Thursday, November 04, 2004

Untied States

No, I didn't misspell united. I feel the country is still untied. George Bush did not get some sort of landslide in this election. Look over the red and blue states and it is basically a repeat of 2000. The blue states are still the Northeast, the Upper Midwest and the West Coast. The red states are still all the others. Some of the states that border the blue states were close calls and the Southwest is slowing edging Democratic. But the map was essentially unchanged from 2000.

That red/blue map has a look of being untied. The blues are on the two coasts with a flap of Upper Midwest. The reds are the middle and the south, the flyover states as they have been called. As a progressive I see the discontinuity of the blue states as not linking together, like an untied shoe. I could understand conservatives imagining the red states as stuck in the middle trying to push away the sides.

Despite John Kerry's concession speech and Bush's acceptance speech there will be no coming together, or reaching across the aisle, or uniting. That is just public rhetoric and/or wishful thinking. Prior to Bush's speech, VP Dick Cheney said what is on every Republican's mind, "it's a mandate." The Bush Administration ruled their first term as if they had a mandate, they didn't care if they lost the popular vote. And they don't care that they only won the popular vote by a couple of percentage points, they will govern as if the election never happened. Expect more of the same and then some.

If you are a conservative you just can't imagine the utter disappointment felt by so many on the left. We didn't love John Kerry, we abhore the policies of Bush Incorporated. Some downright hate Bush with the same passion many conservatives had for Bill Clinton. I personally won't go to the point of hate, but I know full well that Bush has no interest in any of my ideals. I would strongly suspect Bush would hate me and my midwest, working class, social caused, equality interested, liberal talk.

How many more tax cuts is he going to give my corporate lords in the next four years? My CEO last year cashed in over $30 million in stock options, while today I received a new health care plan that will cost me more money out of my meager paycheck. Come George Bush to my house and explain how you can reach out to me after reading my last sentence. You can bet the top execs at my company don't worry about where the extra bucks for healthcare is going to come from as my fellow workers and I must worry.

Bush visited Michigan many times during the election and gave no indication of how he is going to stop more manufacturing jobs from leaving my state. His campaign stops were simple riffs on Kerry and no plans for my state. I wonder if he had opened a paper to see the vast difference in the size of the job advertising section in comparison to when he was here in 2000. I'm sure he would never have noticed this downsizing in our newspapers, he is proud of the fact he doesn't like to read. Unite me on that Mr. President.

He did make a claim he would halve the deficit in the next four years (a deficit he created) but didn't say what magic wand he intends to use for this idea. That is going to take hard work and tough policies. Either he will have to raise taxes which he has said he won't do, or cut government programs to the bone that would have to affect even his conservative base. He won't do anything about the deficit because he can't face the hard work, he will leave it for the next president to suffer through.

This type of disingenuous promise is what the left simply can't stomach from Bush. Just another hypocritical pledge that the left can see through like windexed glass.

He had given a vague promise of changing the tax code. Judging from his first term the rich will get most of the changes as if they haven't found enough loopholes by now. I have to expect this as Bush made the following statement at a rally a few months back during the campaign, "Just remember, when you're talking about, oh, we're just going to run up the taxes on a certain number of people -- first of all, real rich people figure out how to dodge taxes." So naturally I have to expect his tax code changes will only help the "real rich" in not having to dodge taxes anymore, dodging will be legal.

I may be a lowly working class stiff, but unlike Bush, I like to read. I've investigated thoroughly the presidents words versus his deeds and for the most part they don't match up. How can I expect him to unite with me and my fellow thinkers when those words and deeds will be untied?

To me the country will not be united because of Bush. We are the Untied States of America for at least the next four years and probably well beyond that.


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