Catch21 - Our Charity ArmCatch21 is a charitable production company set up in 2005 which trains young people to make videos and engage with their communities.Catch Creative - Our Video Production ArmCatch Creative offers a complete video production service, from Conception to Distribution.Catch EngagementCatch Engagement is the new video interaction platform from Catch21 which allows you to run a campaign using both user generated films as well as professionally shot ones which are displayed via Video 'Walls'. Catch Engagement is all about using films to build an online community - welcome to the future of video.

We shoot cutting edge videos and provide a forum to give people a voice.
Engagement. Discussion. Empowerment.


All content featured on our charity site is produced by young volunteers with the support and mentoring of our professional production team.

Politics no image

Published on November 12th, 2012 | by Iain Waterman
Image © [caption id="attachment_11384" align="alignnone" width="566"] President Barack Obama and wife Michelle is holds hands with Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill following Obama's victory speech to supporters in Chicago early Wednesday, Nov. 7 2012. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)[/caption] For all the hype generated by one of the most vicious and closely fought election campaigns in recent memory, President Obama’s re-election on Tuesday night was incredibly underwhelming. In the end he won by a margin wider than even his most optimistic supporters had predicted, taking nearly all the key swing states and finishing with a gap of 103 Electoral College votes. America chose four more years over ejecting the incumbent and the reaction was always going to be more understated. Such a victory was a monumental achievement considering his record, the state of the economy, and the Democrat Party’s history: Frequently banded about is the fact that only FDR achieved re-election with unemployment higher than 7.8% – but the statement does have certain significance. Amongst the BBC’s eye-wateringly boring coverage came a quote from one of the many anonymous pundits – “this election is bigger than Romney and Obama, the country is at a tipping point”. The same could be said for the years under FDR. The ‘tipping point’ is significant not least because America re-elected a black President who has largely failed to cure the economy or come through with most of his other reform promises. In short, America is changing. Much has been said on the growth of the Hispanic community, who are now the largest ethnic minority at 16.7%. This year it was announced that for the first time non-white births formed the majority in the country. Minorities typically vote Democrat for the reason that the party is the traditional bastion of welfare, public services and liberal social policy. More strongly still is the repulsion from the strong Republican stance against immigration, and the generally suspicion that many on the right wing remain racist. Through simple demographics, change was going to come eventually. Mr Obama’s re-election is most significant therefore because a majority of Americans, albeit a slender one, chose to pre-empt the demographic shifts and embrace progress towards a more socially liberal and racially inclusive society. Tim Stanley has argued that the future ‘culture war’ in America is going to naturally play out in favour of the Democrats, saying that “America is secularising and mellowing in her old age.” Alarm bells are ringing in the Republican camp. Sarah Palin told Fox News that she “could not believe” that the majority of Americans supported Mr Obama’s policies. She and other conservative commentators have pointed to Mr Romney’s gaffes and the President’s pre-emptive, aggressive and incredibly negative campaign against the challenger. Bill O’Reilly said that supporters of Mr Obama had a “where’s mine?” attitude. He also lambasted Chris Christie, the Republican New Jersey governor, for his positive appraisal of the President’s handling of Hurricane Sandy. The American right wing needs to look to itself for its problems however. The economy was supposed to have been the central issue of the election but my guess is that the GOP’s social agenda is still what most scares independents and alienates minorities. The Tea Party, which has enjoyed a massive surge in support over the past decade, has forced the Republican Party and its candidates to the right. There remains a massive discrepancy between the Tea Party’s small government economic policy and its wish that invasive and extreme social policies be enforced federally. That means anti-abortion, anti-gay rights, and anti-secular legislation enacted nation-wide, but government should not take anyone’s money. As governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney could have easily beaten Barack Obama. He has a record of bipartisanship and welfare reform, but his party did not allow him to run as this candidate. Even if the tipping point has not yet been reached, the winds of change are certainly blowing. For people in Britain, it is difficult to empathise with US Republicans. Whether you like them or not, we are lucky that our own Conservative Party are comparatively socialist in their social outlook. For US conservatives, ‘progress’ is a dirty word that means secular, urban and non-white; all the things they are not and the antipathy of everything they believe their country was founded upon. In this light, Ms Palin’s remarks seem less extreme or at least more comprehendible; she is not so different from other religious ideologues around the world. The Republican Party is going to have to reinvent itself and soften its social stance. With its current extremist positions, it will never be able to challenge in the North Eastern or West coast states. Furthermore the largest Hispanic influxes have all been in its southern backyard – In 20 years they could lose the South if they are not careful. Mr Obama’s win shows that a majority of the population is not willing to wait for time to take its course; they want a more liberal America as soon as possible. In his post-election report O’Reilly predicted that the economic realities of the next four years would cause the Democrat Party to “disintegrate”. If they do not reform themselves rapidly however, the Republican Party will see the same fate.

