Thursday, November 04, 2004

Bush Wins, America Loses.

Even though in all honesty, I don't think my life will be overly affected by Bush getting re-elected, I am extremely disappointed in the election's outcome. I think that's one of the key differences between Republicans and Democrats. Republicans tend to vote based on their own self interests (i.e.-who will give them lower taxes), while Democrats tend to vote based on the country's best interests (i.e.- who will create more jobs). So even though I know Bush getting re-elected isn't necessarily going to make my life worse, I know overall it's going to make us less respected around the world (particularly in the middle east, fuelling a new generation of Bin Laden's), hurt our economy and workforce, further erode our civil liberties, and much worse.

Of course, those things won't effect me personally because I'm white, male, straight, and financially comfortable. In other words, I'm the only type of person Bush cares about. So he's not going to do anything to make my life shit. But as a Democrat, I have a tendancy to look at the broader picture and care more about what he'll do for the country as a whole, and for the less fortunate. In that respect, I hate to say, Bush will continue to degrade the quality of life.

Another fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans is how they view America. Both agree America is the greatest country on earth, but Republicans seem content to maintain the status quo, while Democrats recognize that being the best does not mean we're perfect, and strive to move us closer to perfection by trying to fix our social problems, like poverty, health care, etc...

The last fundamental difference I've noticed the last little bit, especially today, is that Republicans somehow feel that because they got 3% more the votes, it means their way is the right way. Rational people will look at that tiny margin and see it for what it really is - that we have a terribly divided country. Divided on many things with the exception of love for our country and the desire to improve it. Because 58 million people embraced your candidate does not mean the 55 million who did not should be ignored. However, like Bush's empty promise to "unite the country" after the 2000 election, I feel any pledges to reach out to those 55 million will just be lip service.

A lot of Americans I know said if Bush wins, they'd move to Canada, most of them half-jokingly. Well, I've lived in Canada, I grew up there, and I'd rather live in the US under a horrible leader like Bush than in Canada under any leader. I love the United States, which is why Bush's re-election hurts me. I know with four more years of Bush we will drift further away from the country and the ideals that once made us the envy of the world. We're no longer the country that millions of people like my Great Grandparents left their families and homelands for to immigrate here in the early 20th century. We can no longer promise every man, woman, and child the American Dream because in the last four years Bush has made that dream increasingly exclusive to the fortunate few. But the American Dream is still alive, it's just an awful lot harder to achieve today than it was four years ago, especially if you're a minority or don't come from the upper middle class or above. Hard work used to mean success, today it just means you have a better chance at merely 'getting by.'

We have a lot of problems in this country, no doubt. And we're going to have a lot more in the next four years because of the outcome of this election. However, America is still the land of opportunity, even if those opportunities become increasingly difficult to reach with each passing day of the Bush admistration. But they're still there. And until they become out of reach, America will be, for the time being, the greatest country on the face of the earth.

Maybe I'm an idiot for remaining so idealistic and hopeful in the wake of one of the worst tragedies in American election history. Maybe I'm being too positive. Or maybe I'm just in a good mood because I saved a ton of money on my car insurance by switching to Geiko. I think what it really is is that I believe in America, even though it's harder to today than it was yesterday, and will be even harder to the next four years. I believe what we're all about cannot be destroyed so much by one man in four or eight years that it cannot be restored by another in the same time. And what makes me believe that more than anything else is because I remember the incredible thing America was during the Clinton years and believe it will be once again.

Doesn't this just say it all....