While I can understand someone voting for him on an individual level, I'm disappointed that our nation on a broader level didn't realize the damage he's done and reject him. Sadly, I can only come to the conclusion that he won this election because he does reflect a fair portion of our population: bigoted and bloodthirsty. It's a sad commentary on the mindset of our nation that he really does seem to be the sort of person "the people" want leading them. So many people are so dead set on pushing their own views onto everyone else, both at home and abroad, that this President really does stand as the face and voice of this country.
I'm still extremely disappointed in the outcome of this election. I thought the American people were better than this. I believed that Mr. Kerry could and would win this election and restart the process of moving the United States forward, a process that was halted when Mr. Clinton left office and Mr. Bush took over. I was surprised at first by how hard I took Mr. Kerry's defeat, but I had invested myself pretty thoroughly in his campaign. I donated money. I went to a rally. I wrote about it. I made it widely known that I was a Kerry supporter, and I explained why to anyone who was interested in rational discourse. I did everything I could and it hurts to fall short, especially with so much at stake.
Now the election is over and the results are out of my control, so it's time to move on. I hope Mr. Bush manages to find success over the course of his next four years in office, and by that I mean success in fixing some legitimate problems, and not success in pushing his misguided right-wing agenda. I hope the situation in Iraq is resolved and our soldiers brought home quickly, with as few casualties as possible. I hope the economy gets back on track. I hope health care is made available and affordable to everyone. I do not hope that a gay marriage ban is written into the Constitution. I do not hope that abortion is banned. I do not hope that stem cell research is thwarted. I do not hope that our environment is opened for further plunder. Sadly, I think doing these latter things may be of a higher priority to this administration than the former things. I expect the second Bush term to be worse, if that is possible, than the first.
Despite my dire expectations, I shall maintain hope, and it is in that spirit that I'm moving on. I refuse to allow Mr. Bush to ruin any more of my days the way he nearly ruined yesterday. It just isn't worth it. There are too many fine things in life that need to be enjoyed to let even major disappointments like this one overshadow them for long.
"Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."
--Andy Dufresne, The Shawshank Redemption