It’s not official, but the democrats have lost. Barring the 170’000 provisional ballots being overwhelmingly democratic, or some scandal (which, in fairness to both sides, appears not to be present at all), Ohio goes red, and so the election.

It’s been a wild 4 years with Bush, especially the past 9 months or so, as we’ve seen a sort of unparalleled bitterness and mudslinging that really make one wonder what our republic has come to. Some thoughts:

  • It was aggravating enough when Bush won the 2000 election illegitimately. However, it’s ridiculous—mindblowing, unimaginable—that he would win this one legitimately. On a piss-poor record. Really, how many tangible benefits can one attribute to Bush? Even if we grant for the sake of argument that the September 11th attacks or the poor economy are not directly or indirectly his fault, he’s still presided over a truly disastrous time in American history. People say he’s shown strong leadership. I say he’s shown strong platitudes and little else.
  • That Bush won the popular vote by 3’000’000+ is a startling testament to American ignorance. Fear works, I guess. The RNC pushed their Wolves ad, and people said to themselves, “Gee, the Vice President is right: if we don’t keep Bush in the White House, America will go Roman and let the Goths in.” No, actually, they wouldn’t say that, because much of America can’t form cogent sentences. Still and all, striking fear into the hearts of their constituency worked wonders for the Republicans. That, and pandering to their evangelical base by promising to turn the White House into La Catedral de Santo Jorge and holding an Inquisition for gays, scientists, and secularists.
  • Not only did Bush take the White House, but the GOP strengthened their positions in both the House and the Senate. In a single election, America saw more red than Nick Nolte after six lines. How does this happen? How does Senate minority leader Tom Daschle get overturned in South Dakota? Has America been brainwashed so patently into believing that the GOP is the right party to lead America on all fronts? I’ve lost all faith.
  • Speedkill figures the divisive issue must have been the war. I agree, but I can’t help but be astounded that the war did anything but hurt Bush. It is overwhelmingly unpopular, and yet most people still seem to support his leadership (and fault) in it.
  • All 11 same-sex marriage ban initiatives passed, most by wide margins. Conservative America striking back at the mean liberals for enforcing freedom of romantic interest between two consenting adults. Alas has good news about Massachussetts leadership, but I fear for the looming moral inhibitions soon to descend upon red America.
  • A lot of blogs, like the Kos are reminding us not to be pansies about this whole thing and keep fighting despite the now-entrenched power of the Right. I agree, but I need a day or two to myself to be inconsolable.
  • Kerry’s campaign is fighting to the very last vote. But they won’t. They don’t have the balls (nor, I think, the grounds) for litigation in Ohio. Nor do I want to Dems to be sore losers.

I’m fearful, very fearful, for the next four years.

§431 · November 3, 2004 · Tags: , ·

7 Comments to “In a word, soulcrushing”

  1. Andy says:

    Soulcrushing? Did Stan Lee ghost-write your blog’s intro?

    Come now. We live in the best country in the world. If Kerry had won, I guarantee you I would still be making the same statement.

    Bush won (it appears) because:
    • Evangelicals ‘hymned’ the vote
    • Young people registered, and many voted, but not as many as hoped, and they did not trend as left as thought. (Can we all agree on the stupidity of exit polls?)
    • America is basically conservative/moderate, both fiscally and socially.
    • Every other point can be explained thusly- Bush is obviousy very polarizing. But nobody knows where Kerry stands at all. That is not a trite flip-flop remark; ‘flip-flop’ implies he lands on one side or the other long enough to slide a spatula underneath himself. America has listened to Kerry for months and has no idea what he believes. He “respects” this and that, but “can’t legislate” that or this, blah blah blah… it’s called a backbone, John.
    • The Democrats have been marginalized as basicaly a regional party- NE and Pacific coast.
    • It’s hard to win an election based on just being against something else. You need to have your own vision. Even in the glory years of Clinton, they really didn’t have that, just a charismatic frontman skilled at taking the nation’s pulse.
    • Kerry is physically ugly; Bush, funny freeze-frames and resemblances to chimps aside, is more handsome. Kerry looks like Treebeard or the Scream mask. Don’t laugh or scoff. I think that’s a dumber reason than even you probably do, but in this age, it’s reality. TV has hurt the campaign process (and society) in many ways. JFK and Clinton benefitted from that.

    I won’t reply to some other specific things, such as the ‘Inquisition,’ because I wish to keep this more broad, factual and philosophical, and not to raise anyone’s ire.

    Pax.

  2. Ben says:

    I understand what you’re saying, but Kerry was more or less just a placeholder. This election was Bush v. Not Bush. Bush has been so divisive that even to experts it seemed as though a Not Bush win was imminent. Guess not. Again, nothing says “turnout” like fear and faith.

  3. Andy says:

    Like I say, it’s hard to win (a national election) by being ‘against.’ (Local elections are a different matter. Ahem, Daschle.)

    ‘Divisive’ by its very definition means two sides, basically equal in passion and size. The onus is on each to be clear and appear different. ‘Placeholder’ implies the Donkey party would have been just as happy with a cardboard cut-out of Buffy the Vampire Slayer as their candidate. They’ve got to commit to something, and understand what it is, and looking (primarily at the geographic area in red) the Democrats have no idea what makes much of the country tick. They have some analysis to perform, and an actual agenda to develop. Fewer tax cuts for the wealthy? Great! A measured foreign policy? Fine. Better education? Super. Then they need to make people believe they have an milligram of credibility. Figuring out *someplace* to land on religion might also help.

    Dean’s views would have gotten him soundly defeated, but people would have been clear on what those views were.

  4. Andy says:

    Final thought on previous post: I heard very little of ‘policy platforms’ during this election cycle. That is telling.

    New thought:
    Although I have voted for only a handful of Democrats in my life, I am not against the general idea of a viable, national third party combining some manner of fiscal moderation with social conservatism. I think such a party could be a real force, in all the ways the mostly wacko Green and Libertarian parties have not been.

    Then again, a sustainable third party may have unforeseen ill effects that only a fourth or fifth viable party could smooth over. Or maybe that way lies anarchy altogeher. Who knows?

    It will also be difficult to achieve in this mass media era. Perhaps in the future, as media outlets become further fragmented, regional parties can have an effect on national government, as populists did until roughly the New Deal.

  5. Ben says:

    What angers me, I guess, is that Bush gets away with being a radical rightist, but a radical leftist is scorned. And make no mistake about it, Bush is a radical rightist in so many senses of the word.

  6. conquistador says:

    The reason the radical left is scorned is that the radical left is socialism, and socialism is a system that has been shown not to work for an extended period of time at any time throughout history. It is a great system for a short time, as long as technology stays the same. But, after that, it becomes obsolete and no longer works.

  7. Ben says:

    I beg to differ. Look at Scandanavia and tell me leftism is a turbulent system in such a context.

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