Thursday, November 15, 2012

Election Night 2012 in Second Life

By Bixyl Shuftan

Tuesday November 6th was Election Day in the United States. In real life for most American adults, it meant a trip to the voting booth to choose candidates for local, state, Congressional, and Presidential candidates. The Presidential election had the most attention, two nationwide campaigns having gone on for a year and a half,  between incumbent Democrat  Barack Hussein Obama and challenger Republican William Mitt Romney. The polls had gone up and down for weeks, and the final tallies between two of the most read, Gallup and Rasmussen, showed Romney ahead by a single percentage point.

For Second Life residents, those interested in politics could go to a few places to discuss the anticipated results. This included the Republican Party Headquarters in the Sunset River sim for conservatives, and for liberal/progressives there was the Obama HQ in Seokcheon and the longtime hangout of Cafe Wellstone in Pini.

The Republican HQ was full much at the time, including when I first logged on, so I checked out the Obama 2012 location first. There were just several when I arrived, with others teleporting in just afterwards. It was a shinny new location, with a blue dance floor where almost everyone gathered, with a blue "Obama 2012" sign with the campaign logo behind them, with an Obama '12 bar to one side, and a large  "Hall of Truth" building on the other.

Asking how everyone was, one answered "Sweating it out. I'm worried about stolen votes. i dont' want another repeat of Florida in 2000. I don't want the Supreme Court picking our prez again." A few people remarked they lived there. Others gave a variety of locations, including an American citizen in London who voted absentee ballot. There were a number of avatars present, though one resident stuck out in a donkey avatar, the symbol of the Democratic Party.

Asking them "So what are all of you expecting from an Obama victory?" I got a variety of answers, some pro Democrat, "Sane Supreme Court justices." And some were against, "More of the same," ""Same old f**king s**t," "The Obama deception." One guy asked, "Why isn't the media showing third party results?" He was answered, "Because third parties account for about 5% of the vote and are completely inconsequential. The UK media don't report how many votes went to the Monster Raving Loony Party candidates, either"

Heading over to Cafe Wellstone, there were a number of people there. There were no critter avatars, though on guy did make himself look much like the incumbent candidate. They were looking over election returns, which were coming in through both radio on National Public Radio, and TV stream via NBC, "51-49 Romney in Florida now, 50 percent reporting." "FOX exit polls Men 54/46 Romney/Obama Women 54/46 Obama/Romney Women 54% of the electorate." "Go women!" "Should we be demanding a recount somewhere yet?"

Asking what they expected from the election, one wryfully answered, "I'm hoping I don't lose my sanity, (laughter)." Asking them, "So what are all of you expecting from an Obama victory?" I got several answers: "Sanity." "Moving this country forward."  "I expect to not be effed over by the Republicans." "It prevents Myth Romney from being president." "Sharia Law." "A drunken party, and then 4 more years of the same." "More filibusters from Mitch McConnell."

The comments continued, "Gary Indiana just starting to report in." "Did 'gift from god rape' Mourdock actually win Indiana for Senate? if so I'm going to puke." "I was nibbling on candied ginger all day at work to keep my stomach from getting upset" Of a number of states in the south and midwest going for the Republicans, one guy commented, "All these red state results are making me nervous." "Oh, the red states, the sad, uneducated red states." "It's a sad fact that public education in the Southern states lags the rest of the country." "Poorly educated people are easier to maniupulate and are less likely to question what they're told."

Florida was something of a nail-biter that night, "0.2% separates Florida with 31% of the vote." Other early trends caused worry too, "56-42 Romney in Virginia, 24 percent counted." "I'm worried about Romney's trajectory. I'd like his trajectory to drop him in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean." "What,  and pollute the ocean?" "Texas alway stuns me.How can they be so stupid?" "FL still looking about tied." "…. the GOP cheats well in Florida." "Same in Ohio. Felons run my state." "I've heard of 'snowbirds' that vote absentee in their home stand and then vote again in FL."

As time went on, more states went for Obama, "Obama wins PA!" "Mich and Penn." "They called Wisconsin? Yahoooooooo!" So Mitt's losing all his home states, and Ryan's home state?" "Romney & Ryan will lose all their home states excepts the Caymans" "NYT says Obama needs 27 more electoral votes"

I kept trying to get to the Republican HQ, but couldn't because the sim was full. Finally about 6:40 SL time, I managed to get over. There was a sizable number of people over, plus one critter avatar, the donkey from Obama HQ. "We don't usually ban anyone from here," he was told, "unless they're not nice." Asking them, "What do you expect of a Romney victory?" I heard, "Less debt, Obamacare canceled." Ii think Romney will reclaim a lost hill. The ACA will get repealed."

The donkey avatar spoke up, "I have a question maybe someone can truthfully answer for me, and not be an ass about (it). Why would anyone not want universal healthcare for everyone? Maybe I'm a dumb ass but I don't understand that." he got a number of answers, "It costs more" ""It puts the govt in charge of your healthcare." "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch, but there's always free cheddar in the mousetrap." "Because we will be forced to carry (government) insurance or be FINED, the self insured are screwed, and I refuse to pay taxes to cover health care for asses who are too lazy to work." " We bankkrupt the country and no one has healthcare of any quality, you dumb ass." "But isn't health care already expensive?" "I dont want the IRS telling me I cant have procedure I need." "It (will be) a hell of a lot more expensive under Obamacare, but people think it's free because the cost is hidden in your taxes." "You don't get it, nothing is free." "It needs to be tweeked not overhauled."

