Election Update

Friday, November 5th, 2004

As I follow the aftermath of the election, in which my choice lost, I note some reactions. One is the disappointment at the loss, as a force of the lead up and hard work and hoping of the Kerry supporters; the other is the call for a new approach, a change in tactics, and/or over analysis of causes.

I was, of course, disappointed, but I don’t advocate a change in tactics. Congresspeople are hanging their heads, wishing the world was different. But I hope that the powers that be avoid a see change in approach for the Dems, because this would miss the point. The numbers, number one, are on any scale closely competitive nationally. State by state tells an uneven yet interesting story, which I interpret loosely as able to change quickly, depending on future events. In some cases, as in Ohio, the vote reveals a narrow split, as does New Hampshire. Consider Missouri at 53/46 and Alabama at 63/37. Some states show a marked split, while others, especially in the blue, are tending to red. I won’t double check this, but either way, the point remains the same. From sea to sea anything is possible even in the face of state by state trends, under the auspices of federalism.

The “attitudes” of any given time span always trend. At the moment, the trend is conservative. Anyway, this all means that a few million people, which, in my mind, are the same people you meet every day and have nice conversations with, could just as easily have swung Kerry’s way, but didn’t. In some cases, people will vote against their interests, to use Thomas Frank’s (What’s the Matter with Kansas?) phrase, and go with an anti-Roe vote or on terrorism issues (closer perhaps than any moral vote), all the while feeling their pocketbooks whithering as the world slowly changes under their feet. People vote on the visceral, not on the intellectual.

In any event, “reaction” is rarely a good way of going about solving a perceived problem. I myself have come to many conclusions about the things I think are fair, good, or honest, and I don’t plan on changing those things because of a close loss. Iraq is a great mistake; the arts and sciences need strong support; education needs teachers to have a stronger role in how learning happens; the press needs to stop trying to be the boss’s friend; and people of whatever kind need to be left to pursue what they wish or care to pursue.


2 responses to “Election Update”

  1. Katherine Nowakowski says:

    I myself was afraid that all the “undecided” voters that were out there would simply jump on the bandwagon of trend to remain among the popular instead of actually having their own voice. Just when I think I’m being too cynical about the mind of the of the average American, something always snaps me back to reality and a disappointing one at that. So many people depend on being told how to think because it’s too much of an effort to do it yourself. Our population is not only growing more obese physically, but mentally as well from all the junk food we consume on a regular basis thanks to our media.

    Perhaps the one positive thing coming out of this re-election is the fact that Kerry won’t be blamed when the full effects of the Bush administration are truly felt by this country.

  2. Maureen says:

    I agree..we should not “overreact”.. Neither should the press or the Democratic party… Kerry did not lose by a huge margin… I don’t think we should assume that there is a huge conservative trend… We should be aware that those in the “Right” are obviously better at “mobilizing the troops” so to speak…

    Perhaps Kerry had a problem in getting out his message… We in the Northeast do not see a problem with Kerry windsurfing or his wife having a mind of her own..but the rest of the country may think differently..these small things resonate strongly…

    Note that in TV GUIDE [widely distributed] Laura Bush said she had a “traditional marriage”..that was not an accidental statement… Nor is the fact that Bush is constantly at his “Ranch” speaking “Westernisms” accidental..[Though he is really a Yankee blueblood]…

    Clinton won because he won the hearts and minds of those in the heartland.. He spoke a language they could understand..He was “one of them”…. I guess John Kerry just could not connect to those who so readily voted for Clinton…

    On the bright side..Lame Duck sessions rarely produce dramatic results..If anything, this is the term where a president if often mired in fighting gridlock or scandal…

    By the next election..if the Democrats put up someone who is on target in regard to “message” and that pesky “vision thing”..and he/she can “connect” to the vast majority of voters..this talk of a conservative trend will be over…

    Well, that is just my take… Lead on, McErsinghaus…:)

    Most Graciously,

    Maureen
    *A Mayde in her own little woode….