Barack Obama And The Death Of Normal

07 Nov
November 7, 2012

I was on an airplane last night as the election was decided. As the plane landed after midnight on the East Coast, I confess that my hand was shaking as I turned on my phone for the news. I did not want to see dishonesty and divisiveness and raw political hackery rewarded. It is hard enough for anyone to actually address the problems, to move this country forward, to make the intransigent American ruling class yield even a yard of the past to the inevitable future. But going backwards last night would have been devastating. I read the returns in silent elation; a business trip had me traveling in business class and the gnashing of corporate teeth all around precluded a full-throated huzzah on my part. I abhor a gloat.

But the country is changing. And this may be the last election in which anyone but a fool tries to play — on a national level, at least — the cards of racial exclusion, of immigrant fear, of the patronization of women and hegemony over their bodies, of self-righteous discrimination against homosexuals. Some in the Republican party and among the teabagged fringe will continue to play such losing hands for some time to come; this shit worked well in its day and distracted many from addressing any of our essential national issues. But again, if they play that weak-ass game past this point, they are fools.

America is different now, more so with every election cycle. Ronald Reagan won his mandate in an America in which 89 percent of the voters were white. That number is down to 72 percent and falling. Fifty thousand new Latino citizens achieve the voting age every month. America will soon belong to the men and women — white and black and Latino and Asian, Christian and Jew and Muslim and atheist, gay and straight — who can walk into a room and accept with real comfort the sensation that they are in a world of certain difference, that there are no real majorities, only pluralities and coalitions. The America in which it was otherwise is dying, thank god, and those who relied on entitlement and division to command power will either be obliged to accept the changes, or retreat to the gated communities from which they wish to wax nostalgic and brood on political irrelevance.

You want to lead in America? Find a way to be entirely utilitarian — to address the most problems on behalf of the most possible citizens. That works. That matters. Last night, it mattered just enough to overcome the calcified political calculations of men who think that 47 percent will vote against them because they are victims, or that 53 percent are with them because the rest of us vote only from self-interest and without regard for the republic as a whole. It was a closer contest than common sense and the spirit of a truly great nation should dictate. But unless these white guys who have peddled “normal” for so long — normal as in racial majority, normal as in religious majority, normal as in sexual orientation — unless they have a hard moment of self-reflection and self-awareness, well, it will not be this close again.

Eighty years ago, the Democratic party became a national utilitarian enterprise, molding the immigrant waves of Irish and Italian and Jew into a voting bloc that stunned the political opposition and transformed American society, creating the world’s greatest economic engine in the form of a consumer class with vast discretionary income. The New Deal asserted for American progress — shaping and influencing administrations both Democratic and Republican — for three decades before running aground on the shoals of the civil rights movement, resulting racial fears and resentments, and, of course, the Southern strategy of political cynics.

Well, a new voting bloc as formidable as the New Deal coalition certainly isn’t yet complete, and the political results are still fitful. To be sure, venality has transformed the upper house of our national legislature into a paralytic failure, with a new standard of a filibuster-proof supermajority now the norm. The lower house of that legislature reflects less of any national consensus than it does the absurdity of post-census gerrymandering. Never mind Obama. If Romney had won this election, our government would be just as broken. It is the legislative branch that remains an epic systems failure.

For lost and fretful white men, unwilling to accept the terms of a new America, Congress is the last barricade against practical and inevitable change. But there, too, the demographic inevitabilities are all in play. All the gerrymandering in this world won’t make those other Americans, those different Americans, go away. And the tyranny of minority and lack of compromise that you employ to thwart progress now will likely breed an equal contempt when the demographics do indeed provide supermajorities.

Hard times are still to come for all of us. Rear guard actions will be fought at every political crossroad. But make no mistake: Change is a motherfucker when you run from it. And right now, the conservative movement in America is fleeing from dramatic change that is certain and immutable. A man of color is president for the second time, and this happened despite a struggling economic climate and a national spirit of general discontent. He has been returned to office over the specific objections of the mass of white men. He has instead been re-elected by women, by people of color, by homosexuals, by people of varying religions or no religion whatsoever. Behold the New Jerusalem. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a white man, of course. There’s nothing wrong with being anything. That’s the point.

This election marks a moment in which the racial and social hierarchy of America is upended forever. No longer will it mean more politically to be a white male than to be anything else. Evolve, or don’t. Swallow your resentments, or don’t. But the votes are going to be counted, more of them with each election. Arizona will soon be in play. And in a few cycles, even Texas. And those wishing to hold national office in these United States will find it increasingly useless to argue for normal, to attempt to play one minority against the next, to turn pluralities against the feared “other” of gays, or blacks, or immigrants, or, incredibly in this election cycle, our very wives and lovers and daughters, fellow citizens who demand to control their own bodies.

Regardless of what happens with his second term, Barack Obama’s great victory has already been won: We are all the other now, in some sense. Special interests? That term has no more meaning in the New America. We are all — all of us, every last American, even the whitest of white guys — special interests. And now, normal isn’t white or straight or Christian. There is no normal. That word, too, means less with every moment. And those who continue to argue for such retrograde notions as a political reality will become less germane and more ridiculous with every passing year.

Lots of waste and shouting and ignorance still to come, of course. But last night was a milestone.

 

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  1. JLT says:

    Isn’t it a bit too soon to tell that this election signifies ‘death of the normal’? Let’s see what 2016 brings and who the GOP nominates, whether hiser narrative changes from the old standard rhetoric of the right.

    Reply
  2. ShanghaiJax says:

    David,
    A brilliant article. I have to write to thank you for putting into incisive prose exactly what over the past 24 hours many of us have been thinking, and writing and posting in our small circles of newish media. We believe you are exactly right, and you’re doing the right thing by sticking up for it and calling out the trolls on their troglodocity; like Nate Silver, you will be proven correct, as “it’s arithmetic, stupid”. You’ve written some very popular stuff but to my knowledge I’ve never seen anything you wrote before now (I’ve never seen any episodes of The Wire, but think I should probably check it out); just know this article has gained you yet another over-educated white American male fan.
    “The New Jerusalem.” Hosannah, Hallelujah and pass the fuckin goldfish.

    Reply
  3. laner says:

    Writing as an outsider (a South African), I want to offer a slightly different perspective to those who are against Obama’s re-election. A lot of you are saying that the squishy liberals are gloating and rubbing in your face the fact that ‘we’ won and now you have to do what ‘we’ say.
    Not right.
    “One True Way”? C’mon! What the squishy liberals are saying, and what is the real victory here (nevermind taxation, health, war, economy), is that you can do what you want, as long as I can do what I want too. We’re all different, and that’s ok. It’s more than ok – it’s awesome. And it is precisely why the USA will be ok for a while.

    Reply
  4. builder says:

    Whoa I am feeling kinda left out here!! I am a white man over the age of 29 & I also voted for Obama for my own reasons. I don’t like being cast as a stereotypical racist white man because I am far from that!!! In your entire rant you did not add native Americans of white folks so I am feeling a bit discriminated against :)
    I agree the United States are changing and we need to change with it but I am an American citizen and will stand firm in my convictions. I believe in America, the land of opportunity, freedom, and equality.
    I believe we need to stop the bickering and work together to get our economy back on the right track.

    Reply
  5. Barbara Saunders says:

    Whatever happened to “tolerance for ambiguity”? There are not just two choices: “race card” or “race blind.” Race is confounded with (and interacts dynamically with) other factors, from class to geography to education level to socioeconomic status.

    Reply
  6. robert says:

    The re-election of Barack Obama has to its credit 36%+ of voting white males. there is no such thing as a conservative movement. there is no spirit of discontent among thinking, ambitious people. behold.. another soap box internet mouthpiece wishing he could be a martin luther king-esque internet sensation.

    Reply
    • David Simon says:

      Sorry. This election is widely regarded by political observers as among the most racially polarized in modern American history. Indeed, put the phrase “racially polarized” into a search engine along with 2012 election and watch how many MSM media cites and poll analyses come up. That just is. You can wish it away as a premise for discussion. Or not.

      But then rushing in with some half-assed, weak-assed, thoughtless ad hominem about who you think the author of this blog might be, well, that’s just a little bit too juvenile for these parts. Come back when you have something serious to say.

      Reply
      • Steven says:

        Amen. Amazing how some will assume the credit even when they lose

        Reply
      • quin says:

        Racially polarized? Perhaps the black vote, but the white male vote was virtually identical to Clinton,Gore,and Kerry.

        Reply
        • David Simon says:

          Actually, the 60-40 limit on white male bias to the GOP has, since 1972, been presumed to be the outer limit of what a Democratic candidate could endure. Falling below 40 percent had been seen, before this election, as something of a death knell for Democrats. Obama’s 36-37 percent is sufficient only because of his overwhelming support from others.

          But you’re avoiding the argument of the essay here, almost willfully, I’m afraid. It isn’t that Republicans have retained nearly two-thirds of the white male vote in the country. It is that by dint of their policy positions, they have retained nothing else. And they can’t manufacture white guys fast enough going forward.

          Reply
      • Jackie says:

        As a middle aged black woman, I cringed at the boldness of racists this election cycle. It was as if someone told them to go hard and long against anything not white and male and privileged. Then, after they wiped the foam off their mouthes, they talked about bi-partisanship and how the President didn’t do anything. Somehow they forgot Bin-Laden. They forgot that their adult children can now stay on their health insurance policies, that their bi-racial grandchild cannot be denied insurance coverage because they inconveniently have cancer. They forgot how the deep was the hole that Bush created.

        Just as I started to fear that the racists were winning, I stood in one of those four hour early voting lines and witnessed determination, camaraderie, of a desire to make our vote count. Yes, the world has changed and it is foolhardy to think it hasn’t.

        Reply
    • Keith Adams says:

      “another soap box internet mouthpiece wishing he could be a martin luther king-esque internet sensation”

      Heh…. You obviously have no clue who Mr. Simon is…. I seriously doubt he aspires to these things when he has already left an indelible mark on media history in this country.

      Reply
      • David Simon says:

        No, no. You have it wrong.

        I remember lying on pillow as a young lad, dreaming myself to sleep, hoping against hope that one day, when I grew up, if I worked hard and stayed true to myself, I might one day become a soap-box internet mouthpiece, a small glimmer of light in a veritable Milky Way of other soap-box glimmerings. Oh, fortune, how thou shines upon my most secret and worthy dreams at this very instant. I pause in typing only to weep gratefully.

        Reply
        • Keith Adams says:

          I love it! In any case, I would like to personally thank you for the lasting impression your work has left on my family. The Corner… The Wire… It has inspired my children to make a difference in this world. Something I may not have accomplished on my own.

          Reply
  7. SG says:

    not sure how the knuckle draggers found their way to this insightful and correct article but even less surprised at how ignorantly they deny its truth

    Reply
  8. Andy says:

    There were a lot of things that happened yesterday. Many articles and many paragraphs, and many blog postings will be written to document many shifts that occurred In the 2012 presidential election. This article highlights just one of the many very interesting aspects that occurred yesterday and perhaps touches a few others as well. Well written, and thanks for putting your thoughts online for us to read.

    Reply
  9. Inky says:

    The inability to expand text on your website makes me think you like white men, gays, women and Latinos more than iPad users with bad eyesight . Shame. Shame!

    Reply
  10. David H Dennis says:

    President Obama is great on symbolism, and your post is all about a symbolic victory. That is, the poor, the minority, the dispossessed folk rebelled against the evil plutocrat Romney and gave their guy a historic victory. If this was even slightly true, I’d be the first to congratulate you.

    When I heard the two sides fight out this election, they seemed to be talking about an entirely different era, and entirely different issues. President Obama did not so much disagree with Romney as ignore what he had to say. As a result he seems to have given a lot of people on Facebook the entirely inaccurate impression that Romney was an evil fellow who would ban their birth control, make abortions unattainable, and so on. Strangely enough, these issues were not featured in Romney’s campaign, and they were at all likely to come up in his Presidency. At worst, abortion might be thrown back to the States in any future Supreme Court case. No state that you or I would want to reside in is going to ban abortion or birth control. I know that, and hopefully you know that, and so this issue, which appears to have helped decide the election, was a complete lie from start to finish.

    In the mean time, President Obama presided over a weak recovery his policies made weaker.

    His health care law is a huge mess. You can be for or against compulsory national health care programs and still be absolutely appalled by the way it was planned, drafted and passed. It’s likely to destroy the insurance companies whose lobbies helped design it. It’s certainly going to reduce employment levels and depress our economy for decades to come.

    His energy policies attempted to heavily subsidize economically unworkable sources of energy while ignoring those right under our soil. He stopped a major pipeline project that would have been a huge boon for the efficient transmission and distribution of oil and gas. He opposed fracking despite no credible evidence that it is in any way unsafe. The real reason for fracking opponents is that they don’t want cheap energy – and yet our economy and people are dependent on cheap energy. The more expensive energy is, the more we all suffer. Obama’s policies, in the long run, would inevitably end up with doubled or tripled power bills. I don’t want that kind of future, and neither should you.

