What happened tonight?

I am not a US citizen so of course I don’t have the “official” right to have one opinion or another about the American political scene. Nonetheless, the politics of Mexico’s northern neighbor affects this country in very BIG ways. In fact, the whole world is impacted. Quite frankly, I think we should be permitted to have our say.

It’s only fair, the American internet press has plenty to say about Mexico… so, what happened tonight?

I was at “Tequilazoo” in San Cristobal de las Casas on the night Mr. Barack Obama was elected to the presidential office. This bar may not have been the most decorous place to watch history unfold but hey – when you’ve got lemons, you make lemonade! I shared that historic night with colleagues from Dallas. CNN was on the big screen and we watched spellbound as the results trickled in. Everyone present was of the same political persuasion and if anyone wasn’t… were they ever quiet! It was a night of hope and jubilation.  

I know I am not going to be popular with everyone tonight but I have to say it… I am very, very sad. I feel that tonight’s Congress and Senate election results represent a lost opportunity. I do not think that the American people have given their young, vital president a fair chance. How can they have expected more resolution in just two short years? President Obama ‘s pre-election rhetoric  was “Yes we can!” Since taking office, the politicians and the people have screamed, “Oh no you can’t… UNLESS it is good for me personally!”

To take the controversial stands he’s taken was a risk but he isn’t rewarded, he is reviled.  The need for instant solutions is alive and well. Whatever happened to being in it for the long haul? The tea party? Up until a few months ago, this term was used to describe a game that little girl’s play.  (And I guess in a sense it still does!)

The world has many huge challenges that are not ever going to be put to rest if the people don’t get behind their leaders. This has always been one of the States’ biggest assets – the “pulling together” is what made the nation great. The bipartisan everything of the past  couple of decades is tearing it apart.

The Democrats’ critics cite grim statistics and drone on and on about the lack of resolution. But they very conveniently forget WHO got the country into its current state.  President Clinton left a surplus and in eight short years, the Republican administration managed not only to spend that cash but they also racked up of billions in debt (not to mention any of their other “initiatives”)

I really do hope that over  the next two years I am proved wrong in my dire assessment.

Our planet has always had issues but the ones taking center stage now are really very scary. To have the “leading nation” backslide like this is a big blow… Like a lot of you, I start praying when things get to be too much for me… maybe the following would be appropriate tonight:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Pictures from Google Images

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18 Comments

Filed under Destinations

18 responses to “What happened tonight?

  1. Great article, Joanna. I think the US electorate has disappointed the world.
    b

  2. Jim Graves

    I stumbled across this comment thread while reading a blog about the problems of Maya workers in the Cancun to Playa del Carmen beach front strip.

    The lack of understanding here I found just astounding. I happen to be a Democrat of long standing (all my life) who lives in one of the most liberal areas of Colorado (Boulder aka the People’s Republic) and I am a Tea Party supporter. Note I said supporter, not member.

    All the Tea Party is, is a grass roots bottom up populist movement that is basically a “throw the bums out” type of thing. The Tea Party was the driving force of this election and though completely uncentralized (there are no real leaders, no structure) it was clear early this year that rather than make the mistake of trying to become a third party, they would support the Republicans because they come closer to the central issues of the Tea Party movement: 1) Low Taxes, 2) smaller government, 3) adherence to the Constitution, 4) creating a stable economic environment.

    The issue was pure and simple jobs and the completely tone deaf Democrat administration in Washington. The administration wasted two years on policies that were either 1) corrupt, TARP and auto company bail outs, 2) had no chance to work, the Stimulus plan which did zip nada and was incredibly corrupt and 3) the health plan, which neither the left (not single payer) nor the right (socialist) liked.

    Democrats got turned out in record numbers in 2010 because the people who came out to vote (an earlier writer is correct it is all about turnout) were mad because 1/5th of America is unemployed and underemployed, because people have burned through their savings in the last two years, millions and millions of Americans have lost their homes and millions more are just hanging on cutting back everywhere they can to survive another month and there was no indication from the President or his party that they were even going to tackle the issue of jobs anytime in the near future. The president in fact was talking about passing more job killing legislation, Cap & Trade and Comprehensive Immigration and new taxes.

    I’m retired (thank God) and spend my day writing, researching and every day taking my dog for his two hour stint in the Dog Park. They are a couple of dozen of us who show up every day. Several like me are retired professionals (writers, scientists, camera men, software developers, school teachers) others still grinding away (a couple of doctors, a pilot, a guy who works in Home Depot, a guy who works in the seasonal ski industry [he makes snow], a few grad students). The fear is palpable. The ones who are retired are sucking it up to try and stretch out their savings waiting for real estate to come back, the ones working are terrified they may not have a job next week.

    And all the Administration talks about is Cap & Trade, DADT, Immigration? I know the political spin is to say that the Party Of No is preventing Obama’s brilliance from coming through but that’s just nonsense as his party had 60 Senate votes (filibuster would not work) and more than enough in the House to pass legislation at will. The problem was that neither Pelosi nor Reid was liked well enough by other Democrats to put together a solid vote. Obama might have been able to but he has proven to be unprepared for the role and spends his time glad handing, traveling, playing golf and working on his reelection.

    What happened Tuesday was just the first step in a two-step process. Americans voted for grid lock with neither the Republicans or Democrats being able to pass anything unless it is a true compromise, and bi-partisan. Whether there is anyone in Washington who can step forward into that role to lead the revival is in question. I very much doubt that Obama can but there are a few senators from both parties that are not either crooks or idiots and might be able to lead and I hope the same sort of ad hoc leadership element can emerge in the House.

