Needless to say I am relieved at the outcome of Tuesday's election, both on the national and local levels. I am happy for President Obama, first for being re-elected and second for the opportunity to carry on the policies that got him elected in the first place. I hope he is able to appoint some good Supreme Court justices and to get the obstructionist Republican House of Reps to move toward compromise and responsible governing.
I am most pleased that the scheme to make Obama a one-term president perpetrated by Republican members of the House and Senate by holding our government hostage in order to implement that plot was thwarted. There is no place in this country for that kind of politics. If they had succeeded, not only would it have been an embarrassment for the country and an insult to Obama, but it would have ushered in a new low for the US political establishment.
And of course, the fact that Maryland, Maine, Washington passed marriage equality measures and that Minnesota thwarted an anti-gay constitutional amendment was just icing on the cake. History moving forward.
Yesterday I attended a funeral for my elderly aunt (she was 96). Nellie was a free spirit. She was the first among her siblings to drive a car and was off doing her thing before anyone could stop her. She never passed judgement on anyone and accepted everyone with a warm greeting, a smile and her fun-loving spirit. She and her husband always loved a visit and she always accepted Leon as my parter and a member of the family. Despite the physical pain she often experienced, she was rarely, if ever, heard to complain. She was a trooper in so many ways. The week before she passed away she had gone to the casino, made her favorite cookies for a family get together and was getting ready to go visit my sister when she had a stroke.
We have a large extended family and I would say that we were mostly all brought up with similar values: To treat others fairly and not to pass judgement, to be generous and care for those less fortunate - basic, old fashioned, "Catholic" values. So I was disturbed to hear several of my relatives voice their disappointment about the election outcome. And it made me once again question "What is happening to otherwise well-meaning people that they are swayed toward an oppressive, right-wing party? Is it really about following the dictates of their religious leaders who have defined the "non-negotiable positions on a handful of issues, including abortion and marriage? I don't know how Aunt Nellie would have voted, but I'm sure she wouldn't have let a priest or bishop or minister strong-arm her into what to think about her political choices. May she serve as an inspiration to us.