What Did We Win in the 2012 Election?

From the November-December 2012 PNL #819

Let’s celebrate Election Day 2012 for the many progressive victories across the country! Maine and Maryland approved marriage equality in popular votes. Residents in over 100 cities voted on measures calling for an end to the doctrines of corporate personhood and money as free speech. Thanks to Maryland’s DREAM Act, undocumented youth won in-state tuition breaks at the state’s public colleges and universities. Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana, rejecting the failed prohibitionist policies of the racist War on Drugs. Closer to home, Green Party Congressional candidate Ursula Rozum gained new visibility for a progressive agenda, earning 21,413 votes in the 24th district. Voters in the race rejected right-wing Tea Party incumbent Ann Marie Buerkle by a wide margin.

We can breathe a collective sigh of relief that Romney and the extreme-right did not sweep Congress and the White House. Unprecedented levels of money spent on this election leave us with President Obama in the White House and the same majorities in Congress, Republicans controlling the House and Democrats the majority in the Senate.

There is no doubt that Obama’s second term will be full of challenges for progressives, given his support for policies we oppose: drone warfare, occupation of Afghanistan, hydrofracking, nuclear power, the proposed “grand bargain” to balance the budget on the backs of the working class through cuts to Social Security and Medicare, and escalating tensions with Iran (to name a few). The Peace Council will continue to build our progressive movement with our members and allies, regardless of party affiliation or degree of revulsion with our current political system. It’s up to us to hold the politicians’ feet to the fire and to inspire more and more people to take collective action for real social change.

-SPC Staff