- People matter. The 47% matters. The quality of their lives matters. Their opportunities to pursue life, liberty, and happiness matter.
- The rich diversity of our great nation. Diversity of ethnicity, religion, gender, and yes, sexual orientation.
In Obama's famed 2004 speech which brought him to national attention, he boldly proclaimed his core values:
"There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America -- there's the United States of America. The pundits, the pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too.
"We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don't like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and yes, we've got some gay friends in the Red States."
Last night, newly reelected President Obama expressed the same vision of equality he proclaimed in 2004:
"I believe we can keep the promise of our founding -- the idea that if you're willing to work hard, it doesn't matter who you are, or where you come from, or what you look like, or where you love -- it doesn't matter whether you're black or white, or Hispanic or Asian, or Native American, or young or old, or rich or poor, abled, disabled, gay or straight -- you can make it here in America if you're willing to try.
"I believe we can seize this future together -- because we are not as divided as our politics suggest; we're not as cynical as the pundits believe; we are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions; and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are, and forever will be, the United States of America."
"... there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them.
"These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn't connect. And he'll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean that's what they sell every four years. And so my job is not to worry about those people--I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
The contrast between Obama and Romney couldn't be starker: One cares about the lives of all Americans, and desperately desires to ensure that all are afforded equal opportunities to succeed. The other, in his seemingly most authentic campaign moment, cynically dismissed 148 million Americans as lazy moochers not worth his consideration.
It's no wonder that President Obama won:
- 93% of the African-American vote
- 71% of the Hispanic vote
- 73% of the Asian vote
- 55% of all votes cast by women (representing 53% of all votes cast)
The only two demographic groups that Mr. Romney won convincingly were white men and older white women. The Republican electoral problem is this: the United States in 2012 has continued to grow in diversity. Depending almost exclusively on the white vote is now a formula for failure in national elections.
In his first term, President Obama actively demonstrated concern for American lives with specific policies and stances, not merely pretty speeches, including:
- Health care reform, which brings the U.S. in line with all other free countries by ensuring that every citizen has access to health care services.
- Saving and supporting the auto industry, which employs tens of millions of hardworking Americans.
- The DREAM Act for immigrant minors, on which Obama noted "...we should stop punishing innocent young people for the actions of their parents by denying them the chance to stay here and earn an education and contribute their talents to build the country where they've grown up."
- Gay rights and same-gender marriage, including elimination of the military's ghastly "Don't ask, don't tell" policy.
- Womens' health issues, including access to birth control, abortion, and funding for Planned Parenthood health care services.
As best as I can tell, Mitt Romney and the Republican party supported exactly none.... zero, nada, jack-squat... of the above policies that influence and change families and lives.
People matter. The 47% matters. The quality of their lives matters. Their opportunities to pursue life, liberty, and happiness matter.
Americans voted for Barack Obama because he cares about their lives, their families, their opportunities, their futures. Mitt Romney lost because he made sharply clear that he does not.