It's November 3rd, 2004. Most of the ballots have been counted, the states have been called, the pundits have talked their annoying little asses off for hours, and George W. Bush has been legitimately elected president of the United States (for the first time if you want quibble). I spent the better part of last night in an auditorium full of democrats and republicans as part of my political science class. Students and faculty mixed together in a state of anxiety and ultimately there was both rejoicing and deep deep disappointment. Then I shuffled back to my room and fell asleep in front of CNN, my brain shutting itself after hearing one sports metaphor too many.
I woke up this morning to see the words KERRY CONCEDES plastered under Wolf Blitzer's ugly face and well...crap.
What can I say? Or really what is there to say at this point? NO big legal battle, no constitutional crisis, no last minute alien intervention. In the words of somone (I can't remember who) that I heard last night: "The American people have spoken...the bastards."
I don't want to be all negative. I'm not going to bitch and moan about the way things went because there's really no point to it now. That doesn't mean I'm not unhappy. I'm not going to deny that i'm very disappointed. I worry about the direction Bush has taken us these past 4 years and where he will continue to lead us now that he has his "mandate." I worry about a lot of things that I don't really need to get into here.
All I can do now is hope that dubya proves me wrong, that he manages over these next four years to change my mind about him and show me that he believes in an America with many points of view, not just his own. I honestly don't think that will happen, I guess i'm just not that optimistic.
But I can hope, and I will continue to.
"You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who is standing center stage advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want freedom? Then the symbol of your country cannot just be a flag. The symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Now show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then you can stand up and sing about the land of the free."