Posted Nov 03, 2004 in Politics.
It is all over, bar the shouting. There are still a number of absentee and provisional ballots yet to be counted, but every indication suggests that George W. Bush has won his second term. I watched the returns coming in until just after midnight (EST), and I have awakened to find things much as I left them. I'd like to make three observations about the events of the past few months:
- The Good
- It looks like almost 120 million people have voted this time around - almost a 10% increase on the election of 2000. That is simply wonderful news. I think it is great that so many people have exercised their democratic right to vote.
- The Bad
- Not only has George W. Bush won, but Republicans now control bigger majorities in the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Bush Administration will be in a position to push through almost any legislation it sees fit to create. What might we see?
- More tax cuts
- Constitutional changes relating to marriage
- Attempts to criminalize abortion
- The Draft
- More faith-based initiatives
- The Ugly
- The country is now deeply divided. Religion (cunningly disguised by the media as “moral values”) has been the key determinant in voting. The Religious Right, dominated by white evangelical Christians, have effectively seized control of the country. In the eleven states where a referendum on gay marriage was included on the ballot, turnout rose sharply and gay marriage was rejected in all of them.
Four years from now, America will look very different. Huge spending on the armed forces and their weaponry, together with tax cuts and fiscal mismanagement will deepen an already massive budget deficit. The nation's standing in the eyes of the rest of the world will not have improved. Indeed, with Bush's brand of accusation and invasion, it can only get worse. The revised Patriot Act will enable greater infringements on our civil liberty.
The really scary part of the next four years, however, will be the integration of religion into state affairs. Before you know it, we'll be seeing Creationism being taught in schools. We'll be seeing abortion made illegal. We'll be seeing the gay and lesbian community totally disenfranchised.
I hope I am wrong. Please let me be wrong.