Post-Election 2012: It's Going To Be Alright

Election results mark a huge social paradigm shift in American society which seems, to some, like the chaotic end of everything. But, is it? Not at all!

“The world will be saved by the Western woman.”

- Dalai Lama

Today is a new day with a new term, and it's all changing. The big-buck PACs are squabbling with each other over spending some $369 million and getting nothing. The Repubs, who thought they could dig in their heels and get rid of our black President and all he stands for by lording it over the less-than-wealthy, saw dark people coming in droves to support Obama and to make a statement about empowering all Americans. Even yesterday, House Speaker Boehner said they're ready to work together -- providing, of course, they get the 'right deal'. Well, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

All my adult life, I’ve heard men moaning and decrying the situation, any situation. ‘It can’t be done,’ they’d say. ‘No way; it just wouldn’t work.’ And then they’d proceed to give a long litany of their statistics and reasons. I heard a lot of that negativity yesterday on post-election analyses, and I’m seeing it on Facebook today.

Meanwhile, the women would quietly move along, making everything work out well through compromise and sacrifice. My mother raised six children, making do on war rations during one of the Big Ones, learning to sew and make hats so that we girls could all look the Southern ladies she envisioned for us. My Dad was on the upward ladder in  life insurance management so, as he moved up we all moved on. Mom, primarily, moved our household 11 times before I reached high school. 

And it wasn’t easy. On one Friday morning when she was nine months pregnant, with diapers in the washing machine and no dryer, my Dad came home and told her, ‘We’re going to move this weekend.” No, he wasn’t running from anyone; he traveled and he’d just forgotten to tell her another change was coming. That’s how good my Mom was. She was raised in an era when women didn’t complain; they just dealt with the hand they were given, and they did it with grace and grit. We moved that weekend, Mom found another obstetrician, soon afterward delivered my sister, and  our world kept turning.

In later years when I asked her how she could do all that without getting upset, she said, “Well, honey, that’s just the way it was.” 

That was her reply, also, when I asked her about the almost unimaginably huge social metamorphosis she underwent over her 95 years, having grown up in pre-Civil Rights Birmingham, AL and progressing to enjoying black people as close friends. If you haven’t lived through some of that, you just can’t fathom how far she had travelled, just moving with the times.

Today, Mom’s not here to see it, but our nation is undergoing a social earthquake. It’s like two huge social plates under the surface have shifted, leaving what looks like chaos in its stead. And men are wringing their hands saying, ‘We’re doomed; it’s all falling apart!’ 

Nonsense! It’s just starting to come together the way it’s supposed to, and guess who the American people have put in charge? More women in Congress and other offices throughout the land, than ever before! The women are going to provide a stabilizing influence, leading us through  this massive shift in paradigm from power by wealthy whites to power of all Americans because we know that we can find the way. We ordinary women, of course, are hugely influential in our own little worlds.

Admittedly, this is a simplistic approach, and new Congressional lawmakers from the full range of formerly disenfranchised parts of society will also bring balance to our new social emphasis. 

In summary, though, now it's not the Right or Left, the rich or poor who will dominate, it will be the Middle - and that's what's so exciting. Huge paradigms are shifting to create a new reality. Change is hard, and it’s so scary, but that’s the way it is and, don’t worry, fellows; it’s going to be just fine. 