0

Why Obama’s victory matters so much

President Barack Obama and wife Michelle is holds hands with Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill following Obama’s victory speech to supporters in Chicago early Wednesday, Nov. 7 2012. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

For all the hype generated by one of the most vicious and closely fought election campaigns in recent memory, President Obama’s re-election on Tuesday night was incredibly underwhelming. In the end he won by a margin wider than even his most optimistic supporters had predicted, taking nearly all the key swing states and finishing with a gap of 103 Electoral College votes. America chose four more years over ejecting the incumbent and the reaction was always going to be more understated.

Such a victory was a monumental achievement considering his record, the state of the economy, and the Democrat Party’s history: Frequently banded about is the fact that only FDR achieved re-election with unemployment higher than 7.8% – but the statement does have certain significance. Amongst the BBC’s eye-wateringly boring coverage came a quote from one of the many anonymous pundits – “this election is bigger than Romney and Obama, the country is at a tipping point”. The same could be said for the years under FDR.

The ‘tipping point’ is significant not least because America re-elected a black President who has largely failed to cure the economy or come through with most of his other reform promises. In short, America is changing. Much has been said on the growth of the Hispanic community, who are now the largest ethnic minority at 16.7%. This year it was announced that for the first time non-white births formed the majority in the country. Minorities typically vote Democrat for the reason that the party is the traditional bastion of welfare, public services and liberal social policy. More strongly still is the repulsion from the strong Republican stance against immigration, and the generally suspicion that many on the right wing remain racist.

Through simple demographics, change was going to come eventually. Mr Obama’s re-election is most significant therefore because a majority of Americans, albeit a slender one, chose to pre-empt the demographic shifts and embrace progress towards a more socially liberal and racially inclusive society. Tim Stanley has argued that the future ‘culture war’ in America is going to naturally play out in favour of the Democrats, saying that “America is secularising and mellowing in her old age.”

Alarm bells are ringing in the Republican camp. Sarah Palin told Fox News that she “could not believe” that the majority of Americans supported Mr Obama’s policies. She and other conservative commentators have pointed to Mr Romney’s gaffes and the President’s pre-emptive, aggressive and incredibly negative campaign against the challenger. Bill O’Reilly said that supporters of Mr Obama had a “where’s mine?” attitude. He also lambasted Chris Christie, the Republican New Jersey governor, for his positive appraisal of the President’s handling of Hurricane Sandy.

The American right wing needs to look to itself for its problems however. The economy was supposed to have been the central issue of the election but my guess is that the GOP’s social agenda is still what most scares independents and alienates minorities. The Tea Party, which has enjoyed a massive surge in support over the past decade, has forced the Republican Party and its candidates to the right. There remains a massive discrepancy between the Tea Party’s small government economic policy and its wish that invasive and extreme social policies be enforced federally. That means anti-abortion, anti-gay rights, and anti-secular legislation enacted nation-wide, but government should not take anyone’s money. As governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney could have easily beaten Barack Obama. He has a record of bipartisanship and welfare reform, but his party did not allow him to run as this candidate.

Even if the tipping point has not yet been reached, the winds of change are certainly blowing. For people in Britain, it is difficult to empathise with US Republicans. Whether you like them or not, we are lucky that our own Conservative Party are comparatively socialist in their social outlook. For US conservatives, ‘progress’ is a dirty word that means secular, urban and non-white; all the things they are not and the antipathy of everything they believe their country was founded upon. In this light, Ms Palin’s remarks seem less extreme or at least more comprehendible; she is not so different from other religious ideologues around the world.

The Republican Party is going to have to reinvent itself and soften its social stance. With its current extremist positions, it will never be able to challenge in the North Eastern or West coast states. Furthermore the largest Hispanic influxes have all been in its southern backyard – In 20 years they could lose the South if they are not careful. Mr Obama’s win shows that a majority of the population is not willing to wait for time to take its course; they want a more liberal America as soon as possible.

In his post-election report O’Reilly predicted that the economic realities of the next four years would cause the Democrat Party to “disintegrate”. If they do not reform themselves rapidly however, the Republican Party will see the same fate.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


About the Author

Iain Waterman

Iain recently graduated from the University of Leeds in History and worked at Dods Political Communications (www.politicshome.com) and The Times newspaper before Catch21. He began writing about politics whilst in his final undergraduate year and founded a blog that he still edits today (http://cromerterrace.wordpress.com/). His primary focus is British domestic politics but he is also very interested in American and Russian politics, as well as the broader themes of international relations, development and social progress. Iain supports a range of policies from across the three main British parties and therefore does not consider himself to be aligned to an ideology, instead he believes that a pragmatic, evidence based approach is most essential to good government.



Back to Top ↑