The Time For a More Inclusive Economy

Zachery Crowell

The jubilation of Obama supporters and the shellshock of Romney supporters have finally subsided. However, there are a few election lessons for my fellow Democrats to consider before we totally forget about 2012.

We did horrendously on down ticket races. It is disgraceful that we did not make a real effort to reelect Justice Yvette Brown. Democrats managed to win the popular vote but are only expected to take 200 seats in the House. We must improve voter engagement if we want to do better in 2014. This is critical especially when so many Republicans write our election laws. In the end, our ground game won the day. Ohio, Virginia and Florida were all decided by 100,000 votes or fewer — a margin smaller than Ohio in 2004. Had volunteers not been so adamant at registering new voters and finding new supporters, we would have lost easily. So thank your peers and neighbors who worked tirelessly to get you to participate in democracy.

All over the country, Republicans were in shock at how many women, minorities, those under thirty and LGBT Americans turned out for Democrats. They were not voting for free stuff, but rather for a level playing field. The Lily-Ledbetter Act, the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, access to education and the End Discrimination Act — these are all things important to guaranteeing economic access to everyone. The United States has the lowest level of economic mobility in the industrialized world. Democrats won because the people wanted a more inclusive economy. Senate candidates like Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Baldwin and Sherrod Brown won on platforms of economic liberalism. They did not win to push the boundaries of social norms, as many Oberlin students would prefer. Neither is it to become the New Green Party. Our electoral mandate is to promote economic opportunity, and it is best we do not forget it. Moreover, it is our job to make sure Congress doesn’t forget either.