Republican big money has taken a beating for believing its own myths about the true character of the American masses. The poor, lower-class African-Americans and Latino-Americans were not supposed to care enough about their futures, their interests, their children, their communities to stand in lines for hours for the chance to pore over 12 pages of ballot initiatives to intelligently vote their interests. But they did. They beat back the most insidious, broad-based, well-organized, mean-spirited, un-American effort at voter suppression in this country's history.
The clear, demographic fact is that a coalition of African-Americans, Latino-Americans, young white woman, gays and college students stood up, locked arms and out voted enough money to buy a medium sized, third world country. They announced to the Tea Party that this is their country too, that they are its future, and that they will be here for a long time.
I looked on my television at the people at Mitt Romney's headquarters in Boston. Nice people, I know them (or people like them). I went to school with them. They took pride in helping me when I was a young token in the best schools in this country. They are the upper class, the ruling class, the compassionate Republicans that, sadly, lost control of their party and their status with it.
Then the cameras panned the crowd in Chicago – young people, older folks, black, brown and white folks. Not nearly as conservatively dressed as the Romney crowd. I saw one tie. I even saw a number of white folk who had rhythm. I closed my eyes and saw America's future in that crowd of diverse and happy people.
Folks my age have faced police dogs, fire hoses, billy clubs and worse ... much worse. Now, we have seen the faces in that crowd. We have seen that exceptional and exceptionally normal First Family facing another four years in the White House. We hold a hope for America not seen since the John F. Kennedy inauguration. I burst with pride at what the folks on Main St. accomplished on Nov. 6 against great odds. I conjure up the image of the faces in that crowd as well as the faces of my equally exceptional and exceptionally normal children and grandchildren and the sting of aging dissipates. Old folks like me can take pride in handing over a better America than was handed to us.
I heard last night that President Obama's ground forces had began registering new voters as far back as when Mitch McConnell was establishing his priority to make Obama a one term president. The groundwork for Obama's victory was laid before he took office. I heard today that 60,000 Latino-Americans turn 18 every month. These are our brothers and sisters in arms. Just as the marriage amendment, in all its forms across the country was an attempt to force a wedge between folks in our community; artificial wedges will be fashioned between the black and brown communities. We cannot let this happen. The same Republicans who brought us voting lines around the block are already planning the fracture of this marvelous coalition. A wise old friend of mine says, "no permanent enemies, no permanent friends, only permanent interests." Ya heard?
The campaign is over. The voting is done. The real work begins.