    You are probably going to say clean energy is better. But clean energy struggles to satisfy our energy needs. The truth is that we will eventually transfer to it, but only when it is proved safe and cost-effective. Right now, wind power costs about double what coal does, and solar and geothermal are even more expensive. I am all for the government spending lavishly to subsidize research and development on these sources. But spending money on production, when the technology isn’t ready, is a waste of money and tends to freeze technology at current levels instead of advancing it. As a result, these much-vaunted programs tend to make things worse, not better. As a result, Obama’s energy policy is horribly, horribly misguided. It is a particular disappointment for me that Pennsylvania, whose economy runs on coal and fracked natural gas, voted for Obama. They effectively voted to destroy the economy of their own state.

    George W Bush had large deficits, but Obama has made huge deficits into an art form. In his four years, he has increased our national debt by 50%! In his upcoming budgets, he plans to continue that trend. Using his own numbers, by the time his second term is out, our national debt will be double what it was at the start. The first ten trillion tool over 200 years. The second will take eight. This is not something we can ignore.

    Romney had a credible plan, proposed by his Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan, to do something about this, and to slow the growth of entitlement programs to something sane. Obama ignores this issue completely. His tax increases on “millionaires and billionaires” will have negligible impact on the nation’s revenues, but makes those who hate the rich just a little bit happier, I guess. If I were rich, I’d be flying my private jet (and tax revenues) straight out of here. Why stay where you are hated?

    These are the issues Republicans raised, and the issues Republicans ran on. I believe them to be far, far more serious for the future of this country than anything raised by the Democrats. As a result, I find it appalling issues like defunding Big Bird (who has a BIG lobby) and free birth control pills (which you can get in any number of places at negligible cost) would be highlighted as reasons for people to support you guys.

    You mention minority voters. What is Obama doing for them other than being a symbol? He has not passed anything helping Blacks. Despite promises, he failed to pass the Dream Act, or anything to help Hispanics. And yet they think he will help them, because he mouths the right words at speeches.

    Bah! For the last four years, President Obama has ruled in support of his political cronies above all. Clean energy begat Solyndra and many others. Obamacare helps a huge, overlapping web of interests which gave big money to his campaign. TARP helped out the bankers. He wanted to build trains to nowhere (from political contributors, of course) without considering who might want to ride them. The GM bailout was a gift to the UAW. The whole stimulus was an exercise in handing out goodies to the educational lobby, the police and fire lobby, with surprisingly little given to the construction lobby we were told it would support. We were told it was for roads and bridges, but only 5% of the final bill went to roads and bridges.

    So I’m sorry. I can’t think of the election of Obama as a triumph for minorities, or for anyone. It’s the triumph of a highly destructive domestic policy, being saved by people’s love of abortion and Big Bird. I guess I’m glad you’re happy. I can’t understand why you’re not appalled and embarrassed by your candidate and his idiotic, destructive program.

    David Dennis

    Reply
    • David Simon says:

      No, my post is about a demographic transformation in America that is certain, ongoing and profound.

      It is more about the future of the American political dynamic than about Mr. Obama or Mr. Romney or the immediate contest. If you can stand back from your emotions about Tuesday’s outcome and look beyond immediate arguments, you might see that it is a discussion of something more than the winning and losing of this election. It is about a sea change in American life that will require all of us to reassess our view of our democracy. I think the change is for the better, regardless of who happened to be running for office this time around. You may feel otherwise. But regardless, you seem to have lost the main thread in straining everything your electoral disappointments.

      Reply
  11. You R. Tiresome says:

    I found this interesting:

    “A man of color is president for the second time, and this happened despite a struggling economic climate and a national spirit of general discontent.”

    Yes, he was when a white man would have been booted out of office for doubling the deficit and increasing the unemployment rate, despite promising the former would be halved and the latter would be 3% less at the end of his term… So is the “man of color” being held to a lessor standard?

    And as for the “fear of immigrants” comments, I always find it interesting that liberals cannot seems to distinguish between the terms “anti-immigrant” and “anti-illegal alien.” They seem pretty clear to me so I can only conclude it is a deliberate attempt by liberals to blur the distinction for political gain. And mind you, there IS a distinction. You can be for immigration but also be anti-illegal alien…

    Reply
    • Tri Nguyen says:

      Your own definition of the terms is troublesome at best – “anti-illegal alien” and “anti-immigrant”? Why is there a switch between alien and immigrant? And why conveniently blame this problem on the liberals? I agree with you that there’s a clear distinction. But let’s not forget that states like Arizona that use their laws to discriminate against non-white people, period, no matter legal or illegal, black, asian or Hispanic.

      Reply
    • Bill says:

      You should do a little fact-checking before you go spouting anti-Obama talking points. Mostly, they’re lies. The projected deficit for 2009, before Obama took office, was 1.2 trillion. This year it was also 1.2 trillion. As for the unemployment rate, it’s about where it was when Obama took office. But when he took office, the country was hemorrhaging jobs, with unemployment hitting 10 per cent 9 months into his first. Since then, unemployment’s been dropping, although painfully slowly. As for that ‘promise’ on unemployment, it never happened. Yes, he had economic adviser’s underestimating the depth of the economic collapse and projecting lower unemployment than eventuated, but a projection is not even remotely the same thing as a promise.

      Reply
    • GeorgeS says:

      Several problems with what you cited. First, the unemployment rate is now less than it was when Obama took office. Second, the deficit increase occurred primarily because of actions that the Bush Administration did (or did not) take that helped bring on the biggest financial crisis since the great depression. (For what it’s worth, the US didn’t get out of the Great Depression in FDR’s first term, either.) Underneath the “budget” deficit is the real deficit, which includes the trillions for two wars, one of which was totally unnecessary. We will be paying for that folly for decades to come. (To head off comments about “patriotism,” I spent 22 years in the US Air Force from Vietnam through the Gulf War.)

      Your distinction between “anti-immigrant” and “anti-illegal alien” is laughable. It doesn’t describe reality in any sense. Many of the “anti-illegal-alien” folks also want to deny immigrants the right to vote–they targeted voters with Hispanic names for harassment in Florida, for example. They’re the ones who propose stopping people and asking for proof of citizenship simply because of he way they look. (Could you provide definitive proof of citizenship if stopped? Do you carry a copy of your birth certificate around with you? If not, you could be thrown into jail.) Of course, these same “anti-illegal-alien” people have NO problem hiring illegals to work on menial jobs and have no problem buying produce picked by illegal aliens. They target the illegal aliens but get incensed when some business is caught hiring illegal aliens.

      Reply
    • Jeffrey says:

      We already know what happens when a white President doubles the deficit: they name the Washington D.C. airport after him and venerate him as a living god.

      Reply
    • doggyboyo says:

      The deficit is 200 billion lower than when Obama took office, the unemployment rate is down from when he took office, health reform was passed, one war has been ended, another war is winding down, no new wars have been started, America’s standing in the world has been restored and women and minority rights have been upheld and defended. There have been disappointments and failures but these have generally been because Obama has hewed to the status quo and not pushed back hard enough against the sclerotic establishment. I find it interesting that conservatives can’t remember that this country’s foundation is immigration and that fear of the “other” is always a losing philosophy.

      Reply
    • David Simon says:

      1. They did not boot Mr. Reagan out of the country. Rather, they named an airport after him. And still later, Mr. Cheney sought that fellow’s record by assuring us “Ronald Reagan showed us that deficits don’t matter.” Well, maybe they do and maybe they don’t. But hypocrisy is always notable.

      2. You may be aware that the entire financial structure of our republic was in free fall when Mr. Obama took office. The cost of the stimulus package resulted from that. Did the stimulus work? I rather think it did, based on the assessments of most major economists — some of whom would argue that even more deficit spending was required at that moment to ward off the impending recession. But that is of course the Keynesian argument, and I tend more toward Keynes than Hajek. In this, I am with Krugman. These are the names of economists. Notable ones, actually. Am I boring you?

      Anyway, the trick is harness the boom-bust cycle by spending to avoid the bust, and then paying off debt during the boom. Clinton did this quite well actually, balancing the budget and all. I won’t be so partisan as to blame Mr. Bush for then busting the bank with a couple of wars and massive deficit spending. To be fair, he was confronted with 9-11 and that certainly was an event profound enough to result in some certain overreaction in which we not only engaged in armed conflict in a country that had sheltered Al-Qaeda, but in an entirely different country that had no remote connection to 9-11. You want to look past the treasure we wasted in Iraq to cry a river about stimulus spending during a financial crisis? Okay. Have at it. But again, I’m with Keynes and Krugman. I think if we’d spent even more, employment might be down at 7 percent by now and the trough of the recession might not be quite as deep.

      3. It isn’t liberals who have such trouble discerning the precision by which the Republican stance on immigration is so judicious. ItLatinos. That’s your problem. Liberals are gonna vote against ya no matter what your immigration policies are or aren’t. But Latinos? Hey, they’re the ones you really pissed off with all that self-deport talk, and that Minuteman nonsense and lets-build-a-fence-so-high-and-far-that-Mexico-will-be-out-of-mind-and-sight-both. Latino Americans voted by a ridiculous margin for the Democrat, costing you fellows this election. You aren’t convincing anyone who really matters that you are pro-immigrant in your rhetoric, despite how reasoned you seem to think yourself.

      Reply
    • Steven says:

      Well, I don’t think our “man of color” anticipated that congressional leaders would have the audacity to state from their own mouths that their number 1 priority was to ensure that he was not reelected and that they would absolutely refuse to work with or compromise with him on any level. Were he a white man, as you speculate, he would never have had to constantly swim upstream in order to get anything at all accomplished. How can his performance in office be objectively evaluated when the majority of his legislative initiatives have been stonewalled or summarily rejected?

      As for your immigration comments, it’s the conservatives who have blurred the distinction between immigrants and aliens, as evidenced by the oppressive stop & frisk laws recently enacted in Arizona.

      Reply
  12. Matthew Wade says:

    In a divided nation characterised by staggering economic inequality, it is of course the protection and promotion of minorities within the overall state which will be a primary consideration for those influenced by notions of social justice. Until a nation state seeks to promote the interests of the least fortunate, that nation cannot be said to be healthy or united. And focusing on minorities doesn’t have to be to the detriment of the majority.

    I think the key point is, that the Republican party and any other conservative political movements need to recognise that seeking to retain an already outdated status quo, and protect a vision of a nation that year by year is disappearing into an partially racist, mysogenist, homophobic and theocratic past, is not sustainable.

    The minute you restrict the rights of people based on prejudice of one form or another, it invalidates many of your arguments on the issues that affect everyone, like the economy, how ‘the state’ should be defined, and even areas of foreign policy.

    Although I would consider myself left of centre, there are parts of what should be the Republican agenda that I would certainly consider worthy of exploration. But after issues of safety (internal or on the world stage) and the economy, human rights issues score very highly.

    There has been a lot of talk about potential Republican soul searching after both this and the last Presidential election, and given the breadth of views within the Republican movement, that is entirely fitting. But retreating back into the more extreme areas of your core support is a one way ticket to failure, regardless of your political leaning. Despite the serious amounts of crazy, Ron Paul and the Tea-baggers do raise significant political and philosophical questions about what government should be and how it should work. But attempting to answer those questions from a position of alienating a majority of single women, non-whites, young people and non Christian religions in a the USA is spectacularly counter productive. They are the fastest growing voter demographics.

    The new-younger generation of rising republican stars may get this. But there are many in the movement who still think, act and talk like the last 50 years didn’t happen. As the USA continues to diversify, only candidates who at least attempt to appeal to the broadest spectrum and address the concerns of the majority can be elected as representatives of their people. Which is exactly how democracy is supposed to work.

    The message is simple – Adapt or die.

    Reply
  13. Matthew Wade says:

    Although I think some of the language in this post is both dangerous and overly triumphant, I agree whole heartedly with its main thrust.

    In a divided nation characterised by staggering economic inequality, it is of course the protection and promotion of minorities within the overall state which will be a primary consideration for those influenced by notions of social justice. Until a nation state seeks to promote the interests of the least fortunate, that nation cannot be said to be healthy or united. And focusing on minorities doesn’t have to be to the detriment of the majority.

    I think the key point is, that the Republican party and any other conservative political movements need to recognise that seeking to retain an already outdated status quo, and protect a vision of a nation that year by year is disappearing into an partially racist, mysogenist, homophobic and theocratic past, is not sustainable.

    The minute you restrict the rights of people based on prejudice of one form or another, it invalidates many of your arguments on the issues that affect everyone, like the economy, how ‘the state’ should be defined, and even areas of foreign policy.

    Although I would consider myself left of centre, there are parts of what should be the Republican agenda that I would certainly consider worthy of exploration. But after issues of safety (internal or on the world stage) and the economy, human rights issues score very highly.

    There has been a lot of talk about potential Republican soul searching after both this and the last Presidential election, and given the breadth of views within the Republican movement, that is entirely fitting. But retreating back into the more extreme areas of your core support is a one way ticket to failure, regardless of your political leaning. Despite the serious amounts of crazy, Ron Paul and the Tea-baggers do raise significant political and philosophical questions about what government should be and how it should work. But attempting to answer those questions from a position of alienating a majority of single women, non-whites, young people and non Christian religions in a the USA is spectacularly counter productive. They are the fastest growing voter demographics.

    The new-younger generation of rising republican stars may get this. But there are many in the movement who still think, act and talk like the last 50 years didn’t happen. As the USA continues to diversify, only candidates who at least attempt to appeal to the broadest spectrum and address the concerns of the majority can be elected as representatives of their people. Which is exactly how democracy is supposed to work

    The message is simple – Adapt or die.

