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Election 2012

In a political climate marked by seemingly constant attacks on access to health care, and specifically women's access to reproductive health care, this election year has already been filled with debate about the value and necessity of health care access; heated rhetoric about whether one can be "American" if he or she has lived abroad; and discussion about religion and race. What are your predictions for the outcome of the election, and the future of American politics and culture?

In 2008, Barack Obama was elected, ending a two century-long tradition of Caucasian presidents. (The tradition of electing men to the highest office in the land still continues, though.) During the years of Obama's (first?) term, speculation about his nation of origin, religious affiliation, and ties to activists and causes became the focal point of conservatives, all while the nation struggled with a lagging economy, high unemployment rates, and two seemingly unwinnable foreign wars against vaguely defined enemies. During his time as president, Obama has managed to accomplish many things—most notably the Affordable Care Act and ending the war in Iraq—but much still needs to be done. But will his accomplishments not be enough to secure a victory over Mitt Romney? While many on the Left feel disappointed with Obama and the current crop of elected Democrats, most agree that electing Mitt Romney and more members of the Tea Party would be disastrous for our country's present and future.

Mitt Romney, too, is no stranger to controversy. Like Obama, Romney's religious affiliation's relevance and influence is hotly debated and discussed. However, unlike Obama, no one questions whether he is lying about his religious beliefs. Also like Obama, Romney's political record, whether it is his tenure as the Governor of Massachusetts, or his role in implementing a health care system on which the ACA was based, Seamus the dog's treatment, is also fodder for debate and discussion.

If these topics weren't enough to keep Americans talking politics around the dinner table and shouting at each other on TV, we also have the privilege of witnessing attacks on access to birth control, abortion, and affordable health care. Efforts to wedge more (fundamentalist) Christianity into the public sphere continue unabated.

What are your predictions for a post-Election 2012 America? What issues do you think are most relevant? What are your hopes and fears? We welcome passionate, insightful, polemical submissions for this issue. While this CFP focuses on the presidential election, analyses of local and state elections are welcome. The deadline for submissions is October 26, 2012.

Send your pieces to Tamara Watkins

Image © Mike Mosher 2012.