Election 2004 Aftermath: Quit Your Bitchin’

Look, Bush won. It’s not the end of the world. America is not going to come crashing down. We’re not going to get drafted. The nations of the world are not going to stop talking to us. Social Security is not going to disappear. The middle class is not going to get a tax hike. Etc. The New York Times or NPR would give you a more centrist and rational take on this election than most people my age seem to have taken.

You don’t have to like President Bush. I’ve never asked you all to do anything more than be civil and intelligent and to think your opinions through. You don’t have to agree with which candidates I like or my stances on various issues—fine—but for God sakes, let’s all be rational.

Four years of President Bush did not do any terrible harm to our country. In fact, on the whole, things are going pretty well (especially when you consider the inherited 2000/2001 recession and the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks). Interestingly, President Bush has done more for some Democratic causes (education and alternative fuel development come to mind) than President Clinton did in 8 years. Let’s keep it all in perspective—on a lot of issues, this president isn’t even that far to the right!

All this “I’m moving to Canada” and “it makes me sick to think that man will be in office for another 4 years!” and “everything is going to hell” is a load of shallow tripe, and I expect better from all of you.

How would it make you all feel if I started saying, “Thank God John Kerry didn’t win, that dumbass would’ve gone around just inviting terrorism!” Or if I called Kerry an anti-American traitor for his slandering American soldiers on his return from Vietnam? I can tell you how you’d feel . . . you’d feel like I had crossed the line from civil political discourse into childish personal insults and ignorant hyperbole. But, sadly, many of you have done the same thing—engaging in an irrational anti-Bush tirade which is just as moronic and baseless at my faux-attacks on Senator Kerry above.

So calm down already. America has spoken. President Bush has won a popular vote majority—something Bill Clinton couldn’t do during either of his presidential campaigns. You don’t have to like it, but you do have to accept it and learn to live with it without giving yourselves aneurysms. It is time to stop hating President Bush (many of you will have to break four years of training) and start making intelligent, valid arguments with which you can engage in honest, polite debate.

John Kerry spoke the most eloquent words on this issue today during his wonderful concession speech:

“But in an American election, there are no losers, because whether or not our candidates are successful, the next morning we all wake up as Americans. And that—that is the greatest privilege and the most remarkable good fortune that can come to us on earth.

“With that gift also comes obligation. We are required now to work together for the good of our country. In the days ahead, we must find common cause. We must join in common effort without remorse or recrimination, without anger or rancor. America is in need of unity and longing for a larger measure of compassion.

“I hope President Bush will advance those values in the coming years. I pledge to do my part to try to bridge the partisan divide. I know this is a difficult time for my supporters, but I ask them, all of you, to join me in doing that.” (emphasis added)

John Kerry is wrong on a lot of issues, in my humble opinion, but he’s spot-on with this one. Calm down and QUIT YOUR BITCHIN’.

Scott Bradford is a writer and technologist who has been putting his opinions online since 1995. He believes in three inviolable human rights: life, liberty, and property. He is a Catholic Christian who worships the trinitarian God described in the Nicene Creed. Scott is a husband, nerd, pet lover, and AMC/Jeep enthusiast with a B.S. degree in public administration from George Mason University.