Wednesday, November 03, 2004

there's no point saying 'stupid americans'

I'm guessing you're feeling as bad as I am at the moment, but (almost) half of the vote in the US went to a candidate with liberal ideas on abortion, gun control, stem cell research, taxation-for-the-rich, the environment... And we can't feel as bad as those poor good folk do right now. In any country the majority of people vote in order to protect their best interests. Bush may not be a clever man, but he was clever enough to convince people, almost right at the start of his presidency, that they were under threat. America has re-elected a war president, and it was always likely that they were going to, for all Kerry's efforts.

What we have to do now is hold Bush to account wherever we can on whatever he does to further erode civil liberties, human rights and global peace. Many decent Americans and Europeans have spent much of the last four years campaigning and fighting for justice; that won't stop now. By any measure, the re-election of George Bush is a catastrophe; but plenty of moderate, sensible people - all across the world, including the US - will continue to oppose Bush's naked avarice, bigotry and beligerance; this burgeoning groundwell of activism will continue.

Now is the time to make a stand. We need to exert our influence and keep going. It's not the time to despair - it all still matters too much. Any democrats reading... I'm sorry you have to put up with this guy for four more years. I'm sorry we all do. You're welcome over here anytime you feel you need to get away :-)


BB said...

Well, yes, you can't blame the voters for not supporting you and the Democrats must blame themselves. Nonetheless, even if we say that the people have flocked out to vote Bush out of fear, they do appear to have endorsed his ultra-conservative agenda and given a kick to those who wanted the states to allow gay marriages. I think people are voting for religious reasons rather than their own personal interest.

Some will say the Democrats were seen as too far to the left and too 'liberal'. The demographics are also against them, and they don't seem able to score at all in the South, which is a bit of a worry. Could it be that their next star is more 'back to basics', rather than an up-and-coming liberal like Barack Obama?

jonathan said...

Yeah, maybe. I don't know what it will take, now - I guess much depends on how Bush chooses to execute his mandate over the next four years.

I think what is necessary now is that the activism we've seen in recent years is allowed to flatten out and broaden into a wide ranging liberal consensus. This might well mean toning down on certain subjects, I guess - but a broad liberal coalition - spanning continents - can be an able thorn in the side of the Bush / Cheney presidency and lay the foundations for a better thought out campaign next time.

And the democrats need to find a leader who can rival Bush, and s/he needs to be better than Kerry. They need a populist. As for who, I dunno. Obama runs the risk of being too progressive. Edwards too Slick. Hilary Clinton too New Yorky. I dunno.