Democrats Abroad celebrate victory of Barack Obama
By Roberticus T. Simpson,Special to The China Post
November 9, 2012, 12:09 am TWN
Americans citizens all over Taiwan celebrated the decisive victory at the polls of incumbent U.S. President Barack Obama over challenger Mitt Romney in events organized by Democrats Abroad Taiwan in Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung.
Democrats Abroad Taiwan is a local country chapter for the international Democrats Abroad organization, which is treated as akin to a 51st state party organization within the greater U.S. Democratic Party. Democrats Abroad Taiwan holds events for members that range from policy discussions and voter-assistance efforts through to happy hours, celebrations and political fundraisers. Democrats Abroad members on the global level also participate in various policy-based efforts of the U.S. Democratic Party, including work on the party platform and in many other matters that affect U.S. citizens living overseas.
"Dems Abroad is a great way to get involved and support good candidates stateside, but I've also always treasured meeting the people," said John Eastwood, a former chair of Democrats Abroad Taiwan and a current member of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Eastwood notes that Democrats Abroad in Taiwan and around the world includes musicians, filmmakers, historians, sociologists and experts in many fields. "There's never a dull conversation in Democrats Abroad," said Eastwood.
Huge cheers broke out from American Democrats at The Brass Monkey in Taipei as President Obama won state after state in what had been widely thought would be a tight election. Under the U.S. Electoral College system, most U.S. states follow a rigid winner-takes-all system in which a presidential candidate who wins the popular vote in a state takes all the votes of the state's electors. What this means is that so-called swing states, states that sometimes vote Democrat and sometimes vote Republican, were a key focus of both the Obama and Romney campaigns.
"Although both campaigns took the swing states seriously," Eastwood said, "President Obama made the better case that he is the president of the entire United States, for 100 percent of Americans. Mitt Romney wrote off 47 percent of the country. The progress Obama made on America's economy and the direction he has outlined for America's future as a green and high-tech nation was more compelling than the typical Republican plans to give billionaires tax cuts."
The Democratic Party also saw some gains in the House and Senate, as well, with several key elections in Missouri, Indiana, Montana and elsewhere going in favor of the Democrats.
The next stop is the inauguration, which Eastwood will be attending. "The DNC will have a meeting the day after the inauguration, so I was going to be there no matter what," Eastwood said. "However, it's always better to be on the celebrating side."
U.S. citizens interested in joining Democrats Abroad can go to www.DemocratsAbroad.org