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The 2012 Election is over and we now know which candidates and issues won and lost at the ballot box. Here are my thoughts on which of the abstract concepts underlying our current body politic won and lost.

Winner: Separation of Church and State. All of the Gay Marriage and Anti-Gay Marriage proposals were decided in favor of freedom from religious interference. The senate candidates who made incredibly inane statements about abortion and rape were similarly vanquished.

Loser: The Religious Right imposing their beliefs on the national electorate. The Romney-Ryan ticket promised their supporters to promote a personhood amendment and an anti-gay marriage amendment.

Winner: Social Safety Net programs. The progressive democratic party will face great challenges in maintaining these services at their current levels but they will avoid the knee-jerk response of cutting out great swaths of benefits and causing great damage to the poor while protecting the wealth of those whose need is least.

Loser: The wealthiest Americans. Just kidding. The rich always get richer especially in Democratic administrations when the economy is managed effectively and everyone benefits from economic growth.

Winner: Intelligence, pragmatism, well-reasoned compromise. This would be my hope. It will take effort from both sides and the progressive left has to convince the regressive right that there is benefit in supporting common compromise. Maybe I should say a dream.

Loser: Idealistic, Simplistic Demogoguery. I hope that we will hear fewer simple obvious and totally unworkable solutions. How many times in this election cycle have you heard someone ask, “Is it fair for rich people to pay higher taxes than poor people?” Economics is not a simple science. It is immensely complex. When you hear really simple solutions to complex problems, that is just what they are, oversimplified explanations directed at people that they believe don’t get it.

Winner: Truth. Last night’s election was a vindication for those who presented true information using good journalistic practices. It was a victory for people who used complex algorithms to analyze situations and provide usable information unfettered by partisan agendas.

Loser: Truthiness. It was obvious to way too many Americans that Obama was a bad man and a bad president without the benefit of any corroborating evidence. It left much of the electorate hostage to a network and a bevy of commentators promoting a conservative agenda that presented falsehoods, half-truths and negative representation of the facts. These bad actors will remain on the stage but last night’s election showed them that they can no longer parade down mainstreet without a shred of clothing or more importantly journalistic ethics.

Winner: A progressive future. In four years a white female will take center stage as the Democratic nominee. She will not have to overcome the badge of “other” that the right has unsuccessfully tried to cause our current president to bear. She will have educational and policy credentials that exceed that of anyone who might challenge her. And she will have the backing of a national electorate that is well-educated on the backward policies of the Republican Right that want us to return to a much earlier point in history long before everyone was eligible for the American Dream.

Loser: Republican Regressivism. The Tea Party, the Religious Right and the immense arrogance of monetary wealth thought that they could sell the American People a bill of goods last night. They lied about history. They lied about the intentions of the Democrats. But most importantly, they lied about their own intentions for America. Every Republican running for office yesterday knew that if the electorate knew their true intentions and knew what they would actually try to turn into law that they could not even win the votes of their own party faithful.

As much as we worry about the lack of wisdom on the part of the “sheeple”, they were in fact able to sniff out the truth and reject the policies that would be very good for just a few, much, much worse for many but pretty much bad for everyone.

I have great concerns about our economic future based on the fact that there are way too many people using up very limited finite resources. We are at the end of sustained economic growth. We need to begin downsizing and powering down and, unfortunately, lowering our expectations of the future. Given this, I believe that we made the best choice for those to carry us toward these eventualities in a fair an equitable manner.

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