    Reply
  14. Ted Stevens says:

    Thanks for that, words of wisdom from the self hating rich white male contingent.

    Reply
    • Tri Nguyen says:

      And thanks for your cynicism. There needs to be less of that in this country.

      Reply
    • TC says:

      You have no idea who the poster was, and yet you condescendingly stoop to sterotypes and name calling. New normal indeed.

      Reply
    • David Simon says:

      I hate myself for a lot of notable and rational reasons. But race and wealth are not among them.

      I’m not sure I like you very much either. And it has nothing to do with your race or your financial status, I’m quite sure. Regrettably, it has something to do with your demeanor on this website and your simplistic and snide way of hurling weak-ass rhetoric into an otherwise interesting discussion.

      Reply
  15. Zac Y. says:

    So what you’re saying is that Obama was reelected because he’s different, not because he did a good job the past 4 years?

    You don’t give the President much credit do you?

    Reply
    • David Simon says:

      No, that is not what I’m saying at all. Though it seems to be what you are saying.

      Look, you said them. In your comments. Not mine.

      Mine said something very, very different. Complicated even, by comparison. You might consider a reread or two. Bring a more open mind.

      Reply
  16. M. Forgues says:

    Congratulations Americans!

    You are now assured of trillion dollars deficits, increasing welfare rolls, higher and higher taxes, higher unemployment and a permanently sluggish economy. THAT is your new normal.

    Welcome to socialism!

    Reply
    • mmalc says:

      “socialism”

      You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

      Reply
    • Tri Nguyen says:

      Thoughts like these get me really worried about this country. You’re a prime example of people being poisoned by our extremely partisan media.

      This video might give you an alternative look at the deficit “problem”. If this troubled economic time, cutting down on government spending to reduce the deficit will only cause further problems down the road. It is akin to not spending money on health care when you’re sick because you don’t want to borrow money.
      http://www.upworthy.com/a-6-minute-video-that-explains-the-us-economy-better-than-the-presidential-candi

      As the video also explains, increasing economic performance will also help lowering the welfare burden as more tax revenues come in and less unemployed people.

      Obama does not propose “higher and higher taxes”. He in fact proposes lower tax rate for many middle-income Americans while raising taxes for those at the top, as well as more taxes on capital gains, which will ultimately benefit more of the very wealthy (lots of equity in the stock market for eg.).

      Romney’s tax plan might look like lower tax rate at first, but that is only to benefit the very wealthy, as middle- and lower-income Americans will end up paying more taxes in the form of fewer deductions.

      And I suggest that you look up the real definition of socialism and what that means and where it is really practiced in the world. And then do a serious self-reflection to see other areas in this country that is more akin to socialism, before declaring anything as outrageous as “Welcome to socialism”.

      Reply
    • nx6 says:

      I’d rather be a bunch of money in debt than getting blown up halfway around the world fighting someone else’s war.

      Reply
    • B. Wright says:

      It’s funny, you people think that socialism is the devil but really its a prehistoric ideal from the cold war. Seriously the people who dislike socialism really don’t understand the facts. So here have a read. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/30/AR2010063004199.html

      Reply
    • David Simon says:

      Oh heavens no. We haven’t arrived at socialism yet, have we?

      Why no. I just looked out the window and we are still well within the limits of free-market plutocracy. Go back to sleep, kiddo. I promise to wake you if this old hooptie gets us as far as the suburbs of a viable republic.

      Reply
    • Ian Davies says:

      Few things make me smile more than seeing the word “socialism” tossed into an argument by somebody who plainly has no idea what the word means.

      Thanks.

      Reply
  17. Tim says:

    From the outside looking in, it rather seems what the USA really needs is for the south-eastern stated to secede. As always, the problem is religion. Let them have it, and their own problems to deal with.

    Reply
    • Tri Nguyen says:

      The problem is not simply just “religion”. The problem is a small number of people who think that their religion is superior and want to impose that on the rest. Religion is not a problem by itself.

      Reply
    • Pam Henning says:

      The above is what i have been thinking for years. Let the holy-rollers be imprisoned all together in one miserable climate….and they should exterminate each other in a few years……

      Reply
    • David Simon says:

      I wouldn’t miss Florida. Every four years, they screw up an election.

      But I would miss the Outer Banks. And Georgia. My wife’s people are from Georgia.

      Reply
    • Hamish says:

      Yes. Just don’t let them take any nukes, please.

      Reply
  18. Jacob says:

    Worth noting, as you delight in singling out white guys as a collective group of sheet-wearing Klansmen, that if white men as a voting bloc decided to fall in solely with Romney, he’d be in office come next year. Rise above the race baiting, even when it’s of a fashionable sort. It’s a cheap shot and cheap writing–and every bit as polemical as the divisive politics you profess to revile. Choose instead to acknowledge that enough Americans–including white men–heeded their convictions rather than merely huddled around the honkey candidate.

    Reply
    • David Simon says:

      Sixty-three percent of white male voters went against Obama. That is a record for modern American presidential elections. It is an extraordinary number — a landslide by standards. And this is — by wide acclimation of political scientist and pollster both — the most racially polarized election in modern American history.

      That is what this essay is about. That is the premise. It is a fact.

      You can ignore it or think it unseemly, but it remains a fact. White males, as a group, stood in stark opposition to this presidency continuing. Yet it continues, because minorities and women were equally polarized. And white males, demographically, are a declining share of the electorate.
      Ignore all of that in favor of your assumptions about what I “delight” in “singling out” if it serves your argument. After all, the Republican party is ignoring all of that as a matter of strategy. Me, I’m interested in what such racial polarization actually portends.

      Reply
  19. No says:

    “A man of color is president for the second time, and this happened despite a struggling economic climate and a national spirit of general discontent.”

    This statement troubles me. It highlights the fact people are looking at race over substance.

    Reply
    • David Simon says:

      But people are. This is the most racial polarized presidential election in modern American history. That is fact. That is the real political dynamic at work. We can either assess it for what it is and where it is taking us as a country — which is what this essay does — or we can pretend that race isn’t relevant to American voters, those who are white and those who are of color, when it so obviously is.

      Reply
  20. Jim Treacher says:

    “I did not want to see dishonesty and divisiveness and raw political hackery rewarded.”

    Too bad.

    Reply
    • Tri Nguyen says:

      Too condescending.

      Reply
    • David Simon says:

      You know, when I wrote that line, I knew for certain that at least one snide shitbag would reply exactly as you have. I wrote it anyway. Kind of like a ripe piece of cheese under a box, held up on one end by a stick. Never fails.

      Thanks for visiting.

      Reply
      • Jim Treacher says:

        Considering the source, I accept your venom with pride.

        Reply
        • David Simon says:

          Venom is a big word. I’m not that angry.

          But to come here and offer a flippant negation of a disembodied sentence and have nothing to say — either pro or con — on the substance of the essay. What is the fucking point, brother? Wade in. Have a take, try not to suck. I am welcoming to an argument of ideas, to real point and counter point. Two words of snark and then you run away? Come on. You can do better. That kind of response is fit for a troll, and I’m not engaging as a troll here, am I? Reserve that shit for someone who’s truly bringing a troll’s game.

          Reply
          • Alex says:

            David, if you’re not engaging as a troll, then you’re engaging as a dishonest, divisive, raw political hack, which is what Treacher pithily pointed out.

            You’re playing the Obama camp’s game of characterizing the bulk of opposition to him as rooted in white male animus toward racial / sexual “others” — rather than engaging or even acknowledging the philosophical grounds for the conservative objections to, e.g., ever-expanding government largesse funded by ever-increasing demands on the resources of an ever-shrinking productive class (which is made up of people of *all* races, sexes, and orientations — just like the underclass, the government worker class, the organized labor class, and the green-energy-boondoggle-investor class, who are the beneficiaries of many of the redistributive policies that conservatives oppose).

            You are falsely imputing bad motive to nearly half the population of the United States in order to chill dissent, shut down debate, and distract from legitimate arguments. That sort of calumny pisses us off. So yeah, you shouldn’t be surprised at all when someone calls you on it.

            Reply
            • David Simon says:

              He didn’t call anyone on anything regrettably.

              Mr. Treacher, if that is his name, didn’t show up with a full-blooded argument. He showed up to be a third-grader on an adult website.
              He literally, in two words, provided the equivalent of, “I know you are, but what am I?”

              I didn’t call him out because he disagrees with me. I called him out because that kind of post is just fucking useless.

              As to my characterization of white males, I am noting that it is the only cohort in the American electorate to support Mr. Romney and I am noting as well that the Republican platform itself, supported by the party and by its candidate, engages in affirmation for policies that have alienated voters who are black, Latino, female, homosexual en masse. I am, yes, noting the racial polarization in the electoral outcome and I am arguing that the GOP must become more moderate, more inclusive and more solicitous of other American realities beyond that of its predominantly white male base or it will be ever more marginalized.

              And yes, are there white males who want to be inclusive and who don’t support every extremity of the GOP stance, and who voted for Mr. Romney because they thought he was the best candidate? Of course, there were people who voted for Obama who did so merely because he was black. But Mr. Obama and the Deomcratic platform carried more than African-Americans by a wide margin. They carried every other American cohort save for white males and, maybe, Cuban-Americans in Dade. Clearly, that variance is not merely the random result of a bunch of people, oblivious to their own racial or class standing, voting without such considerations on the man they think will make the best president. Other forces are clearly in play and they are adverse to the Republican future. Pretend otherwise, but it is so.

              Reply
  21. Andrew says:

    I voted for Obama and I am happy that he won, but I’m much happier that common fucking sense won. The polls that told us it really wasn’t that close, the stats guys who said Obama was winning swing states were all attacked, with zero evidence besides facts having a liberal bias and right wing zealots living in a different world. When math beats scare tactics, you know that that people will start to see the charlatans for what they are.

    Also David I’m why no shout out to Colorado and Washington? That is a big fucking deal. Prohibition got a kick in the teeth, and I’m hoping that once the rest of the country doesn’t see them fall into anarchy other states will follow.

    Also marriage equality wins in 3 states, and my state MN voted down both voter ID and changing the constitution for “one man and one woman”.

    As long as Obama keeps his word on “decade of war ending” , yesterday will be one for the history books, at least for what I want to see for our countries future.

    Reply
  22. Andrew McMillen says:

    Great words, David. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  23. FrustratedHypocrite says:

    Well, that’s a hopeful piece. Here’s something a bit more open about divisive special interest politics you brush off. http://frustratedhypocrite.com/?p=669

    Reply
  24. Margo Hasselman says:

    Mr. Simon,
    This is eloquent and inspiring, and I enjoyed ALMOST every word. But then I was disappointed at the end, by a phrase that seems well intentioned but is troubling: When you list groups that you hope politicians will stop trying to frame as the “feared other,” you close with, “incredibly, in this election cycle, our very wives and lovers and daughters, fellow citizens who demand to control their own bodies.”

    This is the phrasing of a male writer speaking to a male audience — by using “our” you define the “we” in that sentence as male (and possibly lesbian?), and the “they” as women. We might read it, but we’re not who you’re talking to. You didn’t switch to first-person pronouns till you started talking about women. The fact that a language framework like that can sneak into a piece like this tells me we’ve got a ways to go.

    Keep up the good work and never stop improving.

    Reply
    • Nicole says:

      Margo, that is an interesting interpretation. I read it and felt part of the collective audience, not outside. Women of this country are “our” wives and lovers and daughters, fellow citizens” of mine (and yours), without sexual orientation coming in to play. The same way that the husbands, sons and brothers are. They are mine and yours and ours (the “we”) in the name of humanity, but specifically because we are united as American citizens who demand in this great democracy to have control over over their/our own bodies.

      Reply
      • David Simon says:

        Just so. See my reply elsewhere. My pronouns there speak to the issue of abortion, and those singularly male political leaders who feel equipped and justified in denying women control of their own bodies and choices. The pronouns were entirely purposeful.

        Reply
    • Remy Veci says:

      Margo, Thank you for pointing out David Simon’s poor choice of personal pronouns.Language has power, and I found myself all of a sudden on the outside looking in. He was no lnger speaking to me as an equal in the new normal. He was speaking about me, as I existed in relation to him: his very wives, lovers, daughters an all too familiar position

      Reply
      • David Simon says:

        Respectfully, my choice of pronouns at that point is precise.

        I am indeed writing a personal essay here. That is evident from the first paragraph with the use of the first person, and I very pointedly wanted to address that particular point not to the population as a whole, but to the array of right-wing males — some of them senatorial candidates — who are so quick to assert over the individual rights of women. The targeting was pointed at men specifically.

        It may not have worked for you, but it was done in a considered fashion. I was trying to shame men who feel completely at ease seeking to deprive civil liberties to women as a class, pointing out that the individuals they do this to are not nameless, rootless others, but the very human beings with whom we share lives. I am speaking of course to the debate about abortion specifically.

        Reply
    • David Simon says:

      Working back through comments this a.m.

      I think I spoke to your concern below in a subsequent reply. My choice of pronouns was purposed, as explained below.

      Reply
  25. Joan says:

    No offend, but I, being european, don’t understand the obsession that you, the americans, have with the skin color. I don’t see this minorities/black/latino/homosexuals victory, I just see that the intelligent, honest guy (if that’s possible in a politician) won and the ignorant millionaire lost. Thank god!

