To give you an idea of how and why George W. Bush won, I spent most of the day on Tuesday getting out the vote in my precinct. At 6:00pm, when the poll workers updated the list of all who had voted up to that time, my precinct had reached a 60% Republican voter turnout. Virtually all of the remaining voters I was able to reach by phone before 8:00pm said they had either just voted or were heading out the door. So I expect that the Republican voter turn out in my district could have easily reached 70%! (The registrar will release precinct level stats later this week.)
I've read a few of the comments made by disheartened Kerry supporters. I'm not sure they even represent the average Democratic voter, but may be more reflective of an understandable emotional response to the election. Comments like:
...Even if Ohio is litigated, it shouldn't be this close. We're telling the world that we endorse the last four years, and give thumbs up to more evil.
...Okay, we won't blame it on Rove. We'll blame it on the overwhelming intolerance and bigotry of the American public.
...This "election" proves a few things that I've long known and hated about this country:...
...Feudalism disguised as Fundamentalism has won. Osama has won today.
...This election has shown how stupid majority of Americans are. They are ignorant and stupid. They are stupid and they elected their president. Let them enjoy another 4 years of fear, war,and terror. It is their choice.
...The "moral majority" has won. They will read their bibles and insist that the nation was founded by Christians as rabid as themselves - not realizing their ignorance. And we who know better will have to stand by and watch while they destroy our Constitution and all it has stood for since 1787.
They have elected a diabolical administration that has made the most disastrous and irresponsible decisions in the history of the country, as well as the most diplomatically inept, inarticulate, and moronic president that has ever lived on Pennsylvania Avenue.
I hope they will enjoy the self-fullfilling prophesy of their Armageddon - and I hope they rot in Hell for wanting to "bring it on" while dragging the rest of us with them.
...Congratulations to all Americans who have helped push the world further into the abyss.
...To each and every person who voted to re-elect George W Bush, a warm congratulations. You slack-jawed, gun toting, mindless fools.
You have dug your own grave, and brought any attack that happens on your soil in the next four years upon yourselves.
The world washes its hands of you.
For Democrats who are disheartened today, I sympathize, but I have no message of solace. The lesson of this election is not that Americans are stupid, deluded, or duped, the lesson is that America is an exceptional nation with unique role in history. Bill Clinton won two terms as President by running as an optimistic 'new democrat'. Not as a prophet of doom condemning American Imperialism. Still, during Clinton's first term Republicans took control of the House. Then in Bush's first term they also took control of the Senate. Even after all of the harshest charges of war profiteering, treason, idiocy, and fascism were hurled at this President, he won, and Republicans gained more seats in both the House and Senate.
My take is that Michael Moore's position of honor at the Democratic convention and the full adoption and endorsement of Fahrenheit 9/11 by the Kerry campaign as its anti-Bush message is what lost him the election. I believe that if Kerry hadn't aligned himself with the most anti-war and easily perceived anti-American rhetoric of the left he could have had a shot at winning the Presidency. A majority of Americans just do not agree that America is an oppressive, imperialistic, racist, bigoted, and evil nation. It's not just that they don't believe it. It's just not true.
As I have said before, the left and the right both basically agree on ultimate ends. We all agree that we love our children, that we want peace, prosperity, safety, health, clean air, to live productively, to see beauty around us-- in short: we all want life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for ourselves and our world. Unfortunately we disagree on how we get there. What's more, we regularly confuse those who disagree with us as disagreeing with those ultimate ends.
How we come to an agreement on how we achieve those ends is an open question. But my hope is that Democrats will choose to join us where they see a common goal and some possibility of some agreement knowing that we are not out to destroy civilization but are trying to do what we can to make it better.
If not, I promise to visit some of you in the soon to be built gulags to the north. (After the invasion of Canada.) Heh. Heh.