The real election numbers: 47 & 1 

"Is this just math that you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better, or is this real?" - Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly to Karl Rove, election night

MATH AND SCIENCE are making a comeback, folks, and a big storyline of this election is Newton's Third Law: Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

Looking back, it all seems so obvious.

Of course African-American voters came out for Barack Obama in even greater numbers last week than in 2008. Who could blame them, after four years of seeing the first black president so absurdly disrespected ("You lie!") and accused of being a socialist secret Muslim who faked his birth certificate and "pals around with terrorists?"

Of course Latino voters awarded Obama over 70 percent of their vote. Who could blame them, after four years of being demonized by the right wing as illegal parasites and targeted by state immigration laws on the basis of their ethnicity, with generations of Latinos who've been in North America since the conquistadores being told they didn't belong here?

Of course voters under 30 supported Obama in huge numbers just as in 2008. Who could blame them, after four years of the right wing's increasing obsession with gay-bashing - a position that makes as much sense to young people today as saying the moon is made of green cheese?

Of course single women gave Obama 68 percent of their vote. Who could blame them, after four years of being accused by the right wing of being irresponsible sluts?

Of course Mitt Romney was the worst possible candidate to run against Obama. The personification of plutocracy, Romney's also literally the only person out of seven billion people on the planet without the moral authority to campaign against Obamacare, because he basically invented it.

It's all so clear now, this reaping of the whirlwind, this stunning comeuppance. With the benefit of hindsight, you can almost conclude that only an idiot wouldn't have seen the result coming.

What kind of idiot is a more interesting question: A total idiot, or what's more likely, a useful idiot?

The first kind of useful idiot is the one who lives in the media bubble that encourages people to think the birth certificate is fake, the polls are skewed, the jobs numbers are rigged, young women actually enjoy getting abortions, gay people cause straight marriages to break up, evolution is a liberal plot, and climate change is a hoax.

Those are the people still in a profound state of shock from the election. P.T. Barnum once famously referred to them. They now get to decide whether to burrow deeper into the bubble or join the real world. If history is any guide, the former is more likely.

Making a fat profit off the first kind of useful idiot is the second kind, the useful idiots of the media. The Supreme Court's Citizen United decision allowing unlimited donations has proven to be an absolute gold mine for the advertising industry and the broadcast media, a bailout on par with the government buying General Motors.

The mainstream media's vested interest in milking the system and rich donors for as much advertising money as possible by pretending this race -- the first post-Citizens United presidential contest -- was truly competitive is nothing short of scandalous.

Political junkies are focusing on the demographic breakdown of the vote. Demographics are interesting, but not always destiny.

New Chatham County District Attorney Meg Daly Heap -- my own nominee for Smartest Republican in America -- defied racial demographics and Obama's own sizeable coattails in Chatham County to defeat an incumbent African American decisively.

No, the most important percentages to study are these: 47 and one.

Forty-seven being the now infamous percentage ascribed by Mitt Romney to the amount of Americans he believes are nonproductive moochers, the people he vowed as president to do nothing to help.

In a delicious irony, 47 is also the same percentage of the popular vote Romney actually received.

The one percent of course is the stated target of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Though constantly ridiculed by the useful idiots detailed above, in the final analysis the Occupy movement had the most profound impact of any outside group on this election.

Laugh all you want. But the Occupiers were the first people to effectively break the media embargo on the one subject American democracy is ill-equipped to confront: Wealth disparity.

They'll get virtually no credit for it, but Occupy's actions framed the issue and laid the groundwork for Romney's own "47 percent" response -- and the nation's stern and final counter-offer to him last week.

By wealth disparity I don't refer to the simple and obvious fact that some people make and/or have more money than others, that some people work harder than others and are better at certain things than others.

That's called capitalism. It's also called life.

I'm talking about the systemic imbalances which result in an uneven, unfair playing field, with some people having a free shot at the American dream while others are left only to... well, to dream.

If you accuse people like me of "class warfare," ask yourself who's actually fighting hardest against those outside their class:

People who use their individual votes to try and make the system a little more equitable; or the billionaires who this year spent (and mostly wasted) incomprehensibly huge chunks of their own money to influence the race for the White House.

Some of those billionaires are now threatening to lay off workers just out of spite, which only seems to validate the Occupy movement's original choice of targets.

And if you accuse me of being a socialist who doesn't believe in the free market -- the same accusation usually leveled against Obama -- guess what?

The free marketplace of ideas certainly spoke loud and clear last week, didn't it?


About The Author

Jim Morekis

Jim Morekis

A native Savannahian, Jim has been editor-in-chief of Connect Savannah for ten years. The University of Georgia graduate is also a travel writer, authoring regional guides in the Moon handbook series... more

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