    Reply
    • sherri S says:

      Yes! Indeed

      Reply
    • Michael says:

      Skin color shouldn’t matter and in most other countries it doesn’t. For some reason, here in the US, the conservatives have historically been white men who’s women followed along. Now things are changing. Color is becoming more beige. Women are more respected for their opinions and what they can do. Don’t get me wrong, there is a long way to go and the liberals are moving it along faster now than ever. I also speak as a gay man who is so happy that there are now 10 states or 20% of the United States of American where it is no longer acceptable to discriminate against one for their sexuality. I hope in my lifetime to see that number grow to 50! Obama won not only the Electoral College vote, he won the popular vote…Thank God indeed!

      Reply
    • Ben says:

      Joan, with all respect, spare me the no-racism-here-in-Europe thing. It’s not like your wonderful (and I mean that quite sincerely) continent is short of racism–see Le Pen and their ilk in a wide variety of countries, just for a start. And I don’t recall any black, Arab, or Turkish person ever being elected a president or prime minister, either.

      Reply
    • Jeb says:

      I’m… sorry — Europeans somehow aren’t concerned about race? Is this post legitimate or faux naivete?

      I totally forgot how open the Swiss People’s Party or Freedom Party of Austria are to immigration generally; the progressive view on Romani people in Bulgaria; how welcoming Finland is to Somalis; France’s open-arms policy with respect to Muslims; Germany… well, I could go on.

      I love Europe, but I’m always amused by its citizenry pretending that racism is a distinctly American problem. Quite the contrary.

      Reply
      • B. Wright says:

        That wasn’t the point being raised. It was the point that people overly emphasis the fact that the president is of color rather than his politicizes, I’m from Australia one of the most racist peoples on this planet and for most looking in we are but a happy small population of Caucasians but in reality we have a large population of “Bogans” that really have no idea what they are badgering on about most of the time. Each society is as good and as bad as the other it’s just that America gets more attention.

        Reply
    • J from Nj says:

      Because we are a country that is more diverse than any other in the world.

      By the way, have you watched a soccer game in Europe? I’d say they have a thing for skin color too.

      Reply
    • PapaChach says:

      yes, one would never see racial hatred and xenophobia (coughcough le pen coughcough national front coughcough golden dawn coughcough freedom party coughcough jobbik coughcough danish people’s party coughcough) in europe….

      you may dismount your high horse now…

      Reply
    • David Simon says:

      You’re missing most of the fun.

      Reply
    • rhian says:

      Seriously, you don’t see the big deal because you’re European? How many people of color does Europe have as presidents or prime ministers? No offense, but you, personally, don’t have an “obsession with skin color” because you have white privilege. Obama’s presidency is a victory for people of color in the US, and it will be a victory for European countries when you start electing non-white leaders too.

      Reply
    • Joan says:

      Ok, yes, there are racists in Europe and there is no black president in any European country. But there are women and gay presidents, and nobody (serious people, like Mr. Simon) writes articles about how great it is that fact for history.

      I don’t know… I would say that there is no black president in any European country because there’s a lower ratio of black people in the population, but that would mean that people vote for candidates of their color…

      PS: This is not an attack to American people or mr Simon, I admire both of them.
      PS2: By the way, Merkel is evil, and it has nothing to do with being a woman.

      Reply
  26. ellen gordon says:

    Thank you for this-eloquent in the extreme. I am so relieved that I don’t have to start looking for a new country to move to. George Bush just about did me in, Romney would have finished me off.

    Reply
  27. Mark D says:

    On a newspaper website here in New Zealand approximately 80% of voters said they were relieved that Obama was re-elected. Not that he enjoys uinversal support as some of his actions, like the inhumane use of drones, are very much mainstream US policy. So too are his economic team of ex Wall Street dinasours. But then again things would have been much much worse under Romney – no doubt about it. But with pundits like you David and the greatest of them all, Noam Chomsky, leading the US will be a bettere place eventually and so will the world.

    On behalf of the rest of the world – thank you.

    Reply
  28. raj says:

    I’ve been following with amusement the construction here of Mr. Simon’s rhetorical ploy now completed by “Barack Obama’s great victory”: culture wars over, ruling elite can’t play that “weak-ass game” no more, socioeconomic issues back in play, the return of Keynsian New Deal paradise in offing. It’s just the sort of simplistic drivel one expects of the American pseudo-left. Those who prefer a more truthful account of yesterday’s happenings might want to look at the take of Counterpunch‘s Jeffrey St. Clair:

    “Barack Obama is a technocrat and he just won a technocratic victory. His reelection campaign, lacking any kind of arching philosophy or defense of his own disturbing tenure as president, became a bland exercise in political calculus, targeting individual precincts, swing counties and fractionated demographic sectors.

    Obama’s victory, at the cost of $2 billion, is about as thrilling as completing a game of Sudoku. Obama was propelled to his slender popular vote victory by those that the Republicans almost ritually abused: women, blacks, gays and Hispanics. Ironically, these are people that the Obama administration has also ruthlessly strafed for four years. But Obama smiled as he cut the lower-classes adrift in the midsts of a cratering economy, while Romney expressed only contempt for them.”

    Reply
    • Frank says:

      And what might say this description fits the Republican Party and mitt Romney, in particular, to a T. And it has for years. It is the empty rhetoric of the right-wing American political scene that causes the desperation and excess spending we now see in American politics. Gingrich and this cynicism of republicanism in the 90s pretty much has us where we are today. So next time you throw around words like pseudo left — so trendy, aren’t we? –you actually might want to take a close look at the Rio right.

      Reply
    • Warren says:

      ” It’s just the sort of simplistic drivel one expects of the American pseudo-left. ”

      I suppose you and your co-thinkers at Counterpunch are the “real” Left then? Perhaps one of the reasons why and you your ilk are on the road to irrelevancy (if indeed you haven’t arrived at that destination already) is because you pretend not to see the progressive (albeit agonizingly slow) reforms that are finally beginning to happen, in one the few countries in the world with a constitution that allows that fight to be fought in the first place.

      How, exactly, is Mr. St.Clair’s account more truthful? It’s more bitter and vitriolic in that Fox News sort of way, (even if it is from the Left.) But I don’t see how that makes anything Mr.Simon says in his piece to be “simplistic drivel.” Any victory against political digression is worth celebrating. Even it we didn’t wake up in a whatever socialist paradise you and Mr. St.Clair still laughingly believe is is attainable or even desirable.

      Yes, we’ve got a long way to go and a long, hard fight to get there. But your insistence, Raj, that small victories are worthless is just childish and simply serves to breed more apathy in the people who read and hear it. And apathy is what’s best for Wall St. and the Tea Party.

      Great piece Mr. Simon. And I’m very much enjoying Treme again this season!

      Reply
      • David Simon says:

        I am not the pseudo-left. I am the real left. I work so earnestly at my agitating, only to have a fellow like this come along and call me ersatz.

        How frustrating.

        Reply
    • David Simon says:

      There is nothing like Counterpunch, in which the philosophy holds that the more moderate enemy of enemy is still…my enemy!

      Ideologues love an echo chamber. That never changes.

      But the saving grace of the ideologically pure left is that it is not the ideologically pure right. The latter can do some real damage when they get to fulminating. The former just talk passionately and affect nothing whatsoever.

      Reply
  29. Obamney says:

    A nice summing up of how America is changing.

    I didn’t vote for the president this time because I’m certain that climate change is our biggest problem (and his record is pretty dismal). I am keeping my fingers crossed for a swing to the left for his second term, but do not for one minute expect a “socialist utopia”! This kind of thing is exactly why the republicans lost…..calling the guy who bailed out banks and the auto industry a socialist is so ludicrous, you just can’t take anything they say seriously.

    I smiled for three days straight after 2008. I’m smiling today, but it has more to do with Akin, Mourdock, et al going down.

    Am loving this season of Treme.

    Reply
    • David Simon says:

      I’m hoping he uses the second term to ratchet down the drug war. Global warming would be a nice second act as well.

      That’s the stuff that second terms are for, I suppose.

      Regardless, we are assured that it will not be four more years of things getting worse faster.

      Reply
      • Ford Kendrick says:

        The drug war at home and abroad… the news networks constant attention given to the conficts in Syria and Benghazi yet complete ignorance of the massacre going on just 200 miles from where I type is partly due to the O’ adminstrations lack of aknowledgement of whats going on in mexico being a problem. We can all agree that taking down a political regime (ie syria, iran) is a strenuous propostion but how about bad guys murdering kids and dumping bags of heads in front of schools. I love obama for a multitude of things but his handling of the drug war– and for years we called what was going on in our ghettos a “drug war” when it really was some made up bs, but what is going on in mexico is a war and its over drugs

        Reply
  30. OM says:

    As a white male, I feel SO relieved.

    Thank you David Simon. THANK YOU.

    There is no other, no inclusion anymore and you are right, its about DAMN time its gone.

    So no more Affirmative Action. No more policies based exclusively on diversity. No more education dollars wasted on diversity problems. No more skewing test scores to favor certain groups. No more talk about the “lack of representation” of any group in media. No more designating crimes as “Hate Crimes”. No more careers ruined because of perceived racism.

    We are all the other now! We are all Americans and we are all the same.

    I’m so glad, that FINALLY, we will be able to judge a man by the content of his character and not the color of his skin.

    Reply
    • Michael says:

      WOW. Nicely done.

      Reply
    • David Simon says:

      Yeah, it’s been so damn easy being black or Latino in America for so damn long. Thank goodness we’re past that nonsense.

      Reply
      • OM says:

        I would love to know how any black or Hispanic person born in the last 30 years has had it worse than an immigrant arriving in the 1920s or 1860s? And why, David, do Indian, Asian and even African immigrants now succeed here in the United States, despite all the racism and white privilege and prejudice that you seem to think exists at such extraordinary levels, graduating college at rates higher than the white majority? And anyway, Hispanics immigrants who come here with nothing: Shouldn’t they expect it to be hard, but better than where they came from? And isn’t that what they are getting?

        That’s the problem with liberals like you David: Its always 1959 when it comes to issues of race.

        You (people in the public eye) making excuses for the failure of outcomes by certain groups is what keeps those failures in motion, over and over again.

        Reply
        • David Simon says:

          Andrew Hacker, “Two Nations.”
          Alex Kotlowitz, “There Are No Children Here.”
          Simon & Burns, “The Corner”
          Anything by Kozol, perhaps.

          These are books. It is clear from your post that you live in one America and believe that what greets you every morning is a universal. But genuinely, there is another America. And it is devoid of the circumstances and resources that you take for granted as you maneuver through the confines of your environment.

          I am not saying that someone needs to throw your entitled ass out of a car at Monroe and Fayette street and make you actually talk to other human beings and begin the honest process of acquiring the truth about what this other, actual America accords those who are born into it. That would be rude. But pick up a book or two before you stoop to as much foolishness as you just demonstrated.

          Fact: Among all Western democracies, the United States now has the lowest level of mobility between social classes. In this country more than any other in the West, where you are born largely predetermines where you die. The American ideal of upward mobility and the reward of hard work is ever more a lie, stastically. Recounting a myth in ignorance of actual facts can’t make it any more true.

          Reply
  31. Lori White says:

    I love it when you talk America to me, David Simon!

    Reply
  32. Chris Amor says:

    Holy hell: “Evolve, or don’t. Swallow your resentments, or don’t. But the votes are going to be counted…”

    It’s not arrogant to celebrate a victory of tolerance over intolerance, reason over hysteria, and hope over fear. As another commented, there is also nothing inherently wrong with being conservative. But this election was not about conservatism versus liberalism – it was about mainstream society rejecting a toxic mix of extreme viewpoints, big money, and we-win-when-you-fail. And that’s worth celebrating.

    For a moment anyway. Then let’s get on with it.

    Reply
  33. Ryan says:

    Beautifully written. Not challenging you, but my curiosity seeks to become better informed. What are “the cards of racial exclusion” you refer to and why are republicans stigmatized as the party against blacks? Minorities indeed represent a disproportionate share of low-income neighborhoods, prison population, poor school systems, etc. To me, this systemic problem transcends party affiliation and is a byproduct of a “free” market, capitalist society. These harsh realities have persisted under both democratic and republican presidents, as well as both a democratic and republican controlled House. Maybe I am naïve but rather than being a racial exclusion or an opposition to minorities, I’d like to believe it’s a fundamentally different approach to solving poverty and related side effects. The conservative indirect approach of allowing small business to remedy these issues neglects the built in advantages and disadvantages within the “system”, or markets. And the liberal approach of directly providing handouts and entitlements is a step in the right direction but possibly promotes dependency without attacking the source of poverty. Again, maybe it’s my naïveté but I find fault in public opinion associating being against excess governmental assistance with opposing minorities.

    Nonetheless, the republican party needs to figure out how they can rid themselves of this stigma, while keeping their fundamentals of small government. The opportunities are out there, including but not limited to promoting social businesses and social impact bonds. There are innovative ways to harness the entrepreneur, capitalist spirit into social good and helping to solve society’s most pressing issues. But in the end, it’s not up to the republicans or democrats to fix the society that transcends them, it is up to the people that sustain it.

