From The Front Desk To Your Desk...

Thursday, November 11, 2004

A Sign Of Things To Come?

The wake of the recent election has given birth to all manner of political groups bent on analyzing the returns. These men and women will stare at raw numbers and personal affidavits from voters and try to use responses from exit polls to chart new trends in the electorate. It’s pretty standard stuff. It happens in the aftermath of every election and it is not uncommon for the results gleaned from the polls to influence campaign tactics in the future as well as serve as a barometer for the way the country is leaning. This in turn will give the administration a degree of Political Capital in enforcing some of its agenda items.

As many have been made aware, many politicos give the President’s recent win to several important factors, but one of the largest, the one that came the most out of…hehehe…left field, was how heavily Morality played into the electorate’s voting patterns. Evangelicals, right – wingers, born agains all turned out in record numbers and while these folks were counted as part of the Republican base I don’t think even the Republican leadership had any idea how large a group they might be dealing with.

This being the case I have a feeling that we are going to be seeing a lot more movement from conservatives who are hoping to use this political capital to make some changes that they have been talking about for a very long time. This is given I suppose, to the victor goes the spoils. The supreme court, gay marriage, social security, the war, all are at risk for taking even more conservative turns now that 1.) The President can act without worrying about his own electoral future and 2.) He will be expected to “give the people what they want.” While this is the way politics works I pray that this swing to the Right will not give rise to more and more folks who are big on censorship and denying others Principal rights that while not laid down in the Constitution should be protected by precedent. When we allow our art and science to take a back seat to dogma we are backsliding as a society. That is not to say that there is no room for religion or morals in those fields, but I would say that by making uneducated decries based on something that a person doesn’t necessarily understand is dangerous. It has been recent experience that makes me fear that a good number of the folks who paint themselves as religious and “morally straight” follow the tenets of the Church but seem to lack a personal understanding of what they are so ardently defending by picketing movies , banning books , and denying legal medical treatment.

Actions such as these only fuel the fires started years ago when the election cycle kicked up, and serve to insure any divisions within the population that exist now will stay open and festering.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Words Almost Fail Me...

I’m speechless. I know that might be hard for those few of you who know me to believe, but I am in fact at a loss for what to say. The election for the White House has ended, and while it was a close and hard fought race to the bitter end, there will be no “Florida” this year. I am sure that a good number of much better bloggers and pundits will take up this line of thought but the one thing that has surprised me so much about the results of the election is not who one, but by what margin.

Over 3.6 million folks out there placed their trust in the President. In a race that so many of those same well spoken pundits and bloggers were advertising as to close to call it would appear the President’s victory, coupled with GAINS in both Houses of Congress are tantamount to a mandate. As a Republican I am happy to smirk across the isle, especially considering my new place of residence. For months I have heard the stars and the Celebs and the pundits of Southern and Northern California all but give Kerry the Office. There is a contrarian streak that runs through me that is happy to walk into a very blue office today where I can hear a pin drop. But as a Republican who questioned my president’s ability to lead us through the trials that still lie ahead the win is very bittersweet. I look at the House and The Senate and I am elated (ha! Daschel!) But I look to the White House and all I can think is “damn…I hope the rest of the country knows what their doing!” While the President will remain in control he will do so over a nation that is clearly divided, ideologically and socially and while it seems to be against his nature, he needs to work on pulling the two America’s closer together.

The President needs to be a gracious winner, and realize that these next four years will not only shape his legacy but will help create a new world order that future generations of Americans will either have to deal with or revel in. This is all given I suppose, but I’m curious how the President will proceed if he does reach across the line drawn deep and dark in the sand. While the mud slinging may be over, while the left leaning members of the conventional and new medias shake their heads, why the stars shine a litter dimmer in California today, its time for us to move on for better or for worse.