Breaking Precedents with the Election of Barack Obama

The victory of Barack Obama makes history. The most obvious precedent broken was with the election of a black candidate as opposed to another white male, but there are many other ways in which the election of Barack Obama represents historical change.

Due to having two Senators running it was certain that this election would put an end to the view that a Senator cannot win. We also have a Democratic Senator from a northern state, totally at odds with the idea that only a Southern moderate governor could win for the Democrats.

The country voted for the intelligent candidate rather than the one they would prefer to share a beer with. Intelligence became a virtue, despite attempts by his opponents to attack him by calling him an elitist.

The red/blue map has changed, with Democrats taking both Ohio and Florida. The Democrats continue to lead in the northeast, but this now extends down the coast. Obama has won Virginia with North Carolina too close to call. Obama has also picked up several states in the west. Instead of being the party of the northern coasts, it is now the Republicans who are marginalized as representing primarily one region of the country.

We also saw the election of a candidate whose name sounds like Osama, has a middle name of Hussain, was accused of beng both a Muslim and as a Christian who attended a radical, un-American church. Those who believed he was Muslim also falsely claimed he attended a Madrasa, and some on the right claim he is not even an American citizen. He was even accused of associating with a terrorist and supportng socialism. Despite all of this Obama won with high approval ratings. The right wing smear machine failed, and hopefully Republicans will abandon this type of tactic after it failed to help them win. Instead the winner was the candidate who made a point of rejecting this type of politics.

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