Here are some of my takeaways from the election and possible lessons for Cobb, Georgia & the nation:
1) A diverse swath and coalition of Americans came together to re-elect President Obama...a great example of unity in diversity...representing the true "exceptionalism" of America. (As the President said in his victory speech: "our true wealth is our incredible diversity.")
And Georgia is not far behind with the slimmest margin of loss, only 4%, of the states the President didn’t win, except for N.C.
2) Don't try to block people from voting, especially those who fought so hard for the right to vote---it backfires! (As Rev. Al Sharpton said, the attempts at voter suppression awoke a “sleeping giant” as the African-Americans and other minorities voted in record numbers.)
3) According to exit polls, 65% of Americans who voted want immigration reform which includes a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented immigrants here now. Most Republican and conservative commentators and leaders since the election have come out in support of this---how ironic!
4) Locally, in Cobb County, the Sheriff's opponent got over 100,000 votes (40+ %) without even campaigning…not much of a vote of confidence in a Sheriff who has been around for years and has made being tough on immigrants his trademark and claim to fame.
So, when it comes to the immigration issue, it appears that Sheriff Warren, Governor Deal, Sam Olens, Chip Rogers, Matt Ramsey, Rich Golick and their cronies, are on the wrong side of history, just as George Wallace, Bull Connor, Herman Talmadge and others were, and that will sadly be their legacy if they don’t change, as Wallace eventually did and asked for forgiveness.
Bottom line: America, Georgia and Cobb have changed and are changing...as is the world, away from a white, wealthy, male-dominated society which was largely controlled by exploitation and exclusion, to one which is reflective of the wonderful diversity of humanity and is more characterized by equity and inclusion.
This is the real exceptionalism of America, as the President stated--our incredible diversity, unlike any other society. This election reflects that and eventually Georgia will catch up with the 21st century and this realization.