What were people thinking?!?!

First of all, CNN had the best election coverage by far. I wish I wouldn’t have wasted so much of my evening watching election coverage in between commercials on NBC. And “Democracy Plaza”? Please. The US election system is about as outdated as the Canadian system. Electoral college votes should be proportional, not winner-take-all. Anyways…

I settled in to watch the election last night, ready for a long night. And it was a long night, but one I could have avoided had I gone to bed at 11:00, as not much changed after that. By then it was easy to see that Senator John Kerry’s hopes for the presidency had all but completely vanished. The math could still have added up for him, but the writing was literally on the CNN Election Night Wall. I, for one, am proud of Sen. Kerry for conceding when he did. Had it been Bushie, we would have been counting votes in Ohio for a long, long time…

If anyone should be embarassed by this seeming Democrat implosion, it should be the Democrats themselves, headed by their “unofficial” spokesperson (ala the “unofficial” Wendy’s spokesperson), Michael Moore. For weeks Moore toured the country, saying that Americans are just waiting to cast their ballots – the victory has already come! But he, and the Democrats, underestimated the power and political savvy of Karl Rove, who really SHOULD be President (I maintain that Bush is just a “charismatic” puppet for the Republicans and their corporations). For all the boasting the Democrats did about their incredible efforts on the ground, the Republicans quietly sent out their own armies, scaring people into believing that Kerry would let the country become rampantly liberal. As if that’s even possible. The Democrats will never ever cross centre. They’re barely there now.

This election was the Democrats for the taking, just like the last election. They succeeded in getting the youth out to vote, but the Republicans also succeeded in getting their own grassroots members out to the polls. But the Democrats faultered by not putting a strong enough candidate forward. When the primaries first began, Bushie’s approval ratings were through the roof (rUHf in American-speak). I think the Democrats had a hard time finding someone who wanted to try and make a run at Bushie. They felt he was too strong. After Kerry won the primary, the war in Iraq began to fall apart, the ballooning deficit was coming to light and more domestic issues, such as job losses, came into the fray. The Democrats shot themselves in the foot before it began. Had they put forward a stronger candidate, they probably could have won this election. Kerry is a brilliant man, but he didn’t have the personality to captivate an audience – not that Bush does either in my mind – and this was a major problem. His running mate, John Edwards, was also not a strong choice compared to Bushie’s best friend, Dick Cheney. Another weakness.

Something struck me as I watch the map of the USA becoming a sea red covered with blue around the edges. The US has as much of an urban/rural split as Canada does. And this is something the Democrats need to address, just as the Liberals up here do. The Democrats also need to move a bit more to the left, to try and embrace those Greens on the fringe. But more than that, the Democrats need to further define themselves. They need to separate themselves from the Republicans. Defining a Republican is easy. A Democrat? Not so much.

The scariest part of all this is that the Republicans not only claimed the presidency again, but gained control in the House of Representatives and the Senate. You could also add the Supreme Court to the list, as up to 4 positions out of 9 could possibly be filled by Bushie. With that many seats up for grabs, GW can shape American social policy for many years after his presidency, up to 40 years according to some analysts. That’s a lot more Bushie than any of us care to think about. And with the right-wing Conservative Christians putting a lot of money into the Republican pot, putting judges against gay marriage, abortion and stem-cell research seems more likely than ever before. Americans, especially women, should be prepared for a tough fight, a fight they thought was over many years ago.

One of the more interesting things that came out of the exit polls yesterday was the issue of morality. The thing that gets me is: Why do people think Bushie is more moral than Kerry? ‘Cause it’s pretty apparent that they do. But Kerry goes to church just like Bushie. Is it because Kerry doesn’t want to take away a woman’s right to have an abortion like GW does? Is it because Bush wants a constitutional ban against gay marriage? Isn’t it immoral that Bush doesn’t want to treat women and gays as equals? Wake up America! You’re saying that a guy that illegally won his presidency, went into a war without any evidence and is using the pervading 9/11 terrorist fear to scare people into voting for him is the moralistic man you want in office? Okay. Have it your way.

And now I’ll move one, scared that I’m sounding like Michael Moore…

What will the world be like with four more years of Bush? A lot more war and a lot less peace, unless Bushie does a 180, and that’s not going to happen. So look for tensions increasing with North Korea, more and more war, probably extending to Iran (oy!), and more friction between the US and the UN. It’ll be a great 4 years! And not to mention how divided the nation has become during this election campaign. Bushie has a lot on his plate!

But there is hope. And yes, it is the faintest glimmer, but there is hope. Bushie can’t ever be elected again. But his brother IS the Governor of Florida. Here we go again…

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