In the end, Democracy prevailed over the money the billionaires poured into the the election to defeat a president they hate. The campaign of lies, race-baiting, Donald Trump-birtherism, and fear-mongering proved to be totally ineffective. Barack Obama has built a bullet-proof coaltion of young people, African-American, Latinos, and women fed up with "legitimate rape" rhetoric. Yes, Romney carried the former the slave-states, but even there the demographics are shifting rapidly and one can envision Texas as a swing-state in 2016. The US Republican Party is ideologically bankrupt and faces growing irrelevance unless it can reinvent itself and address the realities of the new American electorate.
Reading the German press this morning, I do detect a collective sigh of relief, even though in the last days some commentators suggested that America is lost and there is no real difference between Romney and Obama. I agree with the sentiments expressed by Wolfgang Blau in Die Zeit:
"In Deutschland – und auch in den Leserkommentaren auf ZEIT ONLINE – war in den vergangenen Wochen oft zu lesen, dass es doch eh kein Unterschied sei, wer diese Wahl gewinne, Obama oder Romney. Wir können Obama dankbar sein, dass Romney gar nicht erst die Gelegenheit bekam, das Gegenteil zu beweisen.
Wenn Obama jetzt auch noch mehr Mut fasst, ist heute ein guter Tag für Amerika. Be bold, Mister President!"
(In Germany - and also in the readers' commentary in Zeit OnLINE - one could often read that it made no difference who would win the election, Obama or Romney. We are grateful to Obama that Romney won't have the opportunity to prove otherwise. If Obama is able to move forward boldly, then this is a happy day for America. Be bold, Mr. President!)