Since I’m sure you’ve all been breathlessly awaiting my views on things…
When I first looked at my screen this morning, my thought was that Kerry still had a chance at the presidency. As I checked the state-by-state numbers, I instead grew increasingly convinced that we had another Bush presidency to look forward to.
Hearing at 11 that Kerry had called the president to concede threw me into something of a despondent mood. Overly dramatic statements about moving to Canada or even about the world coming to an end came unbidden to my lips, yet they died there.
The world is NOT coming to an end. I am not moving to Canada. (Probably. Yet.)
It occurred to me about an hour ago that a significant number of great moments in my life have occurred during the last four years. During Bush’s presidency, I went from being a frequently-depressed, heavy-drinking youth to being a happily married man with a great deal more self-respect. In that time, friendships have begun that I would not trade for anything.
The fact of Bush being president didn’t stop me getting my green card. It didn’t block me from studying in the States. It didn’t keep me from living my life like it was worth living, and that’s the sort of thing we need to remember.
We all have temporary setbacks, things that don’t go our way. We lose jobs, we spend more money on gas. For all we know, all the same crap might have happened during a Gore presidency, or even a Nader presidency.
I won’t claim that I’m not disappointed.
I’m disappointed in the American people for being taken in by a lot of religious talk rather than focusing on the actual issues at hand.
I’m disappointed in the youth of the nation for not turning out any more in this election than in the last one.
I’m disappointed in both candidates for running such negative campaigns.
I’m disappointed in John Kerry’s apparent inability to convince… well, anybody very much.
I’m disappointed in George Bush for disregarding anything that doesn’t ultimately come down to oil and/or religion.
I’m disappointed in Ralph Nader… really just for running. At this point, I don’t think it’s even a matter of principle, it’s just an ego trip. Not that Nader dropping out would have helped Kerry any, because, well, see above.
I’m disappointed in the states that opted to ban same-sex marriages. Perhaps one day I’ll understand how two people wanting to marry affects anyone other than those two people themselves, and thus why anyone should have the right to tell them that they can’t.
So it’s over, and now we get to go back to our regular lives. Which would have been true regardless. From the cradle to the grave, our lives are filled with hopes and fears. Had Kerry become President, it would have been a different set of hopes and fears, that’s all. I liked the idea of a Kerry presidency because I fear a regime based on religious principles that not all Americans hold. On the other hand, I was not particularly looking forward to watching Kerry try to make the nation’s most important decisions, since the man would likely get chapped fingers from trying to figure out which way the wind was blowing on any given day, and thus nothing worthwhile would be likely to get accomplished.
Bush is not trying to fuck up the entire world here. If a US President wanted to fuck up the entire world, he wouldn’t need four years. He might need four minutes, and that’s a generous estimate. It could and would have been done if it were on the cards.
I believe that Bush wants stability in the Middle East. Stability wherein all parties provide abundant cheap oil to the US perhaps, but stability nonetheless.
I believe that Bush wants to see an end to large-scale terrorism worldwide. I do not agree with his methods for achieving this, but I believe that he’s trying to get there.
I don’t think Bush is fundamentally evil. I think he’s a man capable of getting himself elected to an office more powerful than I trust him with, but I do not believe that his agenda is actually malicious toward Americans.
I don’t like him; I’ve made no secret of that. However, I think we’ll survive a second term of his presidency.
Kerry’s concession speech, though, I applaud heartily. The United States of America is a divided nation, with a wound that can only be healed with time and due care. Perhaps now politicians on both sides will begin to act as themselves again instead of as representatives of their party. Maybe they’ll even remember that, now that their jobs are secure again, they owe a debt to the people, one repaid by serving the people’s interests to the best of their ability.
Or maybe the Northeast and the West Coast will secede, or become provinces of Canada or something.