71st: Gaze not on the marks or blemishes of others and ask not how they came. What you may speak in secret to your friend, deliver not before others.
Today's Search Engine queries:
NOT MY PRESIDENT
4 November 2004
I want to be wise and erudite. I want to state my views clearly. I want to sound like I know what I'm talking about.
But I'm not that kind of writer.
And I'm not a politically knowledgeable person. I vote emotionally. I react emotionally.
This country has given the idiot in the White House four more years and I can't remember when I've been so depressed, so demoralized, or felt so hopeless.
As I read on a discussion board this morning, "It is a black day in American history. To think that after what this country has gone through the last four years, that they would actually re-elect him is beyond explanation. The worse part is, he is free now to do whatever he wants because he can't run for re-election in 4 years."
It was an exciting morning. The most exciting voting day that I can remember in my voting lifetime. People in this country were actually caring about what happened. Record numbers of people were turning out to vote.
When was the last time you saw long lines at the polling place, or hear that people waited literally hours to cast their ballot?
Mary took photos at her polling place as she waited in line for her turn to vote..
I felt that we had a real chance to turn around all the bad that George Bush has wrought on this country in the last four years.
I felt that we had a real chance to gain back our standing in the world, to reestablish ties with foreign countries to whom we have become either a joke or destructive force, or both.
I read blogs from people in other countries, all of whom had some hope that America would once again gain their respect.
Walt was 23rd in our precinct to vote, when he went up to the polls at 7:30 a.m. I waited until mid-day, when there was less likely to be a crowd, and had no line and no wait.
I left wearing my "I voted" sticker proudly and took Sheila down to the park.
I truly felt there was hope of bringing honor back to the White House. I truly felt that Kerry's message had been heard. I truly felt that things were going to change.
Even the newscasters seemed to feel that when reporting started at 3 p.m.
I've never seen such excitement covering an election. Anything was possible. Nothing was predictable.
The cell phone people were unknowns.
The scores of first time voters were unknowns.
Everyone seemed to feel that Kerry had a real shot at winning, that he had picked up momentum during the campaign and that the record turn-out was good for Kerry, since they say that large crowds generally bode well for Democrats.
But as the night wore on, it began to look more and more depressing. It wasn't only that votes people expected to go to Kerry were going to Bush, but that republican congress critters were defeating democrats.
And 11 states voted for bans on gay marriage.
Then the votes kept coming. Bush. Bush. Bush.
I watched until 9:30 when I couldn't stand it any more. I told Walt I was going to bed.
I lay there in bed crying. Really crying. I couldn't believe how upset I was that the voters in this country have returned Bush to the White House for four more years. Four more years of secret meetings and lies and destruction in Iraq. Four more years of an ever-strengthening religious stranglehold on the country. Four more years of Bush's smirk and Cheney's sneer.
Did nobody watch Fahrenheit 911? Did nobody pay attention?
I was wide awake at 4 a.m. and got up because I couldn't sleep any more. It was raining outside and the weather matched my mood.
I turned on the television, hoping against hope that it had all been a nightmare. That somehow there would be this wonderful Hollywood moment when Jimmy Stewart would suddenly find out that there were a million uncounted votes and that he really won after all.
That somewhere an angel would get its wings.
But this isn't Hollywood. It's the real world.
And in the real world, the country has voted overwhelmingly to return Bush to the White House he never won in the first place.
A friend wrote,
It's more than four more years. In the coming four years, Bush will appoint at least one and possibly four supreme court justices, and those appointees will affect policy in this country long after I am gone.
As Katie and Matt and Tim Russert talked about the impossibility of Kerry pulling off a win at this late hour, I sat here, tears streaming down my face.
Another friend wrote,
and another friend called to ask if we would take care of his home when the "religious fascists" came to beat him up. "...and I'm not kidding," he said, his voice quaking with emotion.
Even one of my grammar school teachers, a nun, who called me from Chicago this afternoon (I may talk about that later!) said she didn't believe that this country could re-elect that man.
It's my country. And I don't want it.
A voter interviewed on the local news this morning said it best: "George Bush is not my president and he never will be."
The only good thing that can be said about this election was said by Steve's brother, with whom I frequently disagree. But on this he was right:
Yeah. I guess.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
These guys don't care who is president.