2004 – Post Election Blues

So as of just an hour or so ago, Kerry has conceded the election to Bush. I’m in kind of a strange place right now. I’m dissapointed, sad, frustrated, and exhausted. I’m not all that optomisitc about the next four years, and I’m worried for my country. With the national vote though, it looks like I’m in the minority. It’s a very crushing feeling. Very.

This has been the first time I felt personaly involved in politics. I’ve never really cared much about the outcomes, or the elections, beyond the superficial sound bites available from the news channels and newspapers. I was not making an informed descision before, I was making a surface decision. That changed very much this year. I watched each and every debate, I read on-line and in the papers, I saw interviews and biographies on the candidates. I invested myself in the outcome of the election. It’s a new thing.

I’m telling myself that America made a surface descision, and that those who don’t really take a look at what their president is doing, but are going on what he tells them is why Bush has won. When you belive the soundbites and don’t look into what the facts and plans and records really are, you are not making an informed descision. I’m not saying that if you were informed you would have voted for Kerry, but that so much of America voted from the hip and not the head. Unfortunatly this isn’t going to change anytime soon, and I personally don’t have a solution, other than to tell people to get off their ass.

I also saw some polls about how so many Americans voted on who they thought had better “moral standards.” A friend of mine had this to say:

So you’re telling me that the 200,000 people unemployed in Ohio, sitting around their kitchen tables, splitting a can of cheap baked beans with their family, sad because their son died in Iraq, said none of that matters, because Bush is a stand up guy. He’s a good person and that matters more than my job, terrorism or the war on Iraq.

What can you say. We all knew it would be a close race, and it turned out to be. America hasn’t fallen apart just yet, and if anything this election and this awakening of politcal feelings that I didn’t know about, really has gotten me thinking. I’ve been reading other reactions to the election on the web, both sides, positive and negative. Alot of the Kerry side is saying what I’m thinking:

Yes, we lost. Okay, not the end of the world. Let’s sit down and figure out what mistakes we made, what we did right, and start getting back our country. Kerry was great, but didn’t connect well with America. Democrats need to find a way to appeal again to the so called “common American” and not just be the anti-Republicans, but be a party that more people can identify with. There needs to be for the Democrats a way of getting back momentum in their platform, being first to the punch instead of reacting to what the Republicans say. And hey, if things keep on going the way they are with Bush now, I’d like to think that we won’t have to worry about a neo-conservative candidate in 2008 at all. I’d really like to think that Bush will really try and unite the country again, and try to bridge the gaps. I don’t think it will happen, but it’s a nice dream.

I’m not a party voter, and prefer to stay that way. I want to make sure, now and always, that the candidates I choose for national, state and local elections are chosen on their ideas and plans and history, not their parties and not their political lean.

Boing Boing has some interesting comments on the recent events.

Part of me want’s to say, “If America falls apart don’t blame me, I didn’t vote for him,” and so I’ll leave it at that. America has four years. We’ll see what happens. In the meantime, I’ll do what I can to make a difference. It’s what this whole democracy thing is all about.

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