Thursday, November 04, 2004

Election over - Bush Jr wins

I have a literally mixed feeling reacting to President Bush Jr's victory: a building burst of euphoria that never quite turns into actual happiness and instead shifts to anxiety. I wonder how I would have felt if Kerry won. A burst of anxiety turning into hope, perhaps?

I'm happy with the validation of traditional values and this President's strategy in the War on Terror. I'm pleased he was rewarded for a job well done after 9/11, even if I don't feel he is well-suited for the next stage. I'm happy with the rejection of the anti-war faction and the radical left. I'm happy the election turned out to be decisive and, after some reflection by the Democrats, uncontested. Although bitterness and petulance remains in the Democrats, who are clearly shocked and upset by the defeat, there is at least rhetoric from both sides about unity. America is on the international stage right now, and it's important to put on a united front.

I wish we had had a better choice for President. Kerry just turned out to be too much of a gamble. He is better nuanced as Tom Barnett says, but I could not be confident of his conviction to lead in our tough, historic challenge. His constantly shifting rhetoric from JFK liberal to radical anti-war protestor, and back again, frightened me. I trust George W. Bush's conviction and his commitment to the fight; however, I'm not confident he owns the nuanced skills to handle the task of coordinating internationally, which I feel is very important in this next stage of the War on Terror. But in the end, the bottom-line: if I must choose one or the other between nuance and conviction, I choose conviction.

What next? It's no longer enough just to move the pile against the status quo, which was necessary immediately following 9/11. We need a team for the long-term, a united world community. We need an FDR, a leader who will lead the fight, ruthlessly if need be against a ruthless enemy, AND negotiate with enough savviness and eloquence to bring together disparate factions on the global stage. I fervently hope President Bush Jr will defy my doubts and prove he is large enough to execute this task, because like him or not, he is The Man.

- Eric


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