Corey deVos asked a few of us to answer the question “what’s your reaction to the 2012 election?” for his Integral Post series on integrallife.com. This is my submission. See the links below for other perspectives…
From the perspective of cultural development he’s talking about the part of the electorate that is traditionalist (Blue Meme; Amber Altitude), and who see America as having fallen from the idealized state of our grandfathers and “forefathers”. What this election makes clear is that these folks will never again run the show nationally.
Barack Hussein Obama is in the White House for four more years, and by then we’ll be even browner, gayer, more urban, single, agnostic, feminized and stoned. Deal with it patriarchs!
Let’s look at the three legs of the traditionalist stool, and how each took a mortal hit on November 7th:
Ethnocentrism. Traditionalists are by nature ethnocentric, they see themselves as being God’s people besieged on all sides by enemies and agents of corruption. In contemporary American politics, Republican traditionalists are typically white and rural. They see the entry of Hispanics as a cultural degeneration, and speak in terms of “illegals” and “self-deportation”. This thinking turned out to be poisonous to the evolving electorate. No serious national politician will ever use them again or have any chance of implementing policies they imply. This is huge cultural progress.
Male domination: We can also add contraception and legitimate rape to the forbidden political vocabulary. It’s interesting to remember that the views espoused by traditionalist candidates Todd Akin and Richard Murdock — that women are able to shut down pregnancy in cases of “legitimate rape” and if not it’s God’s will — were majority opinions until the 60’s. It’s also interesting to note how soundly they were rejected not just by the electorate but by the Republican party itself in this last election. From now on, any vocabulary or policy that smacks of condescension to women will be an instant loser.
Fundamentalism: While evangelicals voted in roughly the same numbers and proportions (favoring Republicans three to one) as they have for the last several elections, there just aren’t enough of them to keep up with the growing number of heretics. Pew Research shows that 20% of adults now identify themselves as nonreligious (now known as the “nones”), up 5% in five years. For under 30-year-olds it’s 30%. This represents a stunning social movement out of traditionalism into modernism, as one of the markers of this transition is the loss of one’s religion, at least the mythic version.
So while we can see the fading of traditionalism as a winning national political force in the US, this is not to say that Republicanism is over, and certainly not conservatism. In a two-party system both sides compete to get 50.1% of the vote and they regularly refashion themselves in order to do that. Remember conservatives in America have supported King George, slavery, child labor, and fought women’s suffrage, the social safety net and civil rights. They’re now working on digesting gay marriage, but the trajectory is clear.
And it’s not just the trajectory of American politics. For all times there have been people with their foot on the gas (the liberals) and people with their foot on the brake (the conservatives). This polarity is the engine of emergence itself; thanks to the liberals the car moves ahead and thanks to the conservatives it doesn’t go too fast.
Beyond The Civil Cold War by Corey W. deVos
Now For The Hard Part by Terry Patten
Integral Greetings From Ohio, The Swing State That Brought You President Obama by Leslie Hershberger
Just Stop It by Ginny Whitelaw
Obama Affirms Diversity Tipping Point in The Human Hive by Marilyn Hamilton Phd, CGA, CSP
A Place for Healthy Libertarianism in American Politics by Michael Zimmerman