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Patching In November 09, 2012 at 02:40 AM
You are a troublemaker. You pretend to be a trumpeter of change but you are simply an angry old woman. Your statement that Republicans wanted to get rid of a black president was divisive. It was ugly, it was rude, and it was wrong. The Super PACS did not spend $390 billion so you obviously have no concept or context in understanding numbers. Republicans supported Romney because they believed he could turn around the economy. Your article shows anger towards men, anger towards the wealthy, and then wraps it up with a trite “It’s going to be alright”. Well, if your mother was 95 years old then you must be somewhere between 68-75 years. You are on social security and you must have no savings. Keep drinking the “it’s going to be alright” cool-aid, woman. But we can do without your hypocrisy.
JM Hurricane November 09, 2012 at 04:17 PM
WOW! The left still rearing it's ugly head even during a victory. White males are still on the hit list. Nice try lady. Would the real bitter misogynist (self loathing feminist) please stand up. One more thing Obama is just as much the 44th White President as he is the 1st Black President. FACT, he is 50% white. Get over calling me (white male) a racist.
Molly Darden November 09, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Gentlemen, thank you for your comments, and for proving my point so eloquently. The nature and tone of your misunderstanding the central point of this blog demonstrate clearly why America has not moved more than it has in the past four years, and why Americans felt compelled to bring in such a large number of women to help make decisions. I understand your frustration at losing, and your interpretation that this is a personal attack on you is no surprise to me. No one wants to be called a racist, or any other such term; however, if you are following the social or television media at all, you know that other pundits are also referring to a huge component of the GOP during this election as Old White Men. There it is, now; I didn't say it that bluntly, but others have -- widely. You may not ever see these issues in any other way than you do but, if you would like to see more success in your Party, and I believe you will, you will see it come from a more moderate, respectful approach to your own views, and those of others with whom you may not fully agree. I believe you will see a decreasing degree of labeling and blame, and an increasing degree of respectful collaboration. I wish you well.
Cheryl Miller November 09, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Molly, thank you so much for pointing out the increases in women in Congress. I may not have known about it otherwise. During the election, I wondered many times why there seemed to be this Republican "war on women," and now I understand. They felt threatened and the reaction was to bully, intimidate and attack at what they see as a threat. Sadly, many of them must have forgotten that they have mothers, too. And when times are tough, it is often Mom who provides the glue to keep things together. Women are communicators by nature and now, more than ever, our country needs to find a way to compromise and plot the best course for our future. I am glad you do not take the earlier comments to heart as they only prove your point further about those who think we can make things better and those who only want to win at all costs. Thank you for your insight.
JM Hurricane November 09, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Whatever, you're giving me a headache. Currently, Women hold 16% of House & Senate seats and about of 4% of Fortune 1000 C-Level positions. Go Girl power!On the international stage those stats get much worse for women. However, keep on, keepin' on demonizing the White American Male. It's all their fault. I do have some free birth control pills for ya. Anything to keep you from repopulating!
Molly Darden November 10, 2012 at 03:47 AM
Cheryl, thank you for your understanding support. Women working together can achieve excellent results!
Cheryl Miller November 14, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Hey JM, sweetie, don't worry your pretty little head about it.
Barry Flanagan September 21, 2013 at 04:13 PM
Steven J Gould once said that the biggest contribution that women make in a society that permits their full participation is their sheer numbers. That is, whatever differences there are in emotional make-up of the genders or varying approach to problem solving, neither attribute is as significant as the numerical doubling of the population that is engaged in the wider world. I can't argue with that. I don't believe however, that having a women in full participation means a wholesale change of societal trajectory - lord knows that the Maggie Thatchers, Golda Meiers, and Michelle Bachmanns have done nothing but reinforce the status quo - a very poor status quo at that. But whatever the outcome, women are to be in the wider social/economic/political world by right - and not by polite male gesture. Having said that, the world is not going to be fine - it's not fine now, not by a long shot, and it will inevitably get much worse. Just this year, carbon that humans dump into the atmosphere went over the 400 parts per million threshold for the first time in millions of years, if not the first time ever. This IS and will continue to have serious ramifications for all of us - and our children and our children's children, ramifications we are just beginning to see and feel. Patching - Republicans supported Romney because they wanted to restore the nation to the good old days of the W presidency - war, bankruptcy, and a white first lady. It could not have been to fix the economy because Romney promised nothing but a continuation of Bush economic policy. Hurricane - You may have a point on Obama - half biologically European-American and raised by a white mom and grandparents. Nonetheless, in this country, if you have any African ancestry in you whatsoever, you are considered black - those are the racist roots of the nation. Obama may have had to learn how to be black - but for sure he felt it long before. Sorry for the late reply.


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