By Anonymous (not verified) on November 14, 2012

The re-election of President Obama proves that America is no longer a country just for white men.

To win the White House, any candidate will need women, blacks, Latinos, Asian-Americans, middle- and working-class people, gays and other people the Republican Party has dismissed for far too long.

Increasingly, white men make up a smaller part of the American electorate. Although they turned out for Mitt Romney in respectable numbers, it still was not enough to carry him across the finish line.

Women turned out in record numbers not only to defeat anti-women candidates such as Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock and a flip-flopping Mitt Romney but also to put a record number of women in office. New Hampshire made history by sending the first all-woman congressional delegation to Washington, and a record 20 women will serve in the U.S. Senate, including Wisconsin's Tammy Baldwin, the first openly gay senator elected to office.

Although blacks still face double-digit unemployment and Latinos are still waiting on the immigration reform promised in 2008, they voted overwhelming for Barack Obama. In fact, seven out of 10 Latinos supported the president's bid for re-election.

If the Republican Party wants to remain competitive, it will have to come to grips with an increasingly diverse electorate. It will have to figure out how to genuinely connect with individuals on the issues they care about most. Here's a hint: These issues have nothing to do with Russia or Iran or tax cuts for millionaires.

For Obama's part, he must deliver on immigration reform and continue to rebuild the economy.

If he can do that, he may be creating a governing coalition for years to come.

C. Nicole Mason is an assistant research professor and the executive director of the Women of Color Policy Network at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University. She can be reached at pmproj@progressive.org.

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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