I've been hesitant to write anything not only because I've been very busy with school, but also because I've been waiting for things to settle down and information sources to pick up on what is really going on.
To be blunt, I was aggravated. Not because a little more than half of the voting population disagreed with me for perhaps less than educated reasons, but because of the attitudes of certain people.
Kerry, almost a day before losing in Ohio, called Bush up to personally concede the election. I read the article that first had that information on the web over a couple of times in disbelief. Then I read another article, and then a couple more about the same topic just to make sure I understood what went on. It was true, he actually (though technically unofficially) gave up before he lost possibly the closest election in our history, mind you, only the unofficial vote count has been finished.
It boggles my mind to even contemplate what was going on in John Kerry's head. He put what almost seemed like a year of hard effort, as did many people in his campaign (not to mention huge volunteer organizations like moveon.org), to actually give up before he really even knew he lost. I feel pretty insulted for voting for him, like it was a waste (though, the electoral college pretty much makes my vote somewhat unimportant anyhow). Even if he was a bastard and the election was vaguely unimportant to him, he could at least have at least pretended to care just to give some respect to his supporters.
I may be done with the democratic party, at least on a federal level. Not only are they only marginally different than the current republican party, but they appear will-less and are pushovers. They have a couple of years to clean up their act before I completely disregard them.
Another thing that bothered me were the people voting for Kerry for solely anti-war reasons. He wasn't anti-war at all. If he had been the president for the last four years, we would have probably still ended up in Iraq. The only difference being that we might have waited longer to go into Iraq and would have probably had more world support and wouldn't be in the terrible economic and international mess we are in today. Those are just possibilities, however.
Whether you are aware of this or not, the actual results of the election aren't known yet. Actually, many states aren't even to the point if they know they will be doing recounts yet. Ohio is going to start their official count this Saturday, for instance. My suggestion for anyone reading is to never again watch or listen to CNN, MSNBC, FOX NEWS, or anything on TV besides the occasional public broadcast. I will never again watch CNN, the erroneously labeled "liberal" station, and Fox News, the erroneously labeled "news" station. Not that I ever watched either of them in the first place.
Actually, despite anyone caring in popular media (especially Kerry?), Kerry could still win the election. There could easily be recounts in all of the swing states, not to mention some of the voting challenges occurring in some states due to the overly blatant voter fraud. Of course, it's rather difficult to find much of any information concerning the fraudulent information tactics and innumerable paperless voting machines selectively placed in particularly split states/counties. But wait, John Kerry already gave up, so even on the chance that numerous recounts happen (which may or may not happen, it takes a good chunk of money to do a recount and again, very few seem to care or even know about it), he may just let Bush be president anyway.
Despite fraud and whatnot, it's definitely a close election regardless. Just about everyone voted on the issues of the war in Iraq and "moral values," which include topics like gay marriage, abortion, and general conviction. Interestingly enough, I was reading some fascinating polls done by PIPA (www.pipa.org). About 57% of respondents thought that Iraq was directly or indirectly involved with the 9/11 attacks; of that percent, 57% said they would vote for Bush and about 39% said they would vote for Kerry.
A similar trend happens in regards to the presents of WMD's in Iraq.
It seems that people voting for Bush are simple more naive, however, I'm not sure if I can blame many of them. If you watch TV for news you had no real sense of what was going on, for the most part. All of my political research was done online and was rarely affiliated with a major corporation (though, the best section for important news in a big corporate newspaper is the editorial section of the New York Times, I kid you not), and I had a hard time even finding information about topics I wanted to know about. The politicians lied through their teeth, their websites misleading or vague, and the popular media was apparently as confused as the average voter.
Another major problem (that I found many intelligent people even fall prey to) was the Liberal vs. Conservative dilemma.
The problem being that it didn't happen. I was often told (by some elders no less) that I needed to just think and view both sides, as if because of the conclusions I came to implied that I was being simple minded.
I'd like to rebuke that claim right now, since to even tell me that is a close minded statement. The error is that people think there are simply two sides. There are many, many sides that far outweigh the "liberal" and "conservative" bias, which never really even played an important role in the first place. For example, both the Democrats and the Republicans have strong corporate biases, which often influence them more than any other bias they have (the Republicans a bit more than the Democrats, though). Media companies are often plagued by what I refer to as the ratings bias, which means that they are a company that makes money, so their first and foremost priority is to make a profit.
Also, if you believe in the merit of dictionary definitions (I do only on occasions myself), Kerry is the conservative. Bush, actually, is a right radical, otherwise referred to as a reactionary. Bush implemented a whole bunch of spending and has big plans for change, which is actually the opposite of a conservative, which is someone who wants to keeps things much the way they are, or "conserve." A liberal generally is a progressive individual who is more broad minded. I'd actually suggest that anyone who reads this look up the words liberal, conservative, liberalism, conservatism, reactionary, and radical; it's really more fascinating than you might think.
So, now are we all doomed because chimpy is a cheat?
Probably the biggest threat right now to America is our fragile economy. Here's my understanding of what can go wrong.
The Bush tax cut, while giving some initial stimulus to the economy, overall was a worthless endeavor. People seem to complain that the government should get off their backs, however, they also at the same time say that the government should put a huge amount of money into defense. Right now, defense might do us some good, since with the advent of a stock market, people's mood can directly affect the economy. If another building or two gets "terrorized," the stock market could recess simply out of people selling stocks due to fear.
Right now, China and Japan are the biggest money loaners to the USA. Believe it or not, despite Bush getting angry at Kerry for even suggesting letting another country influencing our international decisions, our lives are in the hands of a handful of Japanese and Chinese people. The "war on terror" and the "Bush Tax cut" have done little but add to the deficit, putting us further into control by countries we only vaguely get along with. Isn't that just hilarious?
Of course, if the loaners decided to stop investing, or worse, asked for some money back, most of the world economy might be taken down with us in our implosion.
Stem cell research, gay marriage, and abortion can have their time in the sun any ol' day, but if Bush doesn't put our economy on the right path, we've got a lot more things to worry about.
And the next biggest threat? Fossil fuels in controlling our country and destroying the environment. If we don't make plans to move on soon we are going to have a lot of problems later on.
My prediction for the next four years?
Well, it's really hard to tell right now. The economy could improve with or without Bush, so that's a hard one to guess.
Hopefully he will somehow help balance the budget, which could be a good first step.
If you know people that work in any field regarding Social work, prepare to help them find a new job.
If you're homosexual, all I can say is that there's no need to rush into marriage, you have worse problems anyway.
Women, I doubt birth control is going to be revoked, but don't plan on the day after pill or abortion to be readily available in the near future.
If you're in public school, that's too bad.
If you're in the military, all I can say is good luck.
If you're poor... ack, um, hang in there.
Here's a list of what I like to read on the net:
http://news.google.com (this links most popular news sites, incase you feel I don't read enough of "both sides")
http://www.nytimes.com (remember to read the editorials, always)