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Alexa Petersen | Jeminist: A Jumbo Feminist

Gracious Mittens

Published: Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 07:11

All right. Let me attempt to write something that hasn’t already been written about the election. Just when you thought election coverage was coming to an end on Nov. 6, Nov. 6 came and now there is more election coverage! Lucky you!

First things first: various funny election things. If anyone hasn’t watched Karl Rove give himself a hernia on Fox News over the precincts reporting in Ohio, you shouldn’t miss it. Second, countless newspapers in the United States won’t stop talking about the Republican “demographics” problem. The roar of Republicans lamenting “demographics, demographics, demographics” has risen so high its become a steady and painful whine in rapture, all regretting the big, fat “oops” that the Republicans forgot to court any other demographics besides straight white men. Third, I will leave you with one last funny−of−funnies: Ann Coulter’s twitter feed.

Second things second: There are some seriously cool things that happened during this election. In this election, and every election, we experienced a peaceful transfer of power. Mitt Romney, after some awkward waiting time and cranky one percent−ers, conceded the election within about an hour of when the major predictions came out. He wished the President well and conceded with grace.

I suspect the conversation the two men had on the phone before Romney conceded was cordial — even friendly. All because that indubitable principle we have about our elections in this country: when you lose, you lose, and when you win, you win — bar the Florida hole−punching butterfly ballot fiasco in 2000. It doesn’t matter which party, what kind of person or how much power they have. In this country, you accept defeat because that is the expectation and the will of the people. That is the political norm we have built since the dawn of our republic.

When I walked outside my house on Wednesday morning, I still passed the old men playing tennis at the tennis courts, still waited for cars at the stop sign near the library and still paid $3.50 for my Lucy in the Chai at the Rez. The Jumbos did not storm Gifford House, the losing incumbents in their respective legislatures did not refuse to leave their posts and Coulter is still living on her own planet with Newt Gingrich and Ayn Rand. The political cycle rolls on, and power is transferred without the break out of violence.

We are incredibly fortunate in this country to enjoy and expect political norms where politicians follow the decision of the people in elections, but not every nation is this fortunate. We’ve got our flaws and that is for certain — answer me this, why in the world do we have Election Day during the workweek? — but nevertheless, we do indeed have the peaceful transfer of power. And it is more than so many nations, struggling for self−governance, can say for their own governments.

So, indeed, this election’s successes in women’s rights, the importance of ethnic and racial minority voices, LGBT rights and a fair chance for all were simply extraordinary. But first, I will appreciate the right and the expectation in this country for the peaceful transfer of power. The people have spoken, and it’s good enough for me. That’s the best kind of electoral landslide, as far as I am concerned.

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Alexa Petersen is a senior majoring in political science and peace and justice studies. She can be reached at Alexa.Petersen@tufts.edu.

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