OPINION –– The 2012 election is now behind us and if anything can be concluded from it, there was a clear winner which means there was a collective vote that was not sufficiently appreciated by the Republican party.
Let’s dismiss any notion that I do not recognize that the Obama presidency has failed the American people in catastrophically consequential ways; it has – not to be redundant here, but the National Defense Authorization Act is one example.
That said, Barrack Obama did not just win this election by a narrow margin. It was not the close race that was predicted by the polls preceding Tuesday. The president took the office for another four years in a landslide victory capturing not only over 300 electoral votes but apparently by the popular vote as well. This shall not be disputed.
What can be disputed, or rather what we should be asking, is why?
Was it really that he was doing such a fantastic job that the country just had to have more?
Or was it that the country was so collectively adamantly opposed to a Romney presidency?
This will be the sophomoric debate that will likely consume the majority of the discussion with regards to the race. But the arguments against both of them are largely presumptive and permeated with parroted and uninformed predispositions of socialism, corporate elitism, and other such nonsense.
So I advocate peeling back a layer or two and recognizing a rising certainty: The Republican Party is in trouble.
Last night’s message from America arguably came from its largest core of voters that includes the 47 percent, the single moms, the legal immigrants, the students, the gay community, and all the other minorities that were collectively ignored or dismissed. What the Republican party failed to consider is that collectively these minority groups form a majority and they have spoken loud and clear:
Keep your religious beliefs out of politics and out of our lives.
Turning here locally, Republicans held their ground and statistically hold a majority which includes overwhelming membership in the Mormon church, i.e. most of our elected officials in Utah belong to the church. One might ask if that is a problem for anyone but those who agree with the religion of Utah’s politicians.
Of course those who subscribe to the idea of religiously-influenced politics see no problems at all. They will tell you, if you don’t like it you can leave.
But given the message the rest of the country just sent the religious right, and given that Utah is pining hard to bring more growth and industry to its state, is there not some writing on the wall that should not be ignored?
Washington County projects growth numbers in the coming years tallying in upwards of half-a-million people.
Do they really think that growth won’t include a more diverse voting base? One that will not tolerate personal ideologies being played out in governing policies? People have different ideologies and this is the discussion that needs to be had.
It is something not said aloud very often here in St. George but the religious influence here is overbearing. This is not at all to say that people who are religious are in any way bad or misguided. Quite the contrary.
But it is to say that they themselves should be the ones who most poignantly recognize that the very freedom they have to practice is premised by rights set forth by our Constitution and Bill of Rights. They should understand that those who do not share their beliefs respect their right to those beliefs, but are gaining strength in their message sent by the majority of the country last night which is that our religions do not belong in politics.
It could be reasonably argued that equality won the election.
See you out there.
Dallas Hyland is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his and not necessarily representative of St. George News.
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