Aftermath of Election

sullivat@lawrence.edu

In the time after the election and in the coming weeks there have been and will be many calls by George Bush, John Kerry, Republicans, and some Democrats to unite as Americans and come together as one people and speak with one voice. To these politicians I say @#%^##%!!! Are you friggin nuts?!! No (Thank you Daily Show)! If we do that than our democracy is little more than a feathered over dictatorship and our young experiment with self-governance has failed. With all the normal institutional checks and balances controlled by one party- dissent, sharp brutal dissent is what we need. We have to line up behind our respective positions and pummel the living daylights of each other. Then exhausted and bruised we must lift our quivering arms and shake hands over the bloody chasm, as some ghost from AP American History once told me. Only then can we afford to compromise. I don’t mean somewhere on the left edge of George Bush’s shoulder but somewhere in the middle of Dick Cheney and Ted Kennedy’s waistlines.
Let’s be serious. The emotions, differences in opinion, and separate ideas of what America is that came out during the election are real. That I cried after the election is real. Suppressing all this under a false cloak of “unity” is denial and enough to give a psychologist nightmares. We must be true to the moment and accept that these differences exist or risk the harsher consequences later. Bush does not have a mandate to remake America in any way he wants. The majority is not always right and might does not make right. Mr. Bush would do well to remember that and that 48 percent of voters (the east and west coast and the Midwest) were against him. Speaking of whether might makes right Mr. Bush should read T.H White’s “The Once and Future King”. It would be a useful read for any president and a constructive way to kick of his second term.P.S. If the Republicans think 4% is a strong mandate than Barack Obama must have an Edict from God.

Timothy Sullivan

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