    Reply
    • David Simon says:

      I know all that scuffle about voter suppression in battleground states, and all of the legal wrangling to create new requirements by which voters would have to prove themselves to polling officials and could be challenged or expunged from voter rolls — I know all of that trifling stuff was just a blip on your radar screen. But in the lives of people of color it was an affront that is entirely without nuance. It is well understood.

      Stand in someone else’s shoes for just a minute or two. Please.

      Reply
      • OM says:

        The most natural thing in the world to me was handing over my ID before I could vote. It makes perfect sense that you should prove you are a citizen before doing something as important as voting.

        Voter suppression was blown out of proportion by the left because that is what they do: create race and ethnic problems where they don’t exist to drive up interest.

        Reply
        • David Simon says:

          You might want to read up on the seemingly benign methods by which voter suppression against minority citizens is actually practiced, up to and including using identification requirements to manufacture the most minute challenges to registered voters. This has been documented.

          Voter suppression isn’t what’s been blown out of proportion. Voter fraud is a manufactured concept entirely. Widespread voter fraud hasn’t been documented anywhere in these United States. To the extent the GOP now has a problem with voters of color, well, you said it yourself: “That is what they do: Create race and ethnic problems where they don’t exist.”

          Yup. And the blowback was a bitch, wasn’t it?

          Reply
      • Ryan says:

        Understood. And I would not dare to call these issues trifling. The vehicle behind Jim Crow laws, photo id, felon disenfranchisement, etc are appalling and shameful. But my point was trying to understand and discuss possible remedies to the source underlying these acts. If the working class and minorities were divided amongst the parties, I would hope such monstrosities would be futile.

        Reply
  34. David in Georgia says:

    What a nice load of duplicitous pablum. You at once extol the virtue of inclusiveness and the melting pot while celebrating the person who most effectively played on divisiveness and racism to get elected. The arrogance and hubris of the “winning” side in this election and the previous Presidential election is amazing to watch. It is indicative of all that is wrong with Liberalism today, a bunch of egalitarian, elitist snobs playing the masses against themselves with class warfare and racism under the guise of “taking care of people” because you have the arrogance to think you know best.

    Good luck with that. I do hope the economy doesn’t collapse under the weight of wealth redistribution (taxes) to come. Now that it’s been 4 years of Obama rule, perhaps we can stop hearing “it’s Bush’s fault” though I doubt it.

    Your reply to Brade above is also quite disingenuous.

    Reply
    • Jason says:

      they cannot help themselves, David. They’re Machiavellian by birth, narcissists by trade.

      Reply
      • Captain Tragedy says:

        “It is indicative of all that is wrong with Liberalism today, a bunch of egalitarian, elitist snobs playing the masses against themselves with class warfare and racism under the guise of “taking care of people” because you have the arrogance to think you know best.”

        This isn’t liberalism, it’s exactly what the Koch Brothers, Karl Rove, and the rest who fund the Republican party do. *They* are the ones who prey on racist paranoia and fear. The guy playing on racial divisiveness is the one giving speeches to rooms full of white people that the other 47% are moochers. You are literally, 100%, 180 degrees wrong about this.

        Reply
        • Anthony Aaron says:

          Actually, Captain, I have never seen a group of people so totally intolerant of any viewpoint but their own as the current crop of liberals is. We’re being overrun by privileged, spoiled, narcissistic liberals — what I call socialist yuppies — who want all of the privileges and such for themselves, so long as they get to tell the rest of us how we’re supposed to live.

          But, if you take these privileged ones out of their expensive houses, and take away their taxpayer-subsidized ‘trendy’ accoutrements — they will whine you to death.

          They preach care for all of the minorities and disadvantaged and whatnot — but they want unborn children killed at will, they want an ever-growing federal government regulating us to death — but, like the mid-level Soviet Union party members that went to Israel after the fall of the USSR —- the suffering that they legislate IS NOT MEANT FOR THEM.

          It’s a tragedy that in 2012 the citizens of these United States of America have such utter twits and dolts to be in high political office. Like a friend of mine said last night, quoting Mark Twain — if voting is so important, why do you think they’re giving it to us?

          Reply
          • Tri Nguyen says:

            You may think that it is not right to kill unborn babies, it is your own right. But imposing that right on women who might not share your opinion by banning abortion is wrong. People who vote for abortion may not agree with the idea itself, but they want other people to be able to decide that for themselves.

            And look at who’s whining…

            Reply
          • Spiny Norman says:

            You’re so oppressed. Poor little dear.

            Reply
          • David Simon says:

            My, that is a sad state of affairs. I can see that you are being whined to death while you so manfully express your unhappiness in the boldest and most worthy phrases. If only Americans such as yourself could have more opportunity to tell us what you really feel about those who don’t think as you do. That would certainly not whine anyone to any degree at all, I’m sure.

            Reply
      • Kimberly says:

        Well said David in Georgia, I was thinking the same thing.

        Reply
    • G Duk says:

      “[...] the person who most effectively played on divisiveness and racism to get elected. The arrogance and hubris of the ‘winning’ side in this election and the previous Presidential election is amazing to watch.”

      Do you have any specifics to back this up? How specifically has Obama played up divisiveness? Is it in his speeches? In private conversation that’s been recorded? Through legislation? What legislation? Which speeches? Last night Obama talked about how he was glad people voted, whether for him or Romney (sadly no mention of third party candidates). And what about the arrogance of the “winning” side? Just 24 hours ago online I saw many people saying “buhbye Obummer” and they had cute little memes like “Uninstalling Obama 99.99% complete” and it was all just a big joke to them. Obama has been called Odumbo and Ofailure. How does that help the political discourse? How specifically, either through words or legislation, has Obama proven himself to be an overall divisive president who actively seeks to split America apart? How is he specifically worse than Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, etc?

      “I do hope the economy doesn’t collapse under the weight of wealth redistribution (taxes) to come.”

      It always amazes me how minor percentage increases and decreases in taxes, like 35 to 40 percent, or 15 to 20 percent, somehow in the non-math world of partisan bickering equal intense class warfare that could doom us all. A bit overly dramatic, don’t you think? I believe we all need to accept that the tax argument is never going to go away. I’d at least like to see the argument shift away from the more vs. less battle and more into the effective vs. wasteful discussion. I’m happy to pay taxes if it’s helping my country and building infrastructure. But spending over a billion day on a foreign war with a country that never attacked us? That would go into the wasteful column for me. Where specifically tax money goes is of primary importance, and overall rates would come in second, especially since as a whole we’re at historically low individual rates. 90% or 70% taxes do not exist in America.

      “Now that it’s been 4 years of Obama rule, perhaps we can stop hearing ‘it’s Bush’s fault’ though I doubt it.”

      I personally haven’t heard anyone say this is all Bush’s fault in a long time. However, I’ve heard many people say this is all Obama’s fault. It’s a two way street, and you seem to miss the irony in decrying Obama’s presidency while also telling people to stop blaming Bush. You can’t say “stop pointing fingers” while your finger is firmly in the air and aimed at Obama. That makes you a hypocrite, or a partisan hack, or both. Please rethink your position here, or at least the phrasing of your words.

      Also, it’s good to see you lump all liberals together into one single group who all believe the exact same thing and who are all at the same exact point in their lives. That kind of us vs. them mentality based on emotion rather than specific facts is just what America needs.

      Reply
    • Katie says:

      I don’t think it’s possible to be “egalitarian, elitist snobs.” Kinda contradictory, that’s all. I’m sure you’ll tell me that makes me an elitist snob, but so be it.

      That’s all.

      Reply
    • Crompaany says:

      Please elaborate on the divisiveness and racism of the Obama campaign, other than simply, you know, being against the other guy – which is what any kind of “election” is about… Or are you gonna whine that he played politics in.. politics? I’m curious to hear how you talk yourself out of that one.

      Reply
    • Adam says:

      Pray tell, how can one be egalitarian and an elitist snob at the same time?

      Reply
      • Anthony Aaron says:

        …by speaking out of both sides of his mouth — something political figures and liberals seem to be very capable of doing.

        Political liberals like to preach the equality card — but take them out of their expensive houses in their segregated neighborhoods and take away the other marks of their elitism — in other words, make them truly the equal of the underdogs they seem to champion — and they will whine you to death.

        Reply
      • David Simon says:

        Heh.

        Reply
    • Chris says:

      Agreed completely that class warfare helped put Obama in the White House, disagreed completely that it was only the liberals who engaged in class warfare. It just happened to blow up in the GOP’s face, which is why things will likely change next time. And I hope they do, because the less social issues matter, the more honest it will force every politician to become.

      Reply
      • David Simon says:

        I’d be all for class warfare if the right class had a shot at winning. But as Warren Buffett aptly pointed out, class warfare has been underway in this country for quite a while now.

        “And my class is winning.”

        Anyone complaining about class warfare on the part of the poor has to explain the Gilded-Age concentration of wealth in the top 1 percent, the increasing rates of poverty and the declining buying power and economic instability of the middle class over the last couple decades.

        Reply
  35. Aaron Cohen says:

    David:

    First time. long time. You will love Obama’s acceptance speech. I remain worried about the electorate’s ability to stay in the game through the coming battle over budgets and tough issues. Even Al Sharpton thinks we “should come to the middle and get something done.” I worry that the House still doesn’t get it.

    Reply
  36. john miller says:

    Dear David, i have never agreed 100% with what anyone has written about this election on either side untill i read this ,Fantastic,

    Reply
  37. Marc Eisenberg says:

    Well said, Mr. Simon. Power to the People.

    Reply
    • Anthony Aaron says:

      Marc — the ‘power’ that you seek has long been taken from all of us. Even some of the 1% really are out of the loop — they just happen to have gotten really wealthy by other means than by being part of the true power structure in this country and this world.

      Steve Jobs, for example, became wealthy by being the way he was, without any real connections to the power-source in America. He worked hard and he worked really smart — and he was gifted with a certain type of technological vision — and he got where he was before he passed in spite of the powers-that-be.

      Reply
  38. Jason says:

    This is all well and good and I’m sure the “I’m proud to be and american today” ilk in your crowd will rally around the President in his 2nd term to further “the agenda” that is starkly different than what 48.5% of US Citizens want. Democracy after all is delivered by the barrel of a gun thru mob rule. But the folks on left don’t mind, as long as it’s “their guy” in power. They don’t mind about the wars anymore, the drone strikes killing innocent people of colored skin in other countries, presidential kill lists, the NDAA, the Patriot Act, etc….. nah, none of that matters to you folks anymore. You’ve got healthcare and gay marriage is on the horizon, so your world is a much better place today.

    Bare with me, I’m gonna pee on your parade because the utopia you & folks like Jason Whitlock dream of and can taste because your getting so close to it, is nothing more then a mirage. It’s a mirage made up of false financial promises through counterfit money generated by central bankers who dangel carrots in front of the masses while they steal our wealth thru their ponzi schemes. It will eventually take down the entire financial system during Obama’s second term. Will he be at fault? Probably not, but he’ll be the guy who resides over the demise of the american dollar that is already well on it’s way to being destroyed. His answer will be to enlist his criminal friends at Goldman Sachs (who incidentially run the Federal Reserve as well). All the while our freedoms (personal & economic) will continue to be eroded and reduced to rubbell. They’ll tell us it’s in the name of national security & for the betterment of the country, but we should know they’re full of shit by now. I’m gonna make some predictions, not all will be right, but you’ll get my idea. In the next 4 years (in no particular order)-

    1. the United States dollar will no longer be the worlds reserve currency. Our debts will far exceed what the creditors around the globe are willing to lend us. Russia & China will trade oil on something other then the petro dollar & all those dollars Helicopter Ben & Greenspan printed out of thin air for years will come back on our shores causing an economic panic. It will make 2008 look like a walk in the park

    2. Entitelments will be drastically cut & people will resort to rioting in the streets (see our friends over in Greece today). Incidentially american citizens have 35% greater debt burden then greek citizens. .

    3. When the economy sinks, the leaders will distract us with a war against Iran. They’ll tell us it was about Iran’s big bad nuke they’ve been developing for what, 20 years now? Amercian sheeple will buy and we’ll kill another million innocent colored people, because really when was the last time the US bombed a country with white people in it?

    4. Gas will go well above $5 a gallon

    5. The central bankers in the west will have a gloablly coordianted “big print” to the tune of $20 trillion dollars in order to save the world economy. Really all we’ll be saving is the big banks that have bought and paid for the politicians who can fool us with this. But Keynesians like Paul Krugman will cheer it as “progress” & “stimulus”.

    6. Housing will plummet again. Because printing money and keeping interest rates at historic lows for what seems like eternity worked out so well last time. People will lose everything.

    7. Inflation will be rampant. The cost of goods will go thru the roof in an attempt to keep the ponzi scheme going. The middle class and working class will be wiped out, any savings they may have had destroyed.

    8. Student loans will be the next bubble burst. Millions won’t have the money to pay their loans back & will simply opt-out of doing so. That’s when the taxpayer will step in and subsidize the next big bailout.

    Like most in our country today, it’s easy for wealthy folks like you and Jason Whitlock to be distracted. Distracted by the noise you want to hear and write about. It makes you important and your opinions sought after. But it really doesn’t matter anymore. It doesn’t matter that Obama won or that Romney took Florida & the dynamics of gerrymandering in Ohio might make not make it a swing state any more. It’s all political bullshit that the sheep buy into and the MSM peddle to a bunch of salivating dogs. It’s a charade that should be laughed at, like the people who proudly walk around with the “I voted today” sticker. It makes them feel important, like they have a say in the world. We don’t, it’s an illusion. It’s all bullshit… plain and simple.

