So, America has spoken.
Democrats ‘lost’, Republicans ‘won’, and the psycho wing-nuts on both sides of the fence are still absolutely positive that they’re ‘right’ and the other guys are ‘wrong’ and they’ll most likely never, ever stop their vitriolic diatribes against each other. Even so, for most of the rest of America, there is acceptance of the outcome of this election. Sometimes reluctant it’s true, but acceptance nevertheless.
This time around the numbers do not lie.
The barely hidden undertow of resentment for the electoral process itself that has so fouled the emotions and minds of the people of America for the last four years should now be put to rest. Americans should once again have faith in the electoral process even if they don’t care for the candidates who might be running for office because this election once again proves that the democratic process works. And while Democrats have every right to be saddened by their defeat, they should not be angry at the electoral process itself, only at this particular outcome. This defeat, and their anger, should galvanize them to re-evaluate what their party stands for so they will be ready for the next election. Because no matter how despondent and bitter they might feel right now, they must remember that 51% of America, and more importantly more than enough of the Electoral College, wanted this outcome.
And in a democracy the majority rules.
At this point you may be wondering who I voted for, which candidate my brains and beliefs led me to cast my precious, vastly important ballot for, and I will tell you. After researching for months each candidates ideas, ideals and plans for the future, I found myself unable to vote for either of them. On one side there was no real plan for the future beyond vague rhetoric and hopeful dreams, and on the other side there was an ideological plan for the future that I could not see myself ever agreeing with. So, on November 2, 2004 I did what I now believe almost half of the voting public of America did, and I voted for neither candidate.
And cast my ballot for John Kerry.
Now, before you all light my butt on fire with your flaming emails of hate and burn my eyes out with your acidic and vitriolic comments, let me first say a few words. I am not a member of ANY political party, and over my lifetime I have in fact voted for both parties to serve in a multitude of public offices. I do not belong to ANY religious group or faction, not even the Atheists, but I respect almost all religions and have read (yes actually read) many religious texts including the Bible (Christian, Catholic and Mormon), Torah, Teachings of Buddha, several Zen texts and some of the Koran. Also, I have never, nor will I ever, vote a certain way just because some people I consider to be friends are voting that way. I’m an individual who tries to use my brains to discern who is best for the job regardless, and sometimes in spite of, their political and religious ties. Also, my opinions are MINE not yours, so if you don’t like them (quoting Gollum) go away and never come back.
So now you’re wondering why.
It’s a fine distinction I spoke of above, voting against Bush by voting with Kerry, a subtle twist of definition that I believe most of America will slowly come to understand over the next few months. You see, instead of voting for someone who I could believe in and stand behind with confidence, I was forced to vote against someone else. And that is simply not the way I ever thought I would ever us my all-important vote. It is my current belief that should you take an equal sampling of people who voted for each candidate and ask them why they voted the way they did, you would find that most of those who voted for Bush believed in something about him and/or his policies, but that almost ALL of those who voted for Kerry, including myself, merely wanted to remove Bush from office.
Precious few who voted for Kerry truly knew what he stood for.
Looking back today I can honestly say that I’m sad that the results turned out the way they did, but strangely I’m also glad. I’m sad because a man I do not agree with or respect is holding an office I feel he should not hold. However, I’m glad to once again feel that I can have confidence in the system that placed him there. I’m sad because I believe that this administration relies much too heavily on governing through fear and the growing insecurities of the general public in order to pass foreign policies that are slowly degrading America’s world leader status militarily, economically and politically. I am also very saddened by what I see as this administration’s increasingly invasive and heavy handed approach to homeland security and personal privacy that I believe is slowly but surely stripping away the freedoms we all hold so dear.
And I’m absolutely despondent at the sorry state of affairs our economy is in.
But I’m also kind of glad that he’s still in office, because I believe that Bush will be watched very closely for the next four years by both sides, and I’m hopeful that he’ll be held accountable for whatever policies he might enact. There can be no more finger-pointing or I-told-you-so’s, by either side. No more evasive answers and half-truths backed by lies. He’s won a second term fair and square and all of his campaign promises from both 2000 and 2004 need to be fulfilled or the very people who believed in him will probably be the first in line to pull him down. I hope he does reach across the aisle and find a common ground where both Democrats and Republicans can meet. I hope with all that I am that this term he becomes a uniter instead of the polar divider he has been in the past. I hope and pray that four years from now MORE than 51% of America is happy.
And deep in my soul, I really hope that I’m one of them.
I hope that we will be better off in four years than we are today. I truly do. I hope with all that I am that there will be no more lapses in the intelligence gathering community that would lead to another questionable war that would further divide this country. I hope we find Osama and that we destroy all of Al Qaeda and any other terrorist group that may threaten America, today or tomorrow. I hope that the democratic processes that are being instituted in Iraq and Afghanistan work and they become a bastion of truly democratic governments in the Middle East that will help spread freedom far and wide. I hope that our economy recovers, jobs are restored and a time of great prosperity for all of America begins today.
But, based on the past four years, and the entire history of second term presidents, please forgive me for being skeptical.
I’m not usually this serious, but today I feel the need. Again, I don’t belong to any political party, I’m just an American. And as an American I feel that the Democratic Party let me down by attempting to prop up a weak candidate on the premise that he wasn’t Bush. I honestly believe that Kerry did far better than he would have had he been running against ANYONE other than Bush. Reading through his ‘plan’ on his website and after watching all three debates, I feel that Kerry had nothing to offer the American public other than the fact that he wasn’t Bush. And even though that is exactly the reason why I voted for Kerry, it is clear to me and I hope everyone now that that was not nearly enough.
And I’m glad because I don’t believe it should ever be.
For the Democrats, this is a harsh blow and a reality check. There are a lot of people out there in America who are questioning their Party affiliation today. The Democratic Party needs to reevaluate its entire platform now, starting today, or there might be hell to pay later on down the road. They should look into the polling numbers and redefine who they want their constituents to be based on who voted for them and why. Now is the time to start surveying the public and find out what it is that most of America truly wants from the Democratic Party of the future. I’m sure that many Democrats both young and old feel betrayed by their Party, let down by a group they had poured their hearts out to support. The Democratic Party needs to find out exactly why their people feel so betrayed and how the damage can be repaired. Democrats need to start defining their new leaders now and prepare a better, more cohesive and comprehensible platform upon which to rebuild their Party for 2008.
And I do mean rebuild.
They should begin with the whole issue of ‘morality’; define it for the Democratic Party so people will understand EXACTLY where they stand and why. Because if they don’t, if the Democratic Party simply sits and sulks without making any truly fundamental changes, then I do not believe it will stand a chance in four years.
I actually believe that if it doesn’t change, it will not continue to exist.
These are just a few of my thoughts on this election. I probably won’t talk politics here again until the next election, but since this was an important issue to me I thought it was important to at least TRY to spell out my thoughts here where everyone could read them. These are by no means my only thoughts or opinions on this subject, but the reason I rarely express them here is because I don’t believe my opinions on politics (or religion) to be any more or less valid than yours. I won’t ever try to change your beliefs because they are YOUR beliefs, and you will never be able to change mine. So, please remember that these are opinions, MY opinions expressed on MY website, and whether you agree or disagree with them really won’t matter to me at all.
You have your own mind, use it.