I am very glad that the election is over. I saw in this election the worst of mud-slinging, and it wasn’t confined to just the candidates. The common people got involved too, insulting any candidate that didn’t agree with their views.
Most of my friends know I am very much anti-Bush. I don’t think my in-laws and acquaintances realize this because I kept receiving pro-Bush and anti-Kerry emails from them. I personally try not to force my views on anyone else, and I resented somewhat their trying to force their views on me.
But I am not one of those whiny Democrats that are just mad because Kerry didn’t win the election. Honestly, I am not surprised. Kerry wasn’t the candidate to mobilize the electorate to oust Bush out of office; he just didn’t inspire people. And I’d rather not discuss Kerry’s Purple Hearts because honestly, it shouldn’t have any effect on his ability to be president, just like what Bush did regarding his National Guard service 30 years ago should not affect the presidency.
What I would like the pro-Bush people to realize is that Bush may have won the popular election (which he did not in 2000), but I don’t believe it’s the “mandate” he’s been calling it. It wasn’t a landslide — it was an insanely close race. And yes, more people voted for Bush than for any other presidential candidate previously, but more people voted for KERRY than for any other presidential candidate as well. This is because so many people showed up to the polls to make their opinions known.
Also, Bush’s re-election cannot be considered a mandate of the American people until all eligible voters actually vote. The numbers quoted as to how many folks turned out to vote are really the percentage of registered voters that went to the polls, not the percentage of all those eligible to vote. So really, we still have fewer people making decisions for the whole of America.
I’m not saying Bush is a bad president. He’s not a great one, but it’s been a long while since we had a great president, regardless of party. What scares me about Bush is he just doesn’t get the part in the Constitution about separation of church and state. I admire the fact that Bush is a devout Christian and he’s not ashamed to show it. But I think that as our president, he cannot make decisions for the country based on his particular brand of Christianity. Would you want a Buddhist president making all of his or her decisions based solely on Buddhism? I’m not anti-Buddhist; I’m just pointing out that if we were to have a president of a different faith, we would expect him to keep his religion out of the Oval Office. Why is Bush exempt? Solely because there are a whole lot of conservative and evangelical Christians in America that think he’s the closest thing to the Second Coming??
I’m also surprised at a lot of people’s shallowness when it comes to voting. I’ve heard from Kurt that a lot of folks on his ship were voting for Bush solely because Republicans tend to give the military big pay raises every year. All right, so Bush is going to give the military a 5-10% pay raise in January. Does the extra money make up for the fact that Bush is the reason our soldiers are going to Iraq and getting killed?? I got a lot of extra money last summer when Kurt was deployed for seven months (and his ship for eight months), but it didn’t make up for the fact that he wasn’t home with me, and it sure wouldn’t make up for his presence if he’d been in the Army and gotten killed in the war.
I would like America to figure out how to get out of Iraq as quickly as possible, but while leaving Iraq with a stable infrastructure and government. It means nothing that we nabbed Saddam Hussein if we can’t give the Iraqis help in rebuilding their nation. I would also like America to leave Iraq so we can focus our energies and might on the REAL problem — Osama bin Laden. Isn’t it convenient that Bush has completely glossed over the fact that he still has no idea where bin Laden is, even though he’s responsible for the deaths of so many Americans on our blackest day?? Shouldn’t we be fighting a war in Afganistan, and not Iraq?
I am keeping an open mind that Bush can possibly make his second term in office better than his first has been. He can work on the deficit, he can rebuild Iraq, he can bolster the economy, he can create more jobs. I know he’s capable of all this. I don’t want to be a doom-and-gloom Democrat who’s simply going to give up on America and move to Canada now that the Democrats have lost the race. It doesn’t do anyone any good to quit now. I hope Bush can look at the mistakes of his first administration and fix them in his second.
To all of you who stayed home from the polls because you think your vote doesn’t matter — we still don’t have a winner in the Washington gubernatorial race because it is so close. The leads have been bouncing back and forth between the Democrat and the Republican, and it won’t be settled until November 17th. The election could be settled by just a few hundred votes when they are all counted, and if those few hundred had stayed home, we would have the other candidate for governor. If more people angry with the Bush administration had come out to vote, it is possible that we would be excited about a change in the White House.
To all of you who voted in this election, my hat’s off to you!! Thank you for your vote, regardless of what ballot you cast. It’s a great thing you did.