For the past couple days, I have been wrestling with what to say about the election. I am disappointed with the narrow majority of Americans who kept President Bush in office. I just cannot believe so many people have been hoodwinked by the Republican spin machine. I admit that Karl Rove and company are tactical masters, but I also think Americans don't know how to think for themselves anymore--they simply adopt whatever position the people on TV or radio tell them. Consequently, we have a second term for a president who should never have been elected in the first place. Maybe it is appropriate that the nation has re-elected a man who has little intellectual curiosity, since that trait obviously reflects a national flaw. In the Internet age, it doesn't take much effort to learn both sides of a story. It disgusts me that so few voters care enough to do so.
Kerry may not have been the greatest candidate, but Bush clearly has so many problems, both in character and as a leader, that I cannot fathom how anyone could vote for him. It would be redundant for me to give reasons today. That's what this blog's archives are for, in case you are more intellectually curious than our commander in chief. I just fear that in four years, it will be painfully obvious why he shouldn't have been re-elected. Maybe even the red states will get the message by then.
The only good thing about this result is that now the Repugnicans can't blame Democrats when the war in Iraq drags on for years. Of course, it isn't in their nature to blame themselves, either. Heck, Dubya won't even admit he made a single mistake in the past four years. With Republicans in control of every branch of government, it should be interesting to see who does get the blame. I suppose they'll have to scapegoat one of their own.
So where do we go from here as a country? Bush seems to view his victory as a mandate, which means he has not learned from the past. After eking out a win in 2000 by the skin of his teeth, he ruled as if everyone supported him. That only enraged and polarized the opposition. Bush's "uniter not a divider" shtick proved to be so wrong that he couldn't even say it during the 2004 campaign, at least not without snickering. While he won clearly this time, 51% is not an overwhelming majority. Also, an LA Times exit poll shows how strongly people feel on both sides. For example, 79% of Bush voters think his economic policies have made the country better off, while 90% of Kerry voters think they have made us worse off. The numbers are similar in regard to Iraq and Bush's overall performance. Very few voters were doing eeny-meeny-miny-mo in the booths on Tuesday. This nation is still divided from the wounds of the 2000 election and the war with Iraq, and those wounds have festered instead of healing. Quite frankly, a large portion of the populace hates him and all he stands for.
There should be riots in the streets, and maybe someday soon there will be. I'll keep my shoes by the door.