One of my favorite sites, Electoral-vote.com, has two posts that provide some perspective on the election.
In the first one, it seems like some conservatives (including the editor of Red State and none other than Karl Rove) have apparently seen the writing on the wall and are not waiting to make excuses for Romney’s loss in the election. Even Mitt Romney himself is making excuses and blaming others.
But the more interesting post is the second one, which reminds us that this election does not signal the end of the world. The US has a sorry history of election antics, going all the way back to 1800 when Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr were tied in the electoral college, throwing the election to the House of Representatives. After 35 votes over the course of a week, Jefferson won by one vote. But some people were so unhappy about this that Jefferson had to have armed soldiers escort him to the inauguration.
Twenty four years later, Andrew Jackson was robbed when he won the most electoral votes, but not a majority, so the election was again thrown to the House, which replaced him with John Quincy Adams. And in 1876 Samuel Tilden easily won the presidential election, but irregularities in Louisiana, South Carolina and (of course) Florida put the validity of the election in question. Congress intervened and in a straight party-line vote replaced him with Rutherford Hayes, earning him the nickname Rutherfraud Hayes.
With partisan emotions running so high in Tuesday’s election, it is easy for people to despair if their candidate loses. But in reality our government is set up so that no one person has very much power (let alone is “the decider”). In a democracy, if we don’t like something about our government, then the blame has to start with us. Our responsibility doesn’t end with voting. Change has to come from us, the people.