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Sifting Through The Ashes

Well, I'm listening to the new Nick Cave album and it's sort of reflecting my mood this afternoon.

I ended up staying up most of the night watching the results come in until such a point when it became clear no winner was going to emerge until today or, possibly, even later.

I know we still have to wait for Ohio to declare but it's realistically not looking very good for Kerry and the Democrats. I'm incredibly happy that the US has seen the largest voter turnout for decades, glad to see that the process 'seems' to have run relatively smoothly this time round. but I'm obviously disappointed by the result even if I'm not 100% surprised at it.

If the Democrats don't win Ohio the Republicans will be in charge of The White House for another four years with Bush Jnr being 'the top man' unless some unforseen circumstance occurs. Which I hope doesn't as it'll just further destabilise the country.

So what went wrong for the Democrats? Partially it was the Republicans managing to mix religion with politics. America is a VERY Christian country with about 50% of its citizens attending church at least once a week. America is probably the most Christian country on the face of the planet and alot of Americans take their faith and morals very seriously. The Republicans played to this with their own beliefs. Gay Marriage is unholy and abortion is a sin. These became reasonably hot topics and it caused a lot of usually Democratic-minded voters to switch their votes to the Republicans. I think we'll see that the coloured vote saw a shift towards Bush because of these issues. Apart from having quite a 'taboo' over gay relationships in many quarters the Church plays a big role in the lives of many.

Holding a national vote about Gay Marriage at the same time as these elections also brought these issues further to the forefront of peoples minds and also mobilised the Christian evangelicals and Right-wing extremists out to vote. When the numbers are tight every vote really does matter so mobilisng people who wouldn't normally vote wasn't only a concern and an aim for the Democrat camp.

There will be loads of debates raging about the shortfalls of whichever side looses this election. Things will come to light and new policies and game plans will start to be drawn up to be used in 2008.

The small hope the rest of the world can take (if Bush does get in) is that America's military is so over stretched and its economy so screwed with the burden of an incredibly large deficit they will find it very, very hard to wage war in any other territories over the next few years. This won't help the minority groups in the States, this won't help famine and AIDS in third-world countries, this won't help the Middle East or America's reputation around the world, sadly it won't even help our ailing climate which REALLY needs to be bumped up everyone's agenda. So Bush might win but he's handicapped himself and America because of his actions over the last four years.

Kerry would have had a sympathetic ear from other leaders and peoples around the world. Bush won't have that support and is unlikely to want to go begging for help.

I just hope all my American friends can weather another four years and the country doesn't get too screwed up because of it.

You all still have my thoughts and best wishes.


( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 3rd, 2004 08:01 am (UTC)
I really don't think Kerry's going to pull this off. The odds are too much against him. Unfortunately.

So I went to immigrationexpert.com this morning and its quiz told me I would qualify for the UK's skilled worker program (I would qualify for Canada's too but not Australia's - go figure?)

It would probably take close to a year to get a visa, but then I would need a job. Actually, getting a job offer first would probably speed things up.

So if you know anyone who is looking for an excellent software developer (.NET, Java, or whatever else I can easily learn) and is willing to give me a chance, I would be very, very grateful. In the meantime I'll keep my out on the job postings in both countries and see if anything promising comes up.

Nov. 3rd, 2004 09:15 am (UTC)
I'll keep my eye out for such jobs. Maybe I can convince my boss to take someone else on :o)
Nov. 3rd, 2004 09:31 am (UTC)
Cool, thanks :)
Nov. 3rd, 2004 09:51 am (UTC)
If I was single and in school or just out this would be so easy, because any job would be good enough and I'd just have to pack a bag and go. As it is, I have debts to pay and a husband to support (until he himself finds work) which makes things so much trickier.

That said, he is just as unhappy with the present state of things as I and if one of us can find work in either the UK or Canada, I really think just selling everything but our computers and our clothes and just going is the way to do it once we can get our major debts paid.
Nov. 3rd, 2004 11:11 am (UTC)
I know we will be looking for someone in the near future. Can't promise anything. In the meantime have a look at www.jobserve.co.uk It's a rather good site for getting work in the UK. Also best to start now with any applications for immigration for moving to the UK on a skilled work visa. They can take some time in processing.
Nov. 3rd, 2004 12:19 pm (UTC)
Yes, I figured it would be about a year at least. Honestly I couldn't leave til then anyway because I have debts to pay off first and a house to sell. But I will definitely start the preparations once I get my husband to commit to saying if I find a job we can go :)
Nov. 3rd, 2004 08:10 am (UTC)
"The small hope the rest of the world can take (if Bush does get in) is that America's military is so over stretched and its economy so screwed with the burden of an incredibly large deficit they will find it very, very hard to wage war in any other territories over the next few years."

The only manufacturing that -must- be done in the US is defense work, so war creates domestic manufacturing jobs. American debt as a percentage of GDP is actually pretty low, and I imagine we could bump it up quite a bit and still make the payments... and if we couldn't, we would have a large military.

