Among the many hipster notables seen lip-synching the words to Gore’s vocal are Girls creator Lena Dunham, style icon Alexa Chung, rock drummer/DJ Tennessee Thomas, filmmaker/writer Miranda July, teen feminist online mag Rookie creator Tavi Gevinson and Lula magazine creator Leith Clark. Also recognizable are actresses including Zoe Kravitz, Rain Phoenix, Alexa Paladino, Alia Shawkat, Mae Whitman and Natasha Lyonne; designers Rachel Antonoff, Tracy Ellis Ross, Melissa Coker and Vena Cava; and members of the bands Au Revoir Simone and Chapin Sisters.
If only women voted, President Obama would be on track for a landslide re-election... If the current FiveThirtyEight forecast were re-calibrated to show an overall 9-point lead for Mr. Obama — his lead among women in polls since the Denver debate — he would be a clear favorite in states totaling 347 electoral votes.
About the opposite would happen if Mr. Romney led nationally by 9 points — his current advantage among men. He would be all but certain to win with a total of 321 electoral votes
If that difference carries forward to the exit polls, it would reflect among the largest gender splits ever, rivaling the 20-point difference from 2000, and a 17-point difference in both 1980 and 1996.
Try to imagine, if you can, candidate Barack Obama in 2008 running on a platform of balancing the budget and appeasing Wall Street by reducing Social Security benefits, restricting Medicare and Medicaid entitlements, increasing the retirement age, and never challenging the established hierarchy of the Democratic Party but rather returning members of the old Clinton regime to positions of power in his administration, especially those advocates of unregulated capitalism who did so much to bring on the economic crisis in the first place. This candidate Obama would not have been elected, which is of course why you did not see him. Yet President Obama has pursued these policies throughout his administration—and they appear to be exactly what he had in mind all along....
Hence Barack Obama, on a trip to England, could stand next to David Cameron and proclaim with him: “We can honestly say that despite being two leaders from two different political traditions, we see eye to eye. We look at the world in a similar way, share the same concerns, and see the same strategic possibilities.”
Yet how can this possibly be, if democracy today is to have any meaning? How can two politicians from “two different political traditions”— one, Britain’s Tories, the oldest conservative political party in the world, protecting the dominance of privilege and wealth; the other, America’s Democrats, the oldest populist political party in the world, advocating the rights of man and progressive opportunity—possibly share the same worldview?
Right now in America, as in much of the Western world, a massive job of reconstructive surgery, of reattaching the ligaments and muscles of democracy itself, is necessary. This will take time—and to procure that time, it will probably be necessary to keep in power a little longer some of the failed politicians of the recent past, no matter how hypocritical or venal they have proved themselves to be.
So yes, go out and vote. Go vote for Barack Obama, and whatever other Democrats or progressives are running for office where you live. To vote for a Mitt Romney—to vote for the modern right anywhere in the West today—is an act of national suicide. The right is hollow to its core; it has no dreams, no vision, no plans to deal with any of the problems that confront us, only infantile fantasies of violence and consumption. But it is, at the moment, well funded, well organized, and feeling especially threatened. It is capable of anything.
We will have to build the new political parties from the dried-out husks of the old ones. We will have to raise up new political leaders from among us, instead of hoping they will emerge as if by magic. We will have to insist that we have interests, too, that our future wellbeing cannot simply be steamrollered by the claims of a few greedy people posing as the guardians of some amorphous society of the future. We will have to say, in terms that any ward heeler of the old political machine would understand, that if this democracy is to work, we must get what we were promised.
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