OP-ED: How Obama Won and What's Next - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.

Originally published in the December 2012 Juniper Berry Magazine

OP-ED: How Obama Won and What's Next

Illustration: Adam Zyglis

I saw a video of a black woman in Cleveland shouting at people to vote for Obama because he gave all minorities in the city a phone. That didn't seem right to me for some reason but its prophecy wouldn't become clear until later.

The 2012 Presidential election may finally be over but the resulting changes to this nation are just about to begin. In many respects President Obama came away with a surprising victory when one thinks about the state of the economy and that no president since FDR has ever been re-elected with an unemployment rate above 7.2 percent, and Obama's was over 7.8 % his entire first term in office.

The Obama victory defied logic within so many groups. Given that Obama openly showed disrespect to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by appearing on the Late Show with David Letterman rather than meeting with the Prime Minister, called for Israel to return to the pre-1967 borders as a pre-condition for Middle East negotiations, a condition that Israel rejected stating it would leave them prone to attack. Also, the fact that he bypassed Congress and sent millions of dollars to the Palestinians who openly support Hezbollah and Hamas who have a goal to destroy Israel, one would expect a wave of Jewish support flooding toward Romney but Obama received 69% of the Jewish vote.

The fact that Obama supported abortion and same sex marriage and that various Catholic organizations had to file federal lawsuits against the Obama administration in response to a mandate that religious institutions be required to cover contraception in employee health plans apparently meant very little to believers since he secured 50% of the Catholic vote. Also gone from the memories of Catholics were the recent events where Obama ordered Georgetown University to cover a monogram symbolizing Jesus' name while he was making a speech at that institution.

According to a report by the Bipartisan Policy Center, from 2009 through 2011, the number of black minimum wage workers increased by 16.6%. Given that black unemployment is now over 14% up from 11.9% in 2008, under President Obama, more blacks are out of work and those that are working are stuck in low paying jobs. So what did these catastrophic economic figures mean to the relationship between black voters and Obama? Apparently very little since Obama received 93% of the black vote. Within the overwhelming black vote for Obama was the fact that 40% of the black population is comprised of unmarried women and 67% of single women who made up 25% of all voters made sure Obama was back for another four years even though the unemployment rate for women overall is at an all-time high. The conclusion staggers the mind for it suggests that the unemployment plight among blacks under Obama has little to no affect on their support for him.

When one looks at the numerous character assassination ads run by the Obama campaign team against Mitt Romney, one must conclude that Obama and his people stooped to new low levels of dishonesty previously thought unimaginable but that in the final analysis worked. Of all the lies and mud Obama threw on top of the once Massachusetts Governor, the granddaddy of them all was the Obama ad campaign involving the death of Joe Soptic's wife. According to the ad Soptic's wife died of cancer after Soptic lost his job and his health insurance when his company, owned by Mitt Romney's venture capital firm, went bankrupt. Short of calling Romney an outright murderer, the Obama ad strongly suggested that Soptic's wife died as a result of Romney's inhumanity and lack of empathy for his workers. What Obama and his campaign team neglected to mention was that Mrs. Soptic did not lose her healthcare because her husband lost his job and that not only didn't Romney shut down Joe Soptic's company but that he had left controlling the company's operations seven years before Soptic's wife died. Nevertheless the ad hit its intended mark as exit interviews showed people who voted for Obama believed that Romney didn't care about people.

The multitude of reasons given by the experts as to why Obama won a second term with such an appalling economic resume range from Romney being a weak conservative alternative, a biased, liberal media that backed and protected Obama to racial voting by blacks and Latinos. But whatever the reason or reasons why Obama is now the 45th President, two things are for certain. The social and moral landscape of America has changed and economists are welcoming the economic future in the same way a fishing village welcomes a Tsunami.

So what does the crystal ball say about the next four years? Well, based on the undeniable fact that Obama knows little about compromise, and the fact that during the entire campaign Obama justified and praised the results of his first term in office the next four years we will see much of the same economic strategies that kept job creation low, unemployment high and the deficit rising to heights that would even give an eagle a nosebleed. However, one important change will take place that will change the game forever and make every person who voted for Obama look for the biggest rock to crawl under but there will be no escape and that change is the unfolding provisions of Obamacare.

Make no mistake, Obamacare is not just a loss of choice, it will force highly skilled doctors out of practicing medicine, it will force hospitals to close, force employers to drop coverage for employees, raise taxes and cost the economy approximately 800,000 jobs and after 2014, can never be repealed.

In the end after cutting through all the statistics and endless predictions, Obama and that black woman in Cleveland knew something about current day values all the election experts missed.

**The views expressed in this column represent only those of the author and not the board or membership of the Juniper Park Civic Association.