I’d intended on putting up a new entry on the election prior to leaving for work, but I ended up responding to an email from yet another True Believer™ telling me how I’m very intelligent and yet still a fool for denying God and making assumptions about what disillusioned me or how proud I am of my quick comebacks and how sad it is that I’ll never know the continual contentment and peace of mind that comes from having a personal relationship with God and that they love me so much they’re going to pray for me in hopes that God will make me miserable so I’ll see the light.
You know, the usual sort of email from these types.
Anyway, that took up most of the time I had set aside so I didn’t get a chance to put in the entry I had intended to. If folks are interested I’ll post the email along with my reply, but it’s really not much you’ve not seen here before.
Now in regards to the election: It appears from all the news accounts that Ohio will be this election’s Florida and I’m sure there are a lot of people in Florida right now who are breathing a big sigh of relief considering all the grief they took after the last election. CNN.com is showing a mere 2 electoral college votes difference between Bush and Kerry at the moment with Ohio, Iowa, and New Mexico still to be determined. As much as I’d be pleased with a Kerry come-from-behind victory once the provisional ballots in Ohio are counted I’d also be very surprised if it came to pass. At the moment I’m working under the assumption that Bush will win a second term and it would be very easy to allow my cynical side to go to town, but I’ve opted to take solace in a number of things.
First, the country has survived having bad presidents in the past and there’s no reason it can’t survive Bush. Granted, with Republican gains in both the Senate and the House the probability of Bush doing a lot of damage in the next four years is definitely higher, but perhaps this will be just enough rope for him to hang himself in the long run. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the fight against the worst of his policies shift from deadlocks in Congress to litigation in the courts so now is a great time to join the ACLU if you’re not already a member.
Second, the news stories of high voter turnouts is a positive thing in my mind regardless of the outcome. Voting is one of those rights that Americans should be eager to exercise and it’s an easy one to take for granted. I just hope this is the beginning of a positive trend rather than just a passing blip.
Third, the election was still very close which makes me feel a lot better than I would if Bush had won in a landslide. Only a little over half the country needs to have its head examined as opposed to the vast majority as I’m sometimes prone to think. Seriously, this shows that a continuing discussion on the issues that divide us is definitely a worthwhile pursuit and it gives one reason to hold out hope for the future.
Fourth, while I’m disappointed that 10 of the 11 states voting on the issue of gay marriage amendments opted to approve them overwhelmingly—including Michigan—I also realize this is not as much of a setback as an amendment to the U.S. Constitution would have been. These amendments are still vulnerable to a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court as were similar amendments banning interracial marriage that states such as Alabama had in their constitutions. Even if Bush is able to get an amendment to the U.S. Constitution through the new Congress I won’t fret too much as we already have an example of the country coming to its senses and repealing a bad amendment in the form of Prohibition. Still, as long as the issue continues to be decided by the states I think all it would take are a few more states legalizing gay marriage or civil unions and attracting businesses to locate there as a result before the rest of the states suddenly have a change of heart. Michigan in particular could be in for a rude awakening if the courts decide that the vague language in our new amendment not only outlaws same-sex marriage, but prohibits companies from offering domestic partner benefits to their employees if they want to. It’s funny how quickly moral outrage will give way in the face of losses in jobs and taxes to a local economy.
In the time it’s taken me to write this the news sites are reporting that Kerry will concede the election at 1PM today rather than drag the issue out in the courts. This puts my respect for the man at an all time high as this is preferable to the agonizing weeks on end of wondering that the previous election went through. It’s disappointing and not the outcome many of us would have preferred, but not the end of the world. We can and will make it through another four years of Bush and with a lot of work, and a little luck, perhaps the next election will see the country learn from this mistake and move to a more progressive outlook.
Just be sure to hang on tight as it’ll likely be a bumpy ride.
Update: I thought ***Dave’s comments on the election were spot on and worth being read by both sides.