I grew up as a Republican, so why do I feel joy today?
In fact, one of the reasons I moved from Europe to the U.S. was because I couldn’t stand socialism and left-wing rhetoric. I voted with my feet when I came to the U.S., twenty years ago. And I was proud to become an American.
I loved Ronald Reagan, the open market, capitalism, and all what this stands for.
So why do I feel joy today?
I feel joy because of the powerful message the voters have given the Republican Party. I feel that joy because the Republican Party is no longer my party and since they no longer stand for an open and free market.
I feel joy for their loss, because the conservative movement has been hijacked by corporate interests that have no interest in fair competition or an open and free market.
The drug industry, for instance, doesn’t want lower priced drugs from other countries. They want to block drugs from Canada and Europe. The auto companies don’t want foreign imports. They want trade barriers. The insurance companies don’t want universal healthcare. They want to continue to mint new CEO billionaires on the back of the American People.
So I feel joy, because in spite of all the money those organizations have heaped over Republican candidates, they lost. I feel joy because perhaps, after all, this is a new beginning.
I feel joy because Rumsfeld is gone and I never believed for a second there were any weapons of mass destruction, and I was abhorred when I witnessed a war hysteria that reminded me of a dark past in European history. I feel joy that the American people finally stood up and said enough is enough.
But I also feel concern. I’m concerned that we’ll just exchange one part of the establishment with another establishment. I’m saddened that we continue to have a voting system in which the winner takes it all and only two parties are allowed to flourish.
I’m saddened that we don’t have a true democracy, in spite of being the first democracy. And I worry that not much will change. But I hope that I’m wrong. I hope we’ll see a woman president one day and I hope we’ll raise minimum wage and give healthcare to every American.
But I doubt that this will happen soon, because no matter who is in power, the money that fuels our system doesn’t allow for us to be a true democracy.
So while I feel joy today, I also feel sadness for our country. We could be so much more, so many great things and such an inspiration to the world.
But we aren’t.
Because the world knows that our system is built on greed and we don’t care that we have the highest infant mortality and the shortest life span in the entire industrialized world, as long as we can give tax breaks to billionaires.
So I don’t only feel joy, but also sadness. But what’s more important, I do feel some hope. After all, the fact that Rumsfeld is finally gone must be good news.