si-blog

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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.

Comments

  1. Gravatar

    I don't know where to start...

    Let's start with the draft. As far as I know the draft was never suggested by the Bush administration or Republican representatives but by a couple of Democratic senators. Both Bush and Kerry publicly opposed the draft and the bill was voted down 402-2. So yes, you could say the draft is a possibility :rolleyes: I am eligible for the draft and no I do not agree with it but I do not really believe it is going to happen.

    If you believe that the only evangelical Christians are white then you need to spend some time in places like Chicago, Atlanta, New Orleans, El Paso, Phoenix, and Houston and you will quickly see that a lot of very Christian, very church going people come from many different races (mostly Hispanic and African-American).

    The Patriot Act... Hmmmm... Didn't Kerry publicly support it too? I do not agree with the Act itself and I think it needs serious reworking to actually be useful and non-4th Amendment violating.

    The integration of religion and state? Well, this has already been addressed for the most part and as of late most of the decisions coming out of the Supreme Court (the people who actually matter in this issue) have been in favor in seperating Church and State. We will never see a reversal of Roe v. Wade because of a thing called "precedence". Bush cannot legally reverse a decision of the Supreme Court and it is not like he would try. About Creationism being taught in schools, I don't think it should be taught but I don't think the Big Bang theory should be taught either as both are unproven theories. People can make all of the arguments they want to say that the Big Bang theory but unless you have a crystal ball that sees millions of years in the past there is no way to prove it. About gay marriage, the Supreme Court has already stated that it feels that this is an issue that should be left up to the states and it will probably stick by this decision in the future. The Supreme Court will never let a bill be enforced (unless it is an Amendment to the Constitution) that outlaws gay marriage. The Supreme Court will look to the 14th Amendment and make the decision about gay marriage a states' issue.

    All of the things you listed are assumptions and until they happen I will remain extremely skeptical.

    Posted by Stephan Segraves on Nov 03, 2004.

  2. Gravatar

    Stephen, I admire your optimism. Thanks for giving us a gleam of light to cling to, albeit a thin one.

    Posted by will on Nov 04, 2004.

  3. Gravatar

    Well, I try to be optimistic. I used to be a Political Science major and spent a lot of time reading cases and studying former president's policies before they were elected and what changed after they took office. Usually the outcome was good, so I think that is what increases my hope that things will turn out right. That and the fact that I am a Republican (watches as everyone flees the room)... =)

    Posted by Stephan Segraves on Nov 04, 2004.

  4. Gravatar

    You're a Republican? That comes as a complete surprise to me, Stephan LOL. The funny thing about all this is that I would have considered myself a Republican up until a few years ago. I certainly have right-of-center views about most things. There are several reasons why I have switched allegiance:

    1. While I agree that abortion is unpleasant, I believe that women should have the right to choose.
    2. I believe ABSOLUTELY in the separation of Church and State.
    3. I think there should be very tight control of guns.
    4. The Bush administration is too quick to wage war. The invasion of Iraq was more about protecting America's interest than protecting America's security.

    A word about Creationism, etc. Unlike Big Bang Theory (which I agree is flawed), Creationism is a complete NONSENSE, and has absolutely no place in schools. I firmly believe that no form of religious instruction should be taught in public schools, beyond the historical context from which they have emerged.

    Regarding gay marriage, I have no objection to it whatsoever. I think that a gay married couple should enjoy all the legal privileges of a straight married couple. I don't feel that seeing married gays diminishes the value of my marriage, so I have nothing against it.

    Posted by Simon Jessey on Nov 04, 2004.

  5. Gravatar

    Simon,

    I completely respect your opinion and I think that you are a leading example of what needs to happen to the left and the right. People need to make their own decisions based on their beliefs (which are moral issues).

    I can understand your statement on the Big Bang Theory but I think that we are walking on thin ice with what is considered religious and what isn't.

    I am all for the seperation of Church and State, I mean, Jefferson put it in the Constitution to keep a religiously run state from being formed.

    About gay marriage, quite frankly, I could care less. I agree with the Supreme Court though about leaving it to the states to decide. Which means that if a gay couple wants to be wed they can go to a state and get the certificate. I am not sure what I think about other states recognizing the union, but I do not think we will be worrying that for a while.

    Simon, as a closing I would just like to say that my respect runs deep for you because of the fact that you have not censored my repliees or been attacking in any way. To me, the only way progress is made is when opposing viewpoints discuss things in a constructive manner. I have been censored on a couple of popular sites because I questioned the person making the post, which to me goes against what that person believes (they oppose censorship yet they censor me). Anyway, thank you for being such a good "host" :)

    Posted by Stephan Segraves on Nov 04, 2004.

  6. Gravatar

    I had a comment posted on my blog that said that there was only 4 years till we had to deal with Hillary! Now that is scary!

    Posted by Adrian Rinehart-Balfe on Nov 04, 2004.

  7. Gravatar

    Stephan, thank you for you comments regarding censorship. You are most welcome to post any comments you like on the si-blog. I think that if I'm going to rant and rave about my particular brand of whatever, it is only fair to let others have their say too. Our discussion has been interesting, insightful, and impersonal (apart from me calling Creationism nonsense LOL). There are 2 reasons why I may or may not delete comments:

    1. Comment spam, including porn and advertising - that includes advertising the pretends to be a real comment LOL.
    2. Personal attacks directed at me or other commenters.

    I may edit comments slightly, but only to correct mistakes. Personal attacks like those previously mentioned are deleted without mercy. On RARE occasions, I ban IP addresses.

    If I want to say something without getting replies, I simply turn the comments off when I post. Sometimes (rarely), I might disable comments if they are getting particularly numerous.

    Posted by Simon Jessey on Nov 05, 2004.

  8. Gravatar

    That's funny. All the stuff you had listed under Bad and Ugly I would have put in the Good list.

    Posted by Paul on Nov 05, 2004.

  9. Gravatar

    Thanks for that, Paul. I'm laughing so hard that I think I'm going to have a stroke </sarcasm>

    Posted by Simon Jessey on Nov 08, 2004.