I feel a bit like I did when my mother died. Not that this election result is a funeral, but that my life will never be the same ever again.
First the good news. President Bush is finally legitimate. This can only be a good thing. And for the majority who voted for him and his policies, they can expect lots more of the same. As a description of the outcome of an election, it's the best possible.
Of course, the country is lost. The pure damage of a single term is nothing compared to the damage of a conservative supreme court. Twenty years down the road, we will rue this day.
Or will we? The greatest thing I've learned is that I don't really know America. All my adult life I've been comforted by the notion that we are a decent and noble people, occasionally led astray by politics.
The truth seems to be otherwise. We are a nation who wants to deny citizens the right to marry if we disapprove of their mate. We want to enshrine the values of a particular religion in law. We want to ignore fair play and ensure a vastly unfair distribution of wealth. We are so small and petty that our abundant good fortune is not enough. Like Genghis Kahn, it is not enough that we succeed...others must fail.
I'm not sure, but I will take some time to consider things. If I've just been wrong all along and America is all these things and more, I must decide if I can live with that. I will always love what I thought America stood for, but if that was only so much sunshine in my eye, it's best to see the world in a realistic light.
My country rejects the values it professes. It does not live up to its promise, or keep its promises. It does not want or value me or the values I believe in.
Maybe it never has, and I've been a fool.
My ancestors fought to secure the freedom I enjoy today. The freedom others used on Tuesday to ensure a reduction in freedom for all Americans. This perversion of democracy is our right as a people, however, we should not be proud of it.