Since it’s common amongst journalists to predict the outcome of elections, I thought I should preempt them. Come Nov. 2nd, ‘John Kerry’:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_kerry will be ‘elected’:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_U.S._presidential_election the 44th President of the ‘United States of America.’:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_of_America.
The world will heave a collective sigh of relief as Bush finally exits. Comedians around the world will be shattered as once again they will have to come up with new material. Of course, Bush has left them ‘enough material’:http://www.bushisms.com/ to last for a few more years yet. Tony Blair will be wondering what to do, as he will finally have to come up with his own todo list.
If I’m wrong, then the world has far more important things to worry about… and hot diggity damn was I wrong: “The people of America have failed us today”:http://joi.ito.com/archives/2004/11/03/the_people_of_america_have_failed_us_today.html.
*Update:* It’s a sad sad sad day for the entire world.
bq. I would caution anyone against deluding themselves into believing that a second Bush term won’t be so bad. With a majority of the popular vote and expanded margins in the House and Senate, we’re going to see Bush Unleashed — something that will probably be much crazier than what we’ve seen over the past four years.
>> “Bush Unleashed”:http://yglesias.typepad.com/matthew/2004/11/bush_unleashed.html
more later… but for the meantime:
bq.. The Republicans have an even stronger congressional majority. They have shown how gladly ruthless they can be in using their power. Bush and his allies have never believed in compromise. They have even less incentive to govern from the middle now, even though the nation remains bitterly divided.
There’s no secret about what’s coming. We don’t have that excuse this time.
Here comes more fiscal recklessness — as we widen the chasm between the ultra-wealthy and everyone else, cementing a plutocracy into our national fiber, we’ll pay our national bills on the Treasury Bill credit card for the next few years. Many economists expect a Brazil-like financial crisis to hit the U.S. before the end of the decade. If we muddle our way though the near term, we’ll still have left our kids with the bill.
Here comes an expansion of the American empire abroad, a fueling of fear and loathing elsewhere on the globe. This is also unsustainable in the end. Empire breeds disrespect.
Our civil liberties will shrink drastically. This president and his top allies in Congress fully support just one amendment in the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms. Say goodbye to abortion rights in most states. Roe v. Wade will fall after this president pushes three or four Scalia and Thomas legal clones onto the Supreme Court. Say hello, meanwhile, to a much more intrusive blending of church and state.
The environment? We’ll be nostalgic for Ronald Reagan’s time in office.
This is not sour grapes. This is reality.
I hope, but doubt, that the Democrats re-discover enough of their collective spine to block the most extreme moves. If they do it’ll be a change for a party that stands for so little these days.
People say there are two Americas. I think there are at least three.
One is Bush’s America: an amalgam of the extreme Christian “conservatives,” corporate interests and the builders of the burgeoning national-security state.
Another is the Democratic “left”: wedded to the old, discredited politics in a time that demands creative thinking.
I suspect there’s a third America: members of an increasingly radical middle that will become more obvious in the next few years, tolerant of those who are different and aware that the big problems of our times are being ignored — or made worse — by those in power today.
That third America needs a candidate. Or, maybe, a new party.
>> “Dan Gillmore”:http://weblog.siliconvalley.com/column/dangillmor/archives/010986.shtml#010986
p. More reactions:
bq.. I walked out this morning and the sun was shining. I felt better. The wind was clear and crisp. I felt better. I cried all night – big searing, gulping sobs – I cried in my sleep. Ever have those dreams where you want to wake yourself up by screaming? I tried last night but never succeeded. I mourned like a loved one had died. *There is an idea of America constructed in my head, built by my associations with the land, the people, the cities. It died last night. A new America was born last night. An imperial America, a theocratic America, an America built by fear and loathing.* This great nation that can destroy anyone cowers from shadows. It fears the gay man who will destroy its families. It fears the slut teen who will kill its unborn child. It fears the brown man who will detonate a bomb in its mall. It fears the secular intellectual who will corrupt its youth.
Faith is the opiate of the masses. Faith in the Man. Faith in Jesus. Faith in their lack of faith. Reason has no place, logic no permanance. Facts are just balancing weights.
I was prepared for a Bush victory. But this is not a Bush victory. This is a vindication. We lost comprehensively. This is their America and I just live in it by their good grace.
Since I suck at predictions, I will now predict the near future: We are going to Iran. There will be a draft. The Supreme Panchayat will overturn. Blues will not regain the country during my lifetime.
Life, though, must go on. I still have to teach the Crusades tomorrow. I still have to design some websites. I still have to put those job applications in. I still have a family to hug and love. I still have some very bright friends who will cry with me in their beers. I walked out this morning and the sun was shining. I felt better. The wind was clear and crisp. I felt better.
>> “Chapati Mystery:C’est Meme Chose”:http://www.chapatimystery.com/archives/straw_polls/cest_meme_chose.html
p. From John Kerry’s “concession speech”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3980533.stm:
bq. But in an American election, there are no losers, because whether or not our candidates are successful, the next morning we all wake up as Americans. And *that is the greatest privilege and the most remarkable good fortune that can come to us on earth.*
At the end of the day, one has to remember John Kerry is not that much better than George Bush. Now, Kerry is considered a liberal, so I wonder how a neocon would phrase it? On second thought, I really don’t want to know…
The ‘European reaction’:http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/20/opinion/20friedman.html?ex=1263963600&en=c59b494ba9112b92&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland :
bq. Before Mr. Bush’s re-election, the prevailing attitude in Europe was definitely: “We’re not anti-American. We’re anti-Bush.” But now that the American people have voted to re-elect Mr. Bush, Europe has a problem maintaining this distinction. The logic of the Europeans’ position is that they should now be anti-American, not just anti-Bush, but most Europeans don’t seem to want to go there.