"They are voting for Socialism, and the ruin of our country." "And they are voting to let China rule us at a rate of $1 trillion a year." "Prediction time!!! If Obama wins re-election - watch for increases in medical tourism as people seeking more medical options will travel to other countries with less restrictive laws." " if obama gets reelected, its going to cost the American people billions in fines *taxes* and the increase of what we pay for our insurance and deductables. Average family insurance will go up $2,500 next year, because the insurance model does not work to begin with for health care."

At 6:53PM, one guy noticed the tally, "This ain't good, O: 157, R: 153."One guy joked, "If Obama is reelected I'm quite in favor of my state Ok plus texas and any state that wants to join us should opt for secession." "Damn! NH is gone now." "He's now GOTTA WIN VA, FL & OH."

Events required my attention elsewhere for a while, but I returned to the Republican HQ at 8:15PM. Shortly afterward, the TV networks began declaring Barrack Obama the winner. The initial reaction was silence. Then someone broke the quiet, "Well, gold will go up." "Buy gold and guns." "Stock market is going to fall tomorrow." "Will I be arrested when i refuse my health ID number on my Fed tax form in 2014?" One dispirited resident told everyone "Good night all," and left.

Then someone popped in, "YEAAAAA BUDDY!  WE GOTTR DONE!" The responses were, "Go f**k yourself." "Look, the f**ktards coming in to gloat." "OBAMA! READ IT! YALL CRACKERS LOST AGAIN!" "Retard!" Finally, the offender was booted from the sim, a moderator saying, "Sorry it took so long to do that." "Funny thing is," someone commented, "if Romney won and we went over to the Dems' sim, they'd autoboot us." "Well, we'll never get a chance to see," another anti-Romney spoke up, laughing, "'cause he didn't win. Wooooo! OBAMA!"

Someone else began cheering, "WOOOOOOOO! OBAMA! :D" The reaction was "You're excited about the USA becoming socialist, real intelligent." "(laughter) Socialist is a 'lil extreme, don't you think?" "Socialist is completely accurate." "Come guys, don't be like that." "The gloaters are here." "Don't be like what? You're here gloating, not very mature, eh?" "(laughter, Well, we aren't talkin' 'ish about you, so that's not immature. Just exercising our freedom of speech. Yaaaaaaaay n Stuff!!" While the two anti-Romney's were cheering, one of them was running around bumping in to others. "No running around pushing people and such," someone told him, "very mature." "I'm not trying to push," the avatar in question answered, "I'm just running."

More anti-Romney residents arrived, and the banter began to deteriorate, "Gloat more when your rights are lost." "We don't' care about rights, as long as he ain't white!" "The Middle Class will be crushed by (the) Obamunists." "I voted for Obama 'cause Romney is a white devil." "Republicans are dumb if they would have have the nomination to Ron Paul then it would be different." "Hahaha, yeah, thats pretty much what I expect from modern Republicans." "What animals these particular Obamaites are, nothing but animals."

I asked the conservatives, "So, now that Obama has won a second term, what do you plan to do?" The answers were glum, "Well tell me something: what good did Obama do in his FIRST TERM?" "I still have my passport Bixyl, I can always go elsewhere and let the Democrats pay for the welfare state." "I guess we Republicans do not have any right to exist. Seems we can't have our own opinions, mob rule by the Obamaites."

"We voted for the lesser of two evils," one Republican commented, "because the primary process is corrupt and didn't give most of us a choice." "Here's a tip for next elections," one Democrat answered, "don't put the crazies in your primary." When challenged to name a better candidate, the anti-Romney resident admitted, "Santorum would have been better … or what's his name, the same guy, Huntsman."

There was no neutral political area like Capitol Hill four years ago, so I gave Cafe Wellstone a short visit, "Bixyl, you missed all of us going H00000000000000000000000000000000!!!!!" I asked, "So now that Obama's won, what do you expect to happen?" "Now, I expect that we all have to work really hard locally to get any s**t done!" "Well, for one thing, we'll keep Obamacare, Medicare, and Medicaid." "I expect him to purge the Republicans out of the house, and arrest them for 'political crimes,' then start to do the things we are asking him to do." "I am excited to see the healthcare fully implemented, not without bumps or adjustment but the right road." "We probably should work to change the House in two years." "And the Supreme Court nominations, that alone can be huge, long beyond a four year term." "Yes, SCOTUS is the real win for the long term."

Despite the winning, some Democrats still felt the need to put down the opposition, "Romney will concede tonight until he wants to look like a total ass... " "He *is* a total ass." "his was so close, scary close. I don't understand how we can have so many really stupid people in this country."

There were a few other places on the Grid where the election was talked about. Dr Fran had a picture of an election map in Hikuelo on her blog. At Club Zero Gravity, they held a "Skunk Party" in "honor" of how stinky the current state of politics had become. Following that, in Castaway Cove a mud wrestling pit was set up and people invited to come by, saying the election had a lot of mudslinging, "Now we're putting some of the mud to good use." Although I was there, I never took any pictures (sorry guys).

Some of my neighbors had a few things to say that night. One lady was overall satisfied with the results, feeling the cause of same-sex marriage had avoided what would have been a setback. Another whom had never commented on politics before described herself as being "purple" with anger over the results. One veteran I talked to felt the country had turned it's back on her.

But tomorrow was another day, and while the election would remain in our conversations for some days, over time things went back to normal.

Bixyl Shuftan

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