Professors: Obama Win Means Multiracial, Social Progressives Control Country

by Jennifer Kabbany - Fix Editor on November 8, 2012

The Tea Party Movement is dead. It’s time President Barack Obama stood up to Republicans on issues such as climate change and gun control in a “more forceful way.” Multiracial, social progressives are in charge of the country and its policies now.

That’s a snippet-summary of how several professors responded to an emailed request by The College Fix to opine on Obama’s re-election and what it all means.

UCLA history and anthropology professor Andrew Apter noted Obama’s re-election signals a fundamental shift in American political consciousness away from ideas crystalized by the Tea Party movement and toward what “working people, gays, people of color, and women that cannot relate to the Republican message” want from their government.

“Even Fox News commentators were getting this point,” Apter said, referencing the pundits’ comments during election night coverage. “The idea of who Americans are and what America is has shifted, and in a sense we have finally entered the 21st century.”

Apter added that “the Tea Party is finished as a viable political platform,” “white power failed to galvanize sufficient racist resentment to prevail demographically,” and “women and people of color must be respected by the Republican Party if Republicans want to win the presidency.”

Another UCLA history professor, Robin Derby, said she is “thrilled about Obama’s re-election” and “hopeful this will give him the moral authority to take action on a number of issues he was not able to in his last term, including climate change, closing Guantanamo base, gun control, among others.”

“With this popular mandate he should be able to stand up to the Republicans in a more forceful way than in the past,” she said.

Over in Chicago – Obama’s old turf – University of Chicago Professor Timothy Knowles, director of the school’s Urban Education Institute, told The College Fix that Obama’s prowess with the economy helped him return to the Oval Office.

“The president won because he has brought the country back from the economic brink,” Knowles said.

Over on the East Coast, Professor Lawrence Bobo, the W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University, responded to The College Fix’s request for comment by pointing to a piece he wrote after the election for TheRoot.com. In it, he notes that America’s priorities have changed.

“(It’s) not simply about the agenda of fundamentalist Christians, or anti-government zealots or affluent, older white men,” he wrote. “This election … was about an America that is increasingly made up of people of color, especially Latinos. It was about an America that is tired of taxes and economic policies that favor bankers and the very wealthy … It was about an America that respects the rights of gays and lesbians and the bodies of women.”

Multiracial social progressives are in charge now, he opined.

“This election … is the consolidation, first and foremost, of a multiracial progressive Obama coalition that is now the dominant electoral force in American national politics,” Bobo noted. “Republicans will never again, so long as their policy agenda remains as it is, command a winning national coalition. Too many fundamental social trends run against it.”

IMAGE: Dave Hosford/Flickr

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