    I think that a lot of the Democrats (especially those who survived by narrow margins Tuesday night) and the Republicans (especially the newly elected) realize that if they do not produce in the next two years there will be primary challenges galore and a lot of new faces in both parties.

    Obama is toast. I expect him to be challenged from the left (John Dean) and center left (Hillary) in 2012 and if he were to win the primary he will be defeated as long as the Republicans run a halfway decent new candidate.

    Its all about jobs. If people are hungry (and a lot of Americans went to sleep last night on an inadequate meal; mine was rice and onions) they don’t have much patience with political rhetoric or nebulous “change” nonsense.

  3. Marisa

    I’ve been sad about it too, Joanna. In my state, we “elected” a Republican governor. He won 38% of the votes. Unfortunately, there were too many people running on the left, it split the vote and handed the election to the Republican whose energy solutions include off shore drilling and nuclear power. Awesome.

    I think the exchange of power in Congress is more complex than Americans simply wanting instant change and solutions to our problems. Those of us who still support Obama are acutely aware of the Party of NO trying to block every good deed and campaign promise he has tried to implement. There’s also this sector of society that is so completely against Obama, it’s frightening. They are convinced that he’s not an American citizen, that he’s Muslim (which really shouldn’t matter one way or another; “freedom of religion”) and that he’s a socialist because of his goal of comprehensive health-care reform. They have turned his words and actions upside-down and inside-out, which has created this pervasive fear about religion, and socialism. They have conveniently forgotten that policies (deregulation) dating back to the 1980’s (maybe even further…) are a huge contributing factor to the housing collapse and this recession…Additionally, earlier this year, the Supreme Court voted in favor of Citizens United which gives personhood to corporations – now corporations are allowed to funnel money into political campaigns and they don’t have disclose how much or where the money is spent. I think the number of seats won by the Republican party and by the Tea party candidates is evidence of this disgraceful ruling.

    I’m sad that all the hope for a new era has dissipated and turned into fear and hate. I however am still a staunch supporter of Obama and his message, and am ready to do what it takes to show that support over the next two years (or longer….)

    “The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die.” ~Edward Kennedy

  4. Valerie Pickles

    After reading the article Its sad that people want instant resolutions to problems that have taken years to create therefore it will take years to correct.Not only in other countries does this happen but even here in little St Elena when the new mayor was elected within a week he lost followers because they said he didnt fulfill his election promises.I talked with a few locals explaining that you need to give him a chance, what can one politician do in one week . Wether they understood Im not sure

  5. The US is blessed with the most intelligent president since Thomas Jefferson and it’s being wasted. First the Dems bicker with each other and squander a bullet-proof House and Senate. Then they lose a filabuster proof Senate and have to compromise on the HealthCare bill. Now they lose the House completely. Idiots! and I do mean both parties. The lemonaide out of this mess is that the Repubs will be equally ineffective for the next two years, so there’s going to be a lot of blaming and finger pointing in the next election. The US needs statesmen not politicians, sadly there are none in office today. I had really hoped that Obama would be that statesman that is so badly needed.

  6. Joanna – The citizens of the US have been conditioned for instant gratification so when they didn’t see immediately what President Obama promised his first year in office they turned on him. It did not help that many Democrats running for re-election threw him under the proverbial bus which didn’t work in most states. Why can’t the parties agree to disagree but work together on the tough issues, especially jobs, health care that the country needs and education. The next two years should prove to be interesting!

  7. Bill Milligan

    We in the U.S. are like a bunch of impatient spoiled babies, we’re used to instant gratification and when we don’t get it, we cry, bitch and whine and do irrational things, this election being an excellent example. Our president will now have to play the game and give concessions to the neanderthals he is surrounded by, and this will be his big test. I felt the day he was elected that he was destined for that position and he could weather all of the grey skies coming his way. Our president represents a paradigm change for our country, leading us away from greed and avarice and towards a balanced, fair and heart oriented society. He’s a fighter and now we’ll see a new pair of gloves on his hands…He can do it and he will. I have faith.

  8. Well put. I couldn’t agree with you more.

  9. Unfortunately, it’s a common problem. Everything these days is too easily gotten, and maybe people have lost the capacity for patience and hard work. I’m as disappointed as you are, Joanna. My prayers are for clarity in the minds of Americans.

  10. kwallek

    It is always about turnout more than anything and the Dems stayed home yesterday. In past years I went door-to-door and worked hard on getting out the vote, this years I left my signs in the barn and sat it out. I voted but I did not get involved, the results say to me that the other side did not sit this one out. They voted in mass.
    Why did I sit back this time? The health care bill was so bad. I’m all for state heath care but that is not what we got from my party-we got more of “feed the beast”, the bill was more of a sop to the insurance industry than a bill to make heath care a right instead of a luxury. We shot ourselves in the foot in the halls of congress and deserved a good butt whippin. The dems sold out to the money people on health care and paid the price yesterday. Just the way I see it.

    • “kwallek”, Janice and Marc… thanks so much for your replies. The comment about the Demeocrats having missed the boat on health care is well taken but at least they got something in place. Don’t you think that once a program is created it can be improved upon… if it doesn’t exist at all, well there’s no way to make it better. I feel very disappointed.
      Bill – Keep the faith… we all need it

  11. A lost opportunity, that’s for sure…

  12. I agree with you 100% and hope the tide changes…time and patience is what is needed…

  13. Valerie Pickles

    oopps sorry Joanna there was trouble downloading for some reason so now I know thank you

  14. Valerie Pickles

    What did happen tonight Joanna?Or will we know tomorrow ?Dont leave a girl guessing please.

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