Wednesday, November 03, 2004
For the first time in my voting life, I voted for the winning Presidential candidate. While the relief is fairly significant for me personally, this is not a time to gloat. Unlike for so many of the people who voted for Kerry (or "against Bush", as it were), the enemy in my view does not reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The enemy is overseas, all around us, and needs to be defeated. I have never viewed this President as a threat to this country-- no one man could possibly have the power to destroy our great republic, I'm sure of that. This, for me, was an election that was driven mostly by one set of issues.
The past couple of mornings I've listened to a local morning radio show that I basically ditched last year because of their incredible leftist slant-- Michael Moore once got a 1/2 hour segment for a live interview, while their "Equal Time with Ben Stein" segments (he is conservative) are usually pre-recorded and edited down to a few minutes. The producer is the most vocal producer I've heard on radio, and his disgust with all things Republican is a bit annoying.
So I listened to them to get a sampling of reactions to this election. What I find appalling about very left-leaning Democrats of late is their constant rambling about a divided country, yet they carry on with their divisive behavior. Listeners called in to announce that they were leaving the country, never to return. They called in to encourage everybody to email John Kerry and demand that he hold off on his concession (one caller was horrified to find out that he had just conceded. "But the votes aren't counted yet!!!"). They believe that Kerry has a chance to win this thing, but never mind that even if he got Ohio, he would lose the popular vote by more than 3.5 million votes (that would be great for unity). Another caller tells us that the Republicans were using scare tactics to get out the vote, and declared that "our side" never sinks to that level. And I have a bridge to sell you.
The division of this country was not triggered by anything President Bush did. It was triggered by a protracted, bitter 2000 election aftermath, one that the so-called "losing" side could not seem to get past. "Selected not Elected", "Hail to the Thief" is all we've heard since December, 2000. September 11 put the hatred and vitriol on hold, but it was always there, brewing under the surface. Iraq brought it back out in full force. The polarization of this country stems in the attitude that "we are right, you are wrong, and that's final." Liberals puff up their chests and brag about being "progressive", and thumb their noses at conservatives who, for their own personal reasons, don't go into a tizzy about their pet issues. Abortion, gay marriage, and the environment have never driven my votes, and probably never will. I don't believe that Bush lied to me. You think that's wrong? So be it-- it's not up to you to decide, free country and all.
From Germany and elsewhere we've heard conciliatory words of cooperation and getting back to business on our common interests. Then other so-called enlightened Europeans put doomsday images and quips about dumb Americans on their newspaper covers. Why is it so hard for so many to even consider working with this President instead of fighting him tooth and nail? Why is it so hard to grasp that an educated person who is well versed in the issues might actually vote for Bush? Criticize his policies until the cows come home, but try to at least have a goal in mind besides just being a partisan hack. We can all disagree with the President in constructive ways. In the last four years we have witnessed Americans and non-Americans with the primary goal of destroying the President. Has that made America better? In my not-so-humble opinion, America is suffering for it.
This election should be a wake-up call to the Democratic party. The Michael Moore's of this country are now perceived as mainstream, and he is closely associated with the DNC. The Hollywood elitists thumb their noses at the average American with the belief that they know better than us. The John Kerry's of the world talk a lot about siding with and understanding the concerns of the middle class, while jetting to Nantucket in his wife's personal jet. Michael Moore, Hollywood and John Kerry are out of touch with me.
Kerry did not connect with me in any way, shape or form. The smugness and elitism from Kerry supporters has been annoying at best. To think that those who believe differently than you are somehow wrong, while you are obviously and always right, is to divide this country. There are people who simply believe that the majority of this country completely lacks intelligence, that we couldn't be bothered to get "educated" on the issues-- we are sheep, under the spell of Bushitler. They couldn't be more wrong.
My only request to all the political opposites I know: stop acting like you have it all figured out, and that anybody who disagrees is a dumb, fundamentalist nutjob. None of us truly have it figured out. We see the same facts, and draw our own truths within our little snapshot in time. The past couple of years have been eye-opening for me. The elitists on the coasts look down upon the rest of the country. Somehow, rural Americans can't possibly have anything between their ears. They don't love their families, they don't work hard and pay taxes, they don't represent what America is supposed to be about and they shouldn't count. The snobbery when comparing and contrasting the locations of the red and blue states is astounding.
Americans are Americans are Americans. We are who we are. You don't like the results of this election? You always have 2006 and 2008 to "rectify the wrong." Come up with a good message that Americans of all stripes can get behind and maybe you'll start to get some traction. Until then, you have nobody to blame for failure but your own party. I was a Democrat until, on September 11, I heard some go on about the coward President flying in circles above our land. That day changed everything for me. I saw two kinds of hatred: one towards America, and one towards the man in the Oval Office. Then I saw Bush take us through the most difficult period in my lifetime, and I felt safer with him in charge and better about being American. I kicked myself for not giving him my vote in 2000. It wasn't my lack of enlightenment or education that made me touch the Bush/Cheney square on my voting machine. It was the fabric of who I am and what I believe: that Bush is the better candidate.
See you in 2006.
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