    Reply
  39. Katie says:

    Thank you Mr. Simon. I agree totally. I was worried that 2008 was just a fluke and this year we’d revert to the mean. I believe what you say is correct — this election proves to me that change has come. I guess we can really only know if change is real in the rear view mirror. And yes, there will still be events and statements that make me shake my head, but I am more sure than ever that it’s the death rattle of a terminally ill patriarchy. Evolve or die.

    I work with a group of men clinging to 1980 and I have to admit, it was hard to wipe the gloat off my face.

    Thank you, again, for your eloquence, passion and dedication.

    Katie Ford Hall

    Reply
  40. Detroit says:

    “There is no normal” “There’s nothing wrong with anything”

    These types of philosophies seem noble in theory, but are the basis for the downfall of a society. I’m all for the discussion to redifine what we consider normal or right. The WASP contingent that dominated for so long is no longer the dominant majority, but to replace that with no discussion on what is optimal for the whole, leads to disaster. We are doing ourselves harm, if we don’t use this opportunity we have, where old racist and sexist regimes have been toppled to discuss openly what is actually right for the whole. As a society, though it is hard unfortunately we must discuss what is best for the majority and not just the individual. Many view this as discrimination but it is not. Any law or regulation that is effective starts with what is optimal for the majority rather than just the exception. Even if it is something as simple as the speed limit. We must determine what is optimal for all rather than the exceptions or individuals that may need to drive faster or slower on given occassions. Yes, it seems noble to be happy that you personally are ok with anything people want to do or be, but that does not work for effecitve policy making in a government.

    Reply
    • Captain Tragedy says:

      I think there’s a very big difference between passing policy that is optimal– which is, I believe, what David was referring to when he said “utilitarian”– and the idea that only one culture is “normal” and all others are outsiders to be regarded with suspicion or dismissed entierly.

      Reply
  41. matt says:

    brade,
    i felt the same way during the Bush years. I felt that same smugness from the other side. It’s tough to feel like 50% of the people in the country that you live in and love feel very different than you, I get that. People voted last night and this is our world now. You’ll get over it.

    Reply
  42. Omar Little says:

    As someone who works in a rich man’s white collar environment (and has for many years), I can tell you that the “us vs. them” mentality is unlike anything I’ve seen before. Not only was the idea of voting for Obama unheard of, but my coworkers seem to think the only people that voted for him are the poor minorities who had to be bused in.

    Reply
  43. Benjamin Krimmel says:

    America is becoming more…American!

    Reply
  44. Steve says:

    This is great article. My question is what happens when whites become the minority and will not be given preferential treatment the same way current minorities are? I fear a retribution of a historic magnitude.

    Reply
    • Derek J says:

      Not all “current minorities” receive “preferential treatment.” Asians don’t. Non-African American muslims don’t. That’s not to mention the fact that even in a country where whites aren’t the majority, they’ll continue being a plurality of the electorate for the foreseeable future, and are likely to control the bulk of the nation’s wealth in perpetuity. So there shouldn’t be immediate need for remedial action to redress the injustices that white folks imagine they will face when they become “minorities.”

      Reply
      • David Simon says:

        Well, certainly in the matter of remedial action, I would strongly favor exposing you to a wider range of emotions than your own festering racial resentments. Who, other than you, is talking about remedial action, injustice, or preferential treatment? The essay was about voting and demographics and the time-bomb that the Republican party has created for itself.

        Reply
        • Derek J says:

          David,

          I was making a bit of fun of Steve’s comment about whites not getting “preferential treatment,” not advocating for such action. Steve’s comment just seemed like an odd statement to me, despite the friendly “great article” at the beginning (a sentiment I share, by the way). I thought my response was absurd enough that everyone would get that it was sarcastic.

          Apologies for inadvertently increasing your annoyance today.

          DJ

          Reply
          • David Simon says:

            No worries. My bad. Sarcasm doesn’t always convey on a quick scan and I was reading rapidly to dutifully get through all the comments and engage folks. I gotcha now.

            Reply
  45. Brade says:

    The problem is that those who supported the winner in this election (such as you) come across as incredibly smug and unlikeable. So congratulations, I guess? But that’s why there will always be an opposition to people like you who are so certain that their way is the One True Way. Of course, this absurd brand of certainty exists on both sides.

    I tend to watch elections like this from a slightly detached perspective (although I don’t mind admitting I voted for Romney because he has a proven record of working and compromising with different types of people–a true pragmatist like Clinton). And I’m never too surprised by the level of hatred that comes from either side, but especially the winners. You’d think this would be the other way around, but nope. I had to unfollow at least 5 people on Twitter just because their attitude about Obama’s victory was so unbelievably arrogant.

    Obama gave a nice speech last night. That’s what he does well. If only his acolytes could communicate one-tenth as effectively as him, the political climate would be something approaching sane. But John Gruber said it worst: “I love the smell of a socialist utopia in the morning.” At least it’s nakedly honest, but it’s a frightening indication of how your side tends to think.

    Reply
    • David Simon says:

      Tough morning for you. I understand. Sorry, if my opinions have added to your displeasure.

      Reply
    • BMAC says:

      “Nakedly honest”? Or maybe just comedic overstatement? C’mon. That’s right up there with Romney’s comprises with the Massachusetts legislature, where he vetoed over 800 bills (and had those vetoes overturned by a massive majority 99.6% of the time according to the Boston Globe).

      Reply
    • DS says:

      You voted for Romney because he worked with Democrats in Mass. – which is 2/3 Democrat – while holding completely different positions on a whole range of issues? No offense, but you are a fucking idiot and I am glad your side lost. I take it you are some type of libertarian-type of thinks of yourself as a self-sufficient citizen or Galtian genius? Do you actually remember the Bush years? Terry Schaivo? Iraq? Katrina? Medicare Part D? ‘With us or against us”? The office of religious affairs? Political litmus tests for people in the Department of Justice? Creationism at public parks? Using homophobia as a political tool to gain votes? Yes, totally surprising that a great many people are happy that we don’t have to return to those years again. So congratulations, I guess? Because you came up with the most banal way of supporting a political candidate who changed hie position on virtually everything and is, deep down, a homophobic, ethnocentric, borderline racist individual who thinks anyone that is not a multi-millionaire is a lecherous piece of filth.

      Reply
    • the rest of the world says:

      Obama, and his policy track record, is considered right wing in many other modern democratic state e.g. most countries in northern Europe. He is no social democrat and a very far cry from a socialist, sadly.

      Reply
    • sifr4 says:

      Brade,
      It’s telling when you use phrases like “people like you”. Using such a phrase shows the compartmentalization of others (or “The Other”) to placate the fears that control you. I’m not writing this to cajole you or to sway any of your ideologies, merely to show how you are subverting your own efforts to communicate.

      There are no sides. There is no us vs. them. Such antiquated binary applications of reality are not endemic to a particular ideology, but rather to an inability to communicate.

      I’ve heard intelligent things come out of Republican mouths. I’ve heard stupid things come out of Democrat mouths. Ignorance and intelligence are not endemic to a single ideology. There are no sides.

      Political parties have been a useful means of branding an agenda and building a community around that brand. But they’ve also been the primary means by which any electorate in any country becomes divided against itself, when the reliance upon the party brand overpowers the reliance upon the candidates’ agendas. And in this way, political parties are antithetical to democracy. They turn voters into shills.

      E pluribus unum… Out of many, one. “Many” is the most important word in that motto. The greater the many, the greater the one out of that many.

      Reply
    • G Duk says:

      Brade – what happened to Our President, right or wrong? I remember hearing a lot of that circa 2002-2003, and leading up to the invasion of Iraq. And smug, do you remember the reaction after Bush won in 2004? It was brutal. Many people clearly cared more about “winning” than the fate of the country.

      Also interesting to see many Republicans such as yourself now praise Clinton, re: “a true pragmatist like Clinton.” In 1998 I was told by many people that Clinton was the worst president this nation had. I remember one woman even telling me, “I actually don’t hate any of our past presidents, well except for Clinton, he’s a joke and a disgrace to all the others”. I can only imagine in 15-20 years when Republicans are praising Obama and denigrating whomever happens to be at the top of the Democrat and/or liberal ticket of the time.

      Reply
  46. Keith Uhlich says:

    Grazzi, Mr. S. Terrific read.

    I stayed out of the maelstrom of coverage yesterday, and went to bed right after watching the Mardi Gras episode of “Treme’s” third season. It was a great note to end the day on, whatever the results ended up being, (though I am happy they went the way they did). The series has always helped to right me whenever I’m feeling anxious and uncertain. It’s such a generous, pointed, and profound portrayal of humanity in all its colors, this most recent installment especially. I was happy to spend Election Eve with it.

    Reply
    • Half Coyote says:

      Yeah. Second that. The Mardi Gras episode was great. The scene with the Marine Band and the Middle School Band was absolutely beautiful. Also liked how the young trumpet player was quoting Charlie and challenging Antoine. I’m sure playing hard bop on the trombone is not easy. Something interesting will come of that.

      Reply
  47. Michael Bryan says:

    Perfectly stated. Next we will elect a worthy woman to the Presidency and consign the boys club to the dustbin. How about a President Gabbard? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulsi_Gabbard

    Reply
  48. John Payant says:

    Mr. Simon, I simply want to say thank you for the words I just had the pleasure and pride to read. I can only wish to be able to speak and write as succinctly and articulately as you have. This is the America I see. There are a lot of good people on all sides, even Conservatives. I see the main problem being that true Conservatism has been lost in the GOP. Barry Goldwater would be a moderate Democrat if he were with us today. Maybe the people who make up the extremes will realize they are going the way of the dinosaur, and logic and common decency, as well as common sense, can rule the day. I hope that there are tens, no hundreds, of thousands of young people who will see things through a similar lens as you do, and will lead our country to heights even greater than we currently can envision.

    And thank you Jason Whitlock for guiding me here.

    Reply
  49. Matt Schabl says:

    David, this is one of the most eloquent pieces of prose I’ve ever had the good fortune to read, and I thoroughly enjoyed every last word.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  50. Jason Whitlock says:

    David, you are my hero. Thank you for this. Thank you.

    Reply
  51. christine in SF says:

    Effing brilliant. Thank you.

    Reply
  52. Neil Kandalgaonkar says:

    Thank you for this. I’m telling everyone I know to read it.

    I’m sorry that you are being attacked for being self-hating. I guess some people cannot grasp the difference between writing the obituary for white cultural dominance and writing the obituary for whites. For instance, Bill O’Reilly.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2012/nov/07/election-2012-bill-oreilly-white-establishment-minority-video

    He made almost exactly the same points as you, except he believes that when straight white male dominance goes, so goes the work ethic.

    I wish there were some video form of this essay to reach a similar audience. Sorry, I know that’s a lot to ask, but maybe there’s some way it can happen.

    Reply
  53. Donkey says:

    Don’t put white and Christian and male together with straight as if white Christian men are the only normal creature in the world. It sounds like a zebra is thinking only zebra is the normal creature in the whole freaking world. Most people in nazi are white straight Christian males. I remembered a word, imbecile.

    Reply
  54. Neil Kandalgaonkar says:

    David Simon, forgive me for offering unsolicited advice, but you’re relatively new to blogging. I suggest that you not engage with any of the aggressive commenters here. This is one case where Just Say No is the appropriate policy.

    There is an infinite amount of stupidity, and there is only one you, so taking them on individually is a bad idea. If you’re going to struggle against stupidity, use some medium where you have a force multiplier, like the blog itself or films or TV series.

    At the very least, never offer five lines to refute one. I know that the worst of them can pack encyclopedias of ignorance into one line, but you have to resist it. Or delegate the work of approving comments to an assistant. Or even turn off comments entirely.

    Feeling like you have to respond to idiotic comments has been the downfall of many interesting blogs, because the whole exercise becomes too draining for the author. I’d like to read more from you, so my motive here is actually selfish.

    Reply
  55. Pete says:

    While I understand the point you were trying to make was that the “new Normal” has no place for bigotry, you sure made that fine point with a sledgehammer, painting in blood with broad brushstrokes.

    You’re propagating this myth that all white men are racist by nature, and that somehow “the mass of white men” were beaten back by the FORCES OF GOOD (TM) made up wholly of women, homosexuals, and ethnic minorities.

    Most white folks I know aren’t bigots. Most white folks I know adhere to the “content of their character” argument. You, however, are not. You seem to be claiming moral superiority while painting all white males as Neanderthals.

    Who’s the bigot now? Seems to me you’ve managed to pretend not to be while painting white men as truly ignorant creatures.

    Reply
  56. Brad Landers says:

    I love the ideas you’ve expressed here, David. I’m a registered Republican in Florida who voted for Obama. Arguably, I’m right in the sweet spot of the votes that won this election for him. I voted for Obama because the Republicans are no longer proposing solutions. As you pointed out, they’re in denial. Your second paragraph has me a little worried though:

    “But the country is changing. And this may be the last election in which anyone but a fool tries to play — on a national level, at least — the cards of racial exclusion, of immigrant fear, of the patronization of women and hegemony over their bodies, of self-righteous discrimination against homosexuals. Some in the Republican party and among the teabagged fringe will continue to play such losing hands for some time to come; this shit worked well in its day and distracted many from addressing any of our essential national issues. But again, if they play that weak-ass game past this point, they are fools.”

