Well, this is not going to be fun. Not only has George W. Bush been elected president, Congress is more in the hands of the Republicans than it was before. The war will go on. Several Supreme Court judges are going to be appointed. It’s not going to be dull, but it won’t be pretty either.
I really thought Kerry was going to win. I even thought the Democrats might take the Senate. I never expected this. Several undecided voters that I talked to told me there was “just something about Kerry” that they didn’t like. Others admitted that they really hadn’t kept up with the issues, but they knew Bush was a better choice. I tried to point out what that meant: owning up to the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, thousands of dead Iraqi civilians, Osama bin Laden running free and, well, you know the list. I even told one undecided voter that a vote for Bush would alienate Europeans and he responded: “I heard the Europeans don’t like him because he’s so strong.”
So with reservations and doubts, it looks like a majority of Americans went to the polls and decided they wanted George W. Bush as their president. John Kerry has conceded, and four more years are assured for the Bush administration. We can hope for the best, but I can’t see good times returning anytime soon.
If you’re gay, lesbian or bisexual, you may feel the weight of oppression coming down on you. Constitutional amendments banning gay marriage passed in 11 states.
If you are a woman, your right to choose is at risk. President Bush is liable to appoint several Supreme Court justices during his next term. Two current justices are over 80, including Chief Justice Rehnquist. Attitudes about abortion will likely be used as a litmus test for nominees.
If you are poor, you may be wondering if you will be poor forever. It’s hard to imagine an administration that had empathy for Enron and Halliburton having a lot of sympathy for the working poor families.
If you are a soldier, I am so sorry. I do not know how long it will be before we can get you out of there. 1,130 of your fellow soldiers have died already. 8,120 have been wounded. There will be more. I wish I could do something, but I can’t imagine what. This President cannot admit a mistake, and that might be what it takes to get you home soon.
To my brothers and sisters in Europe and other parts of the world: I know, because of what I have read and because of the e-mails I have received, that you are appalled by this election. I know you expected a country that says it is about liberty and justice to be horrified by the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, and I wish I could tell you why more of us weren’t appalled. Please remember though, about half of us were as horrified as you were. We’re trying to help people remember the America that you loved. Don’t write us off yet.
To those who supported President Bush: You now have the presidency, a solid majority in congress, many judges with more to come and most of the corporate power in your corner. Stop acting like a picked-on minority. You chose President Bush. You will have to answer for him in four year’s time.
William Lodge can be reached at Wtl1959@aol.com.