The draft could go a long way towards bumping up the size of the military. I'm patiently waiting for them to start recruiting the very large prison population for the military too.

Things could get much, much worse. I honestly don't think they will, but they could.
Nov. 3rd, 2004 09:26 am (UTC)
I think the neoCons will TRY to make it worse...

Which is why it's so important for people to stay here and fight. Even if it's a tough fight.

Although, I can honestly say I don't blame anyone who leaves...
Nov. 3rd, 2004 09:38 am (UTC)
It's not been a couple of hours since the news that Kerry has conceded defeat and I've already been emailed by three American friends asking about work in the UK.
At this rate London could become the new 'Seattle' for games companies :-p
Seriously though, I really hope the next four years is reasonably peaceful and doesn't hurt the American people or the countries status and reputation too much internationally. Not that it actually sounds like 51% of the US population actually care about that reputation and status.
Hopefully it will also politically motivate even more people next time round to take a stance and vote the Democrats in. The Democrats will need a more overtly 'charismatic' candidate though. Perhaps Edwards, perhaps Hilary Clinton. Kerry has charisma but it didn't always shine through.
Nov. 3rd, 2004 09:43 am (UTC)
The problem with staying and fighting is that the opposition does not want convincing. They are convinced that Jesus is on their side and nothing any of us evil liberals say is going to convince them. And they breed faster than we do.

The other problem is that our lives are measurably affected by the loss of freedoms. As a minor example, I couldn't use my business PO box on my new business bank account thanks to the patriot act. Which means anyone I write a business check to has my HOME address. Now why does this make anyone safer?

Rehnquist is about to die, and Bush will no doubt support extremely right-wing candidates for the Supreme Court, so Roe v. Wade may be overthrown, and all the state laws which purport to ban any agreement that seeks to emulate a marriage will be upheld despite their inherent unconstitutionality. Luckily for me I'm not gay, but my heart really goes out to those who are. And I'm encouraging all my childfree friends to get their sterilizations as soon as they can, as birth control is becoming harder to get in the more conservative states since pharmacists can refuse to dispense it without fearing for their jobs and because Roe v. Wade may likely be overturned.

Honestly I think the best we can hope for in the US is for a split. For all the socially liberal to move to some states and all the socially conservatives to move to others and then to split into two countries that govern themselves. Then everyone will be happy, except for those people that failed to relocate themselves in time (and I encourage a generous political asylum program for that reason). I never understood why we didn't let the South secede back during the Civil War era - if they were that unhappy then let them go. It was a total economic decision that had nothing to do with Franklin's divided snake.
Nov. 3rd, 2004 10:01 am (UTC)
The problem with staying and fighting is that the opposition does not want convincing.

SOME of the opposition does not want convincing.

There are people who I know and respect who voted Bush, for whatever theeir reasons. These are people who are rational and reassonable, even though I completely disagree with their choice.

There are people who want to support their commander in chief because we're in a war with troops on the ground.

There are millions of people who DIDN'T vote.

These are the peoople who must be reached.

We came tantelizingly close to defeating a wartime president. It was very nearly a historic achievement beyond compare.

Nov. 3rd, 2004 12:31 pm (UTC)
Maybe I'm just overly cynical but if people didn't vote *this* time I don't see anything making them vote in future.
Nov. 3rd, 2004 11:11 am (UTC)
"as birth control is becoming harder to get in the more conservative states since pharmacists can refuse to dispense it without fearing for their jobs"

Do you have a source for that?
Nov. 3rd, 2004 12:19 pm (UTC)
It looks like you already found some but here is one:

Nov. 3rd, 2004 12:30 pm (UTC)
Not the right one - I'm digging through the archives on the childfree community to find the right ones. Sorry! This one just talked about a pharmacist who wouldn't do it - but I have seen several about ones who won't do it being protected. I'll see if I can dig them back up.
Nov. 3rd, 2004 12:51 pm (UTC)
Ugh. I've gone through several weeks of postings on the childfree community where I first saw the articles and haven't found them yet. But your google probably revealed the gist of it. They were CNN'ish articles though so probably not urban legends.
Nov. 3rd, 2004 12:54 pm (UTC)
Nov. 3rd, 2004 12:54 pm (UTC)
Nov. 3rd, 2004 11:23 am (UTC)
I Googled it (refusing to dispense birth control). I believe a lot of weird crap, but I found that completely implausible. And yet, there it is. Almost a dozen states passing laws to make it legal to refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control.

I'm completely boggled.
Nov. 3rd, 2004 12:16 pm (UTC)
It makes me furious. If someone doesn't want to dispense *medication* they shouldn't be a fucking pharmacist. I take my bc for medicinal reasons, for which not becoming pregnant is a pleasant side benefit and I've had to since I was 11 (in other words, long before I was sexually active). I shouldn't have to justify this to the pharmacist.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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