November 04, 2004

Day of Defeat

A writer for UK's The Guardian Captured a good bit of what half of America was feeling yesterday:

The mistake we all made was in getting our hopes up. Until lunchtime on Tuesday, in accordance with the rules of superstition, lay supporters of John Kerry kept their outlook pessimistic. In bones, waters, winds and related vapours across the land, the election was divined by pro-Democrats to be in the bag for Bush. This is what is known as preparing a soft landing; it is measured in units of unhatched chicks.

When people woke yesterday morning, those for whom Bush's overnight gains were unwelcome weathered two sensations: a slug of shock, followed by a surge of recognition. We had been here before. This was 1992, the morning after the general election when, despite hatred for the Tories having peaked over the poll tax, they still managed to bring home a 21-seat majority. And so, not even callers to 5 Live could summon any outrage; despondency was instant and lethal. On the way to work, the faces of people on the tube looked like chalk pavement pictures after a downpour. (OK, so they look like this every morning; but they had particular resonance yesterday, suspended as they were above front-page pictures of Bush smugly meditating). By 10am, as people got to their desks and began a day of low productivity and high personal email exchange, it became clear that the most pressing post-election question was not, "Where were you when you heard Bush was winning?" but rather, "Where were you when you allowed yourself to think it could ever have been otherwise?" Dismally, people asked each other how long they had stayed up the night before. "Until 4.30am," said my friend Jim. "Long enough to start crying like a girl."

The first email I received the following morning read: "F*cked off, dejected, our hopes have been blown to sh*t."

The next one read: "As REM once sang: 'It's the end of the world as we know it.' Only unlike REM, I don't feel fine."

At lunchtime, friends from America woke up and joined the chorus. With a defeated sneer, the Brits among them threatened to move home in protest; it isn't hard to imagine a Republican reply to this. "There's going to be a brain drain from this country which will leave the Red-State [Republican] morons to fend for themselves," wrote an American on the Guardian talk-boards. "I wonder what the immigration requirements are like in the UK?"

A friend in New York wrote: "The one consolation that people are clinging to is that he will f*ck things up so badly in the next four years that the Democrats will move back into favour. That's if we still have a world."

1 comment:

  1. OKay, unfortunately that guy is quite wrong. This election proves that no matter how bad you fuck up, you can use it as an excuse to need all that much more support and unity from the population. If he can win on the platform of 9/11, the greatest national security failure in American history, if he can convince people that going after Saddam instead of Osama was a good idea, and that the Iraqis are still happy and hopeful about their new democracy, and that the economy is great, tell me - exactly what would it take for people to realize he fucked up?

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