    The election was won by the narrowest of margins. Yes, the electoral college was a landslide, but that landslide was generated by a confluence of winner-take-all policy in the electorate, and a very narrow win in some key states. Almost (very, very close to) half of the country still voted for Romney, even though he ran on one of the craziest and most extreme right-wing platforms I’ve seen in recent times. That is alarming to me, and I’m a “Republican”!

    Reply
  57. Avi Marranazo says:

    Let me preface my comments by saying I did not vote for Governor Romney. So I have no interest in defending him.

    I must tell you, though, you must have been tracking a different election than I, based on”..this may be the last election in which anyone but a fool tries to play the cards of racial exclusion, of immigrant fear…” President Obama is constantly banging on about his (partially contrived) identity as a member of a racial victim class. I didn’t hear a word from Romney about excluding people because of race. He talked about economic opportunity, not about (government sponsored) equality of outcomes.

    If White people had the racial and ethnic solidarity that Blacks, Latinos and Jews(!) have, the American nation wouldn’t be in the fix you describe above. You can gain some credibility by doing a similar posting extolling the virtues of diversity, disenfranchisement and displacement in Israel. Why is it that diversity is only desirable in White European nations?

    Reply
  58. Todd G. says:

    David,

    Great article, but my fear is that the Republicans will come back in 4 years with a more moderate candidate and smarter strategy and draw in many from the groups you talk about to win the White House again. It wasn’t long ago that we brought W back for another term, a time when I was promising to move out of the country if that trend continued. The American people are, unfortunately, a fickle bunch. I don’t think it will take much for the Republicans to win the White House again, and spend 4 years moving us slowly backwards with a population that is less angry over the huge mistakes made in this campaign. Or, gasp, putting forth a minority candidate that the masses can identify with but who holds many of the beliefs of the conservatives.

    Reply
  59. James says:

    I agree with some of what you are writing, even though I am on the other side. I feel that your essay may have been more poignant in 2008 rather than yesterday. The 2012 campaign was not conducted in a vacuum, Obama’s campaign actively tried to separate people based on race, religion, gender, class, etc. For this, Obama received approx 8mil less votes than in 2008.

    It is true that Republicans need to expand to a greater part of the electorate, rather than primarily the base voters. Bush carried 44% of hispanic/latino voters in 2004, can it just be that Romney or his campaign didn’t target those voters well enough? Could they like Obama more? Why does it have to be the ideas are wrong?

    Drawing any long term conclusions based on tuesday is tricky and wrong headed. Where were you in 2004? Bush had been re-elected, had the house and senate, then in 2006 lost both and the groundwork for Obama’s rise had been laid.

    Lastly, results still matter, if there is a new coalition the be built, let it be built upon success, not upon 7.9% unemployment, 16tril debt, and Obama’s electioneers.

    Reply
  60. foljs says:

    A man of color is president for the second time, and this happened despite a struggling economic climate and a national spirit of general discontent. He has been returned to office over the specific objections of the mass of white men. He has instead been re-elected by women, by people of color, by homosexuals, by people of varying religions or no religion whatsoever. Behold the New Jerusalem. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a white man, of course. There’s nothing wrong with being anything. That’s the point. This election marks a moment in which the racial and social hierarchy of America is upended forever. No longer will it mean more politically to be a white male than to be anything else.

    Actually, it’s the reverse.

    The racial and social hierarchy of America will stay just as it was, because the underlying causes for it are not social but monetary inequalities, and those will only worsen.

    At best, it means that in addition to being a wealthy WASP guy, now you can be accepted as an wealthy black guy. Which has been the case since the seventies, anyway: money has no color.

    For the REAL divide between Americans, nothing has been done. The “black president” is just a show to appeal to the minorities, while ensuring that in every way that matters to the elites, everything stays exactly the same –or, in fact, worsens.

    A black kid in Alabama, an Indian in SD, or a latino in California, won’t be any better for Obama’s term in office. Or any poor white kid, for that matter.

    The kind of “analysis” and cheering for “change” done in this post, is the one that mainly privilege white males, such as the author, do. Not much rejoicing in the unemployed, the underprivileged, and the periphery of the American upper middle class circle jerk.

    Reply
  61. Peter Birks says:

    Hi David: I was brought up in London, England, in the 1960s. It was a time when the city was changing from light industry white working class to the cosmopolitan city it is today. In other words, London has “gone through” something of what you say America is going through at this very moment. And London has come out the other side, a very different place. As a white male born into the working class in the 1950s, who is now part of what I guess would be termed “the liberal elite” of London in the 21st century, I feel for both sides in the America debate. While I welcome the cosmopolitanism of London today, I also feel a sense of loss of what was. Sometimes I feel a stranger in my own hometown. because my hometown no longer exists. It has become something else.

    It is this fear of losing that into which you were born that, I think, leads white working class middle America to support the likes of Romney rather than Obama. Not everyone is an intellectual and not everyone likes change. They know what they know and they want it to stay that way. Explaining to them the huge benefits brought by the waves of (white European) immigrants in the 19th century, and how what is happening to the US now is just another version of those waves, pointless. That was then and this is now. There has always been a fear off “the other” and the new coalition put together by Obama is, for them, very much “the other”. If I can identify with those feelings, despite my natural “liberal” leanings, then how much stronger must those feelings be for those who feel threatened on an economic as well as social and cultural level?

    I guess my point is; saying to people like this “times have changed. Deal with it”, we have to attempt to show them that what they see as a threat is not really a threat at all. The problem here is that, although the new reality is not a threat, but an opportunity, for the USA as a whole, for some individuals it is a threat. For these people, their conservative reaction attempting to keep hold of their old way of life is all too rational.

    Keep fighting the good fight. I have loved your stuff since I became addicted to Homicide in the early 1990s. “The Wire” is seen over here (in my own circles) as the televisual equivalent of Dickens at his best.

    PS. If I can get a date with Melissa Leo before my eyesight fails, I will die happy.

    PJ Birks

    Reply
  62. Mohammed Epstein says:

    Mr. Simon — First off, I applaud that you are responding to your readers. And I found this a pretty good write up.

    I generally agree that Republicans will have to start tailoring a more inclusive message if they want to compete in American democracy going forward. I would be happy if they did. I would like to believe I’m a centrist / independent, but I think that would mean voting for a Republican candidate roughly half the time, and I’ve voted solely democrat since I turned 18 in 2000, mostly out of fear of what Republicans want to do (or, in W’s case, what they did do).

    Take Romney. His record in Massachusetts touted many pragmatist achievements. But he backpedaled on just about every reasonable policy position he had supported — apparently out of a need to kowtow to tea party crazies and other right-leaning fringe characters. So, while I was pretty conflicted over Obama (on balance, I’d say I was marginally positive, but I can count more than a couple missteps he’s made that have disappointed me), I was pretty frightened of the “empty suit” phenomenon that seemed to be going on with Romney. I ended up not really being able to countenance my vote for him.

    Romney was also doing a lot of saber-rattling. I don’t understand why there’s such a strong appeal in a president saying to Americans “I will strengthen our military”. I get the sense that most people don’t actually know how much we spend on our war chest — and what we might get if we invested that elsewhere. The mere notion that there is (apparently) near universal appeal in the flexing our military muscle, makes me think there’s some inherent vulnerability in the American collective consciousness.

    Anyway I’m rambling but I’ll say one more thing. Another reader tried to compare our current political climate to “The Wire” and set you off, so — sorry in advance, but — I have to say I’m fascinated with the Hamsterdams taking root in Washington and Colorado. Obviously it’s just a (pleasantly green) toe in the water of ending the drug war, but — I’m just as excited about this (and the other socially tolerant changes in the wind, like gay marriage) as I am about the current Republicans losing their grip on the electorate. I will lose a significant amount of respect for Obama if he sends in the feds to raid Washington and Colorado. Obviously, it can get a little troubling for him if these places turn into weed havens and that starts to eclipse the rest of their culture, but I hope he tries to approach this in a rational, balanced way — rather than just giving a nod that the drug war will continue while he’s in office.

    Reply
  63. Steve O says:

    Your analysis is fundamentally flawed by accepting a liberal, left of center view of Conservatives spewed by liberal left of center main stream media and left of center blogs. Unless you move outside of the influence of those who hold similar views your argument carries little weight.

    Barack Obama is a GREAT community organizer and a HORRIFIC leader, able to organize a coalition to get elected but unable to lead a nation. Welcome to America 2013-2016, 4 more years of divisive leadership, a shrinking economy, and staggering debt.

    Reply
  64. Justin Gomer says:

    During CNN’s election coverage, Alex Castellanos said something to the effect of, “I was hoping the Silent Majority would show up; it didn’t.” As your post makes clear, in actuality Nixon’s Silent Majority did show up but the southern/”wedge issue” strategy of Kevin Phillips, Lee Atwater, etc. no longer offers a viable path to the White House. I’m curious if you think 2012 could be for the GOP what 1972 was for the Dems (perhaps ’08 was actually the moment but the recession allowed the hope for one last New Right hurrah). I don’t mean in any way to equate McGovern and Romney, but ’72 sent Dems chasing the Republican Party rightward for 30+ years. It seems that the changing American electorate could produce a similar tack to the left. Democrats got the votes of people of color, gays, and white women, but Republicans did a lot of the work for them. If the right comes back to the center to attract those groups, could it force Democrats to address racial and gender inequality, immigration, wages, etc. in far more progressive ways in order to win those votes? I sure hope so.

    Reply
  65. Jonathan says:

    I’m happy obama got in again and I think he did a pretty good job the first 4 years. At the very least, it seemed to me he made a lot of smart decisions given the pressure that he was under. It’s easy for people like us to comment and say he didn’t do this or didn’t do that. It’s a lot different when you’re the one making the decisions.

    As for the “death of normal”, I think you’ve kind of went a little too far there. I don’t believe the part about “There’s nothing wrong with being anything” anymore simply because people invent problems just so they can give themselves an ego boost for doing nothing. That’s all racism is. Just a cheap way to boost your ego. After all, if you’re poor and white, well, at least you’re not black or mexican. It will always be around in one way or another. As the country gets more “brown”, I kind of suspect racism will morph into, I don’t know, “educationism” where the amount of education you get or don’t get is the primary way people of all colors make themselves feel superior to other people. I think it will be education for the simple fact that people are lazy and that seems to be an easy dividing line now that race and gender are slowly not being used as much anymore. It’ll be: Did you go to college? Yes? Well, hey aren’t we better than those schmucks who didn’t? (I went to college, by the way)

    Anyway, that’s my take. Who knows what “ism” it’ll actually be but people will invent the next version of racism simply because people are cheap and lazy. Who knows, maybe white guys like me will get the bitter end of it this time. At least there’d be some extremely delayed justice in that.

    Reply
  66. T says:

    David – I enjoyed your comments and offer my own. I think the Republican Party is at a crossroad where they can reform as a party of common good or continue to be bogged down in anger and angst about their own failings. Look at the post-election analysis from Camp Elephant – who’s at fault for losing? What can be done to prevent a third apocalypse in 2016? It’s all introspective about the party’s failure to perform. Perhaps a party sized dose of Viagra is in order.
    Where is the positive attitude needed to push past our economic doldrums and move our national attitude back to a positive plane? Where are the master plans for recovery promised by the Tea Party and Masters Romney, Boehner and Cantor? Or will these be held in secret only to be revealed when a Republican President takes office? I just don’t get it.
    I’ve told friends, colleagues, and students that the time to bitch is over. You had four years, so make it go away and lets start over – AS A UNITED FRONT! Where’s the fear coming from now? Does one man really have that much power to deflate 310,000,000 citizens on his own? (or at least a significant portion thereof). The President serves as the nation’s head coach and his retirement is secured in 4 years. Why not make the best of that time beginning like right now.

    Reply
  67. David Simon says:

    I loath myself for any number of good sensible reasons. Race isn’t one of them.

    Reply
  68. Tracey says:

    Sad to see that the mouth-breathers have descended on this piece of thoughtful brilliance. Proud to inhabit the same cityscape – and country – as you, Mister Simon. Thank you.

    Reply
  69. OM says:

    David, until you wrote this article, I never knew you were Jewish.

    And trust me, I didn’t have to look it up.

    I think you did a brilliant job on the Wire.

    I think you are an idiot when it comes to politics.

    This fantasy world of Obama and yourself, where everyone is “normal” and there is no “other” will never come to pass. You think that blacks and Latinos get along? You think that Asians have high opinions of either group? Its going to be about turns now. Soon, it will be the Latinos “turn” .

    All you, Obama and the Democrats are doing are cheering the demise of white males. , because that’s been the liberal goal all along.

    Reply
  70. Carol Lindsey says:

    Well put, Mr. Simon. You are a wonderful writer. I hope that this milestone will eventually change the demographics of the “ruling class” and that “they” remember the challenges they faced. The congress is richly rewarded for their dysfunction, and this positive reinforcement may delay the fundamental, structural changes that will be required to make that body more reflect “the people” they will represent.

    Reply
  71. laner says:

    OM, it’s not about everyone one day being some kind of ‘normal’. It’s about the fact that everyone is different and that being ok. It’s about putting up with each others’ differences, not about trying to make everyone the same.
    It’s not about the demise of the white male either. It is about recognising the importance/value of the rest of us as well.

