[n.b. ultimately 332 electoral votes]
By Richard Eskow, Campaign for America’s Future, November 7, 2012
So, let’s get this straight: A Republican President is re-elected in 2004 with 284 electoral votes, and the pundits tell us he has the “political capital” to push an extreme right-wing mandate. A Democratic President gets re-elected in 2012 with 303 electoral votes, and they’re telling us he needs to “unite a divided country.”
This election was a clear and unequivocal victory for the populist positions the President took on the campaign trail. Don’t believe the hype: This was a great night for progressives, populists, and agents of change. Our political system may be dominated by Big Money, but this was a victory for the 99 Percent.
We’ve been through our Dark Night of the Soul. Now it’s time for inspiration — and for determination to build on these victories in the weeks, months, and years to come. Here are seven lessons from this election that have been under-reported, or overlooked completely, in all the media frenzy, including Occupy Wall Street’s victory, the “Harold and Kumar” factor, Harry Reid’s big mandate, and the fact that “Socialism” sells.
1. Occupy Wall Street won big.
The Occupy movement may have disappeared from the national media eye, but this election was a big win for Occupy’s vision and language. After that movement caught the national imagination, the President adopted its populist rhetoric. That may have hurt the tender feelings of America’s CEOs, especially those on Wall Street, but it help cement his decisive victory.
The nature of that victory was underscored by the victories won by staunch progressives like Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown, even as far-right candidates like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock went down in defeat.
The President’s populist theme didn’t end with his victory. He spoke last night of a “generous America,” a “compassionate America,” a “tolerant America.” …
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