives must be fucking crazy to believe X.
2. Shit, somewhere a conservative thinks I'm fucking crazy to believe Y.
3. You can't recognize crazy people on the street...especially when they look and live exactly like I do.
My point is that I listen to all this media and I take it and I filter it through my life and experiences and morality and get to this point. For example, close Guantanamo. I get to this final point, a thought, and it makes absolute sense to me on practical and moral levels. People who believe exactly opposite of me get there exactly the same way, only they get to an opposite conclusion. I think that the liberal side is becoming increasingly guilty of forgetting that. We dismiss the Right as crazy radicals and forget to try and understand their thinking and reasoning. What I'd love to see isn't necessarily Democrats winning by 52.6%. I'd love to see them win by a true majority of 64% or 78%.
I recognize this is hardly likely. But the only way to understand that 47.4% is to start listening with those open minds we so proudly espouse via the backsides of Priuses across America.
(*First stat source: http://www.boston.com/news/world/asia/articles/2004/12/31/global_analysts_dispute_perceived_us_generosity/
Also, this is labeled as having Adult Concepts because I use the word "fuck." For some reason that makes me very happy.
Also (also) Obama still comes up as something needing to be spell checked. Clinton does not. I wonder how long it'll take for the online dictionaries to change that.