As the media shows celebrations raging across the country after President Obama’s re-election in the 2012 presidential race, this historic moment reveals a shift in American values. The re-election of President Obama shows Americans value freedom and economic equality now more than ever.
Throughout ABC News’ coverage of the 2012 presidential election, they reiterated how Obama won re-election because he represents the culture of America. According to an NBC poll, 54% of Americans believe that income inequality is an important issue in the U.S. But they do not think Romney would solve this problem; rather, they think Obama would better resolve this issue.
According to the same NBC poll, only 2% of Americans believe Romney favors the poor, and only 35% of Americans feel Romney would favor the middle class. Compare this to opinions on Obama: 31% think Obama would favor the poor, and 43% believe he would favor the middle class.
This shift in economic equality also manifests in social issues. Americans re-elected Obama because his social policy reflects American shifting values towards freedom of differences.
The demographic of educated women is increasingly speaking out for their rights. Obama’s policies on women’s issues better align themselves with this demographic. Obama wants to allow a woman the right to choose if she wants an abortion and have the government pay for contraception. Obama also wants equal pay for equal work between men and women.
From the beginning, the Republican campaign alienated themselves from a lot of women voters. Romney voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Then, Republican Representative Todd Akin claimed that women can shut down her body during rape to prevent pregnancy. Towards the end of the campaign, Republican Indiana Treasurer, Richard Mourdock claimed pregnancy from rape is God’s will. Throughout the campaign, Romney’s party did not even want to allow abortion for these pregnancies.
Obama also supported the freedom to choose who you marry. He moved with the shift towards gay marriage, while Romney continued to campaign on heterosexual marriage. As 13 states allowed civil unions or marriages between same sex couples, Obama openly supported gay marriage.
He even granted immigrants the freedom to choose where they want to live. This year Obama passed the DREAM Act – hearing the voices of young undocumented college immigrants’ need to become citizens and exercise equal rights of their peers. Romney, on the other hand, supported self-deportation and checking immigration status of suspected illegal immigrants. Although some immigrants may be illegal, the ones, who had not committed crimes and had lived in the U.S. most of their lives, would have lost equal rights to American citizens and increased discrimination among people who looked foreign.
But Americans’ re-election of Obama shows how the country has shifted towards a more rights-based policy founded on individual freedoms and economic equality. As ABC News suggests, 12 years ago, when George W. Bush first won his presidency, Obama could not have won. But Obama now symbolizes the freedom and economic equality that the U.S. embodies. Americans now have a president that reflects their values.