As far as the election goes, America has spoken, and it sounds
like a bumbling idiot. Four years of brewing over the 2000 election
results, massive voter registration drives, record spending on
political advertising, and nothing changes. Almost all who
supported President Bush four years ago again cast their electors
for the GOP, while those who voted for Al Gore, with the addition
of New Hampshire, sided with the senator from Massachusetts.
While George W. Bush and his supporters awoke Wednesday morning
feeling vindicated over the occurrences of the last four years,
those on the losing side began to realize that their version of the
American dream would be put on hold for at least another term.
Looking beyond the presidential election, Democrats had little else
to feel encouraged about. The GOP stranglehold on the House and
Senate has increased. The chief justice of the Supreme Court has
been stricken with a terminal form of cancer, which will presumably
allow President Bush to nominate a justice from his list of
So what is a Democrat to do? I would be the first to admit it is
a struggle not to feel completely disenfranchised. Try, however, to
resist the urge to pack up your bags and move to Belize before you
search for the silver lining.
Nationally, this is a wakeup call for our nation’s oldest
political party. As the former Democratic Senate majority leader
from Maine, George Mitchell, noted, the Democrats need to reassess
themselves so that once again the party can become a national
party. The current divide of red-state, blue-state has left a void
in the heartland for the Democratic Party. What is needed, what
America yearns for, is a uniter along the lines of Bill Clinton and
Ronald Reagan. Recall that in 1992 Clinton carried present-day
Republican strongholds such as Tennessee and Montana, and that
during the ’80s Reagan was able to captivate left-leaning states
such as California.
Locally, Democrats have more reason to feel good about
themselves since the original JFK was alive. For the first time
since 1960, both the state House and Senate in Colorado are under
Democratic control. In what may be a preview to what is about to
occur in Washington, the Republicans in Colorado have become a
fractured party fighting between those with moderate versus extreme
views. In fact, it was the Republicans’ decision to back polarizing
candidates, which led to their statewide defeat.
What all this reinforces is that the best thing that ever
happened to George W. Bush’s career was the tragedies of Sept. 11,
2001. Were it not for those terrorists attacks that happened on his
watch, there would be nothing else to focus on other than the
current administration’s ineptness. Any war that was premeditated
would be seen as the personal Bush crusade for which it has become.
Bush’s lack of transparency and high degree of subterfuge would not
be judged in the interest of national security, but as the Big
Brother-type government George Orwell tried to warn about.
Here in Larimer County we must unfortunately continue to be
represented nationally by Marilyn Musgrave. Radicals such as
Musgrave prove the need for a three or more party system where
those on the far right and left can be more accurately represented.
That the Republican Party has been taken hostage by the religious
right and those with extreme views is the real tragedy of the past
two elections. By selling themselves out in order to be elected,
the majority of Republicans who could be considered moderates have
lost their voices of reason.