In his victory speech Tuesday night, President Obama claimed that the country is not “as divided as our politics suggest,” despite having run one of the most divisive campaigns in American history.
In a speech that sounded like it was written by the Romney campaign, Obama spoke of an America that wanted to avoid debt and maintain a strong military presence in the world. He mentioned the “necessary work of self-government,” and he touted the American ideal of success through hard work. For a few moments throughout his speech, Obama actually sounded like a conservative.
The most suspiciously conservative statement came at the end of Obama’s speech. Having described the importance of hard work to be able to succeed, Obama went on to say, “I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe.”
During his campaign, however, Obama did nothing but use divisive tactics, using class, gender, and even threats of slavery as tools in his run for office. Then there was that little ad, implying Romney was responsible for a woman’s death from cancer after her husband lost his job and health insurance. The Obama campaign denied having anything to do with the ad, though details later emerged that suggested that campaign officials knew of the story, yet they refused to criticize or repudiate the ad. It was later revealed that Romney wasn’t even at Bain Capital when the man lost his job.
The Obama campaign invented a “War on Women,” claiming that Romney would attack women’s health rights, particularly reproductive rights.
They invented a class-war, using a hidden-camera, out of context video clip to push the idea that Romney didn’t care about 47 percent of the country, running ads showing World War Two veterans, and families as examples of those that Romney would leave out in the cold.
Over and over again, the Obama campaign used divisive tactics to attack Romney, because that strategy was preferable to running on Obama’s record. Now that he’s been reelected, in an election with a close popular vote no doubt, he’s asking all Americans to pretend that there’s no division and to ignore the division for which he and his campaign are directly responsible.
At a time when the House of Representatives remains in the control of Republicans, Obama will have to learn how to reach across the aisle and cooperate. While there will be many who may be willing to turn a blind eye to the divisive actions of the Obama Campaign, there will be just as many who will not.
Obama may soon find his second term haunted by the ghosts of his campaign.