The candidate I voted for appears to have won, barring unforeseen circumstances in Ohio. I am relieved, but to a point. The divide within America is as wide as ever, although President Bush won by a more comfortable margin than 2000. Only our unanimity of purpose in the world will secure America's destiny, more than any leader who only has the hearts and minds of half the nation. I am glad the United States is pressing ahead in this war. I hope the President can refine his strategies and positions, and strike unfamiliar ground. We're all in the breech in this one.
I hope the Democratic party goes to the woodshed and reinvents itself. They must. Kerry was no unifier, with his leftist anti-war past. Democratic leaders must rise within their party who recognize we are in a war for our way of life---leaders who have shaken-off Vietnam. They must distance themselves from leftists like Michael Moore. Barack Obama might be a rising star within the Democratic party because he has the potential to grasp the war, and what it means for all Americans. Democrats need to own the war, and wrest it from the domination of the Republicans. We would all be better off for it. At Mark Stein's website, a reader named Carl Mackay commented:
...When Americans go to the polls to vote for President, it will be for two distinct reasons: Republicans will vote for President Bush because they think he is telling the truth about his intentions in Iraq and [will] stay the course; Democrats believe Senator Kerry is lying and [will actually] pull out of Iraq.For me, that's it in a nutshell. The Democratic vote seemed dishonest---the campaigning, the media bias, the subversive elements seething below the surface---something is rotten in the Democratic party. And so Daschle is gone now. They must open the doors and windows of the woodshed and let out the dust and damp, and breathe new life into their party. We would be a stronger nation for it. The GOP has control of all branches of government. That's a mandate to the Democrats to get their heads out of the pot smoke of the Sixties and get serious. I will root for that, even if it seems unlikely.
And to spread the responsibility evenly, the Republicans have a lot to prove in the next four years. Broad expansion of government spending and military commitments abroad can't continue indefinitely. By the next election, Republicans will have dominated government for a long enough period to be fully responsible for the state of the union at that point. Seeds planted in the early Bush years will blossom in the later ones. In 2004, the war was relatively young; by 2008, whether or not America is entrenched or winning the war will be apparent. The judgment of the electorate will be harsh if today's policies don't become the basis of our security in 2008, domestically and internationally.
We have some serious business on the blotter in the next year. We are faced with two rising nuclear rogue powers; Bin Laden apparently lives, and plans; Democracy is fragile in Russia; China's economy roils; Europe is in political realignment. May the seriousness of our world be matched by our own serious resolve to fully engage it. We can do it.