    Reply
  72. David Simon says:

    Until you wrote that post, I had no idea you were an anti-Semite.

    Webmistress, to the kill file with this troll of trolls. And close the lid, thank you.

    Reply
  73. David Simon says:

    The broad brush is actually in your hands.

    The mass of white male voters rejected Mr. Obama by a dramatic margin. The percentage is disproportionate to the population as a whole. Clearly, about 36 percent of white males, or a little over a third, cast their vote for Mr. Obama, so no one would be so ridiculous as to allege that racial bias is a universal character flaw in white males. But it is a phenomenon that seems evidenced in the voting patterns of white males in particular. And given that Mr. Romney’s base of support was overwhelmingly white and male — given that even a gender bias within voters was evidenced — it is an entirely notable and relevant result.

    And given that during this campaign, the GOP engaged in efforts to suppress minority voting in various states, that their candidates repeatedly asserted for legal dominion over the bodies of women, that their approach to immigration issues fully alienated Latino voters, that they are diametrically opposed to the political and social aspirations of homosexuals, my argument stands.

    The Republican Party and its tea-stained companions can’t manufacture angry white men fast enough to replace the legions of others that they routinely alienate as voters. That some minority of white males won’t play the politics of exclusion in the first place, or have other political leanings, only adds to the demographic problem. But that the Republican stance is largely dictated by white males is simply beyond argument. This is the political party of their choosing by and large. It represents them as it represents no one else. Deal with that. Or not.

    Reply
  74. David Simon says:

    See? Someone gets it. Good on ya.

    Reply
  75. David Simon says:

    Thank you for your kind concern. I had time to kill on an airplane with wi-fi, so I limbered up and engaged. On occasion, doing so interests me if I tink it can provoke readers to additional commentary and discussion on the blog. More often, I don’t have the time.

    When I do decide to kick in, as I have here, I recognize four forms of troll and near-troll.

    1) Someone who seems plausibly sincere yet misses the point entirely or travels down preconceived arguments of cant and non-sequitur. To these, I sometimes venture additional commentary and see if it helps them remain on point.
    2) Someone who seems to be baiting me or others. I generally ignore.
    3) Someone who seems so passionate in their desire for righteous insult that I just want to play a bit:

    “The arrogance and self-righteousness of the left is just amazing, with the solution to the countries (sic) problems being to vilify the white male. If only we could have purged this country of the man 200 years ago it might have turned out to be a decent place to live.”

    “Well certainly we should have prevented them from dancing.”

    I mean, life is short. How can one resist?

    Reply
  76. Avi Marranazo says:

    What about the 90% + of African Americans who voted for Obama? Is that “racist” too?

    Reply
  77. David Simon says:

    Well, think about it.

    African-Americans have a long history of voting for white men in America, often in a large majority. They’ve done so repeatedly.

    A majorty of white males on the other hand have never voted for a national black candidate.

    Yeah, that.

    Reply
  78. David Simon says:

    If they come back with a more moderate that’s a good thing, right? I mean, I’d vote for Eisenhower.

    And in Maryland, I voted for Mac Mathias repeatedly.

    If the Republican party swings back toward the center some, that’s good for all Americans.

    Reply
  79. David Simon says:

    And yet, 2008 was, I think, less telling.

    Sure it was extraordinary to see a person of color elected president. But at that point, the Bush administration had fallen from favor with much of the country and there was at hand a certain momentum for changing parties. Witness the Congressional pickups that year as well.

    I think Tuesday is notable because though I think Mr. Obama has done a creditable job of dealing with the financial collapse that he inherited and minimizing the damage, his election still comes with the economy in a vulnerable state, with unemployment lower than it was but still high, and with the country in considerable angst over economic issues. It reveals the fledgling coalition more than in the year of a transformational wave such as 2008.

    Listen, Democratic administrations can falter and screw the pooch. And the Republicans may nominate a more popular candidate.

    But the demographics are trending against them. And these are long term demographics. And the trend has to do not with what happened this month or last, but with whole electoral cohorts who at this point have been alienated from the GOP and who routinely vote en masse for the opposing party. That is a dynamic that belies any year-to-year comparisons.

    Reply
  80. David Simon says:

    Are you sure?

    Do you spend much time in the other America? Because I spend a good deal of time in New Orleans and Baltimore and I have heard from folks in every economic and racial strata, and I can tell you that with little exception, there is a lot of rejoicing in the other America for Mr. Obama’s victory, as there was in 2008. The lines for early voting in those neighborhoods was damned impressive.

    This post was careful to acknowledge the forces that remain arrayed against change — in Congress and in opposition to so much of our populist impulse. But it also acknowledged the changing demographic that has allowed Mr. Obama to retain the presidency and to continue to assert for an agenda that is better than the alternative, clearly.

    I’m often accused of being a cynic and a pessimist. But you have me beat, brother.

    Camus said to commit to a just cause with no seeming hope of success is an absurdity. But not to commit to a just but unlikely cause was equally absurd, and only one choice offered the chance for dignity.

    Reply
  81. Henry Brick says:

    Excellent comment to an excellent article. I’m also from London and really see the parallels you draw between the changes here and in the US. I agree that’s just saying “deal with it” probably wont work… I’m just not sure how one goes about educating people so set in their ways.

    Reply
  82. David Simon says:

    Agree. I’m hoping the second term holds some promise for drug policy reform.

    Reply
  83. David Simon says:

    Do you at any point want to offer a lick of substance as to why the analysis is “fundamentally flawed”?

    Say, an argument that the GOP actually has potential appeal to voter cohorts other than white males? Or that it is conceivable, given the demographic trends, to elect people to national office by carrying only the plurality of white males.

    One of us is speaking to the numbers and to the demonstrated effect of GOP policy positions on the electorate. The other is resorting to ad homimem about who his opponent should associate with or talk to before venturing any opinion. You can do better, but it will require some fundamental rhetorical discipline. Thus far, nothing.

    Reply
  84. Steve O says:

    Do you have examples of Mitt Romney’s: “racial exclusion, immigrant fear, patronization of women and hegemony over their bodies, & self-righteous discrimination against homosexuals” or do you follow in the lock-step opinion of the left?

    Your focus is on social division, the least among our issues in ’12, and exactly as the media has duped you into following, like a lemming. Unfortunate!

    Reply
  85. Sam says:

    I get it now.

    You want policies that are dictated to each specific group.

    Creating a better economic climate for all does not have the same ring as:

    Immigration for Hispanics.
    Welfare for Blacks.
    Abortions for Women.
    Student loan delays for the Youth.

    Basically, you’ve revealed the Democratic strategy and why it works: Vote for us, we’ll give you stuff.

    Reply
  86. David Simon says:

    Did you really reduce the political aspirations of African-Americans to welfare? Did you reduce the political agenda of women — half the population of this nation — to abortions? Do you think Latinos aspirations begin and end with immigration? Do you think the hopes and dreams of youth can be encompassed in student loan delays?

    And do you need believe that any cohort other than the one you belong to has aspirations for the American collective? Or are you worried that they’re all hanging around just to take shit that belongs to you and your buddies and other people who resemble yourself?

    Of course you did. And you’ve revealed yourself to be an abject racist and misogynist. That will be your cue to say, “who. me? how dare you?” But it’s right on the page, right where you typed it: “Welfare for blacks, abortions for women…” Crawl bag into that keg and close your eyes and try to pretend its still 1951. But don’t bring that vile shit up into my house. Webmistress, the side door for this mouth-breather.

    Reply
  87. David Simon says:

    Did you not follow this election? Did you miss every headline? I spoke not of Mr. Romney specifically — though he let slip a few notable phrases — but of the Republican party. And yes, they were epic in pursuing that very line. If you can’t remember what transpired over the last wearying year, I can’t pause in my busy life to recount it all for you. But the voters remembered. Yes they did.

    Reply
  88. Sammy II says:

    I do Steve:

    Romney said he was for legal immigration and against legal immigration with caveats that educated illegal immigrants would receive a green card. This was considered “alienating Hispanics”.

    Romney said he didn’t support the Ledbetter Act (an act that does nothing for anyone but lawyers) and didn’t agree on the liberal cult’s shrieking consensus on when life begins. So he alienated women.

    Somehow Barack Obama’s “I support gay marriage, but I’m not going to do anything about it, now if you’ll excuse me I have some high profile LGBT fundraisers to attend” was distorted by the media into him actually doing something to endorse gay marriage, making Romney the awful homophobic candidate (despite Romney never getting into the issue at all).

    Basically, David’s friends in the media swung this election as they try mightily to do by creating narratives that don’t exist and making anyone who doesn’t vote for Obama into a racist.

    David, I’ve lost all respect for you.

    Reply
  89. Steve O says:

    You just made my point! If read the headlines and the narrative from the main stream media so the election is about your social talking points. The reality is we elected, again, someone who is more comfortable with JayZ than the CEO of Intel. We elected someone based on like ability not the potential to solve the biggest issue of our lifetime–the debt and economy.

    Actually pretty funny. Obama got the vote and endorsement from the the head of Intel in ’08. He rewards the guy by putting him on Obama’s economic task force. After 4 years of working with Obama (actually 2 1/2 as Obama hasn’t met with his own council in over a year) the head of Intel endorses Romney.

    Reply
  90. Stephanie says:

    Oh my heart! Mr. Simon, thank you for continuing to speak truths as we know and believe them.

    Reply
  91. Napoleon says:

    Let me get this straight. In order to be relevant, I need to be pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-amnesty, and pro-raising taxes. No thanks. I’d rather go down with the ship.

    Reply
  92. paul says:

    forget the eurpean model, americans should instead look to canada. a strong free country that takes care of all its citzens.h care is there for everyone

    Reply
  93. Tom says:

    Your country came off looking like a banana republic.

    7 hours to vote?

    Reply
  94. nancy says:

    I hope to god you are right. I am afraid we are going to see a seismic re-alignment in racial categories expanding just who is “white.” They don’t give up easy.

    Reply
  95. David Simon says:

    You’re correct. There will be some of that to be sure. The attempt to peel off the Latino vote — given the explosive demographics there — is almost certain. If they couple that with a commitment to immigration reform, they might float their boat for a while. But then, they will have done so by becoming at least somewhat more inclusive and by actually forsaking ideological absurdity and xenophobia for practical reform and governance.

    I’m not adverse to the GOP remaining in the game if they become a rational political argument for more and different Americans. That’s the critique, after all, no?

    Reply
  96. David Simon says:

    Are you arguing against the demographic brick wall that is approaching the GOP? On what basis? The essay makes clear that the transformation is ongoing and will bit fitful. It even uses that word. But the numbers are the numbers. Unless party platforms change — meaning, the GOP moves to the center — then they are relying on an electoral cohort that is declining by percentage. And the Democrats are utilizing a coalition that is only increasing as a percentage. Free your mind of Obama this or Romney that and just look at the numbers — that is the underlying dynamic that is making itself event.

    Reply

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  32. [...] Wire and Treme creator David Simon has a tremendous post up about President Obama’s reelection that is also a back-door explanation for why Simon’s [...]

  33. [...] David Simon with “Barack Obama And The Death Of Normal” at The Audacity of Despair. Hard times are still to come for all of us. Rear guard actions will be fought at every political [...]

  34. [...] Wins Maine State Senate Seat, Humans Tremble At Might Of The Horde. Demographics as Destiny. Barack Obama and The Death Of Normal. The Mystery of Why Republicans Were So Sure They’d Win. Cheer Up, Republicans. Obama won Cubans [...]

  35. [...] more post regarding the election: David Simon looks at what changed the moment the election was decided. “Normal” is [...]

  36. [...] linked to this great article by David Simon about the changing demographics and ways of thinking in the United States, and how irrelevant [...]

  37. [...] david simon Barack Obama And The Death Of Normal http://davidsimon.com/inevitabilities-and-barack-obama/ ____________________________Team Black Jack Reply With [...]

  38. [...] The Death of Normal Share this post:TwitterFacebookGoogle +1EmailTumblrLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Categories: Personal Comments (0) Trackbacks (0) Leave a comment Trackback [...]

  39. Winners. | says:

    [...] who click on this link.  Without endorsing everything in it, I highly recommend [...]

  40. [...] Via William Gibson (@GreatDismal), David Simon on where to from here for the US: http://davidsimon.com/inevitabilities-and-barack-obama/ [...]

  41. [...] Progress is always messy and uneven.  But that “true American” might now be recognized as just as much of a “special interest” of any minority (or women, who make up a majority of the electorate but who have somehow never quite gotten credit for that fact).  David Simon has more. [...]

  42. [...] Article de David Simon sobre el triomf d’Obama: ht… Article de David Simon sobre el triomf d’Obama: davidsimon.com/inevitabilitie… [...]

  43. [...] “America will soon belong to the men and women — white and black and Latino and Asian, Christian and Jew and Muslim and atheist, gay and straight — who can comfortably walk into a room and accept with real comfort the sensation that they are in a world of certain difference, that there are no real majorities, only pluralities and coalitions.” – David Simon [...]

  44. [...] Probably not the kind we were thinking of. But the kind that we’re seeing. (From the creator of “The Wire” and “Treme.”) Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in Uncategorized. [...]

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