Friday, November 05, 2004

Four more years

The election hoopla is over. George W. Bush won another four years, this time with no doubt about his capturing both the popular vote and the electoral college. There is much gloating on one side, much cheering each other up on the other. The gloating is understandable but offends my ears, and I am on the winning side. The most remarkable fact of the election this year in my opinion was that 3 million more people voted than did four years ago. That's a lot of people stirred out of apathy. If that many people would stay interested in upcoming legislation, court decisions, etc., perhaps our democratic experiment could have the chance to shake off the torpor of helplessness so many people feel in the face of complex globalization issues, war, ubiquitous media influence, and the general harassments of day to day living in a world of voice mail routing systems, cell phone mania etc. We cannot afford to indulge in feelings of helplessness. There is work to be done.

I have not heard from or seen any of the Bush-haters among my friends except for Lisa. I tried to be conciliatory but came off, I fear, as irritatingly magnanimous as only a winner can be. I don't know what to say to Nancy, to Ellen, to Susan. I hope that their fears of apocalypse if George W. wins can find relief without furthering dividing them from ... to be selfish about it ... me. This campaign was a civil war of sorts and the wounds hurt. No wonder it is 150 years later and the South still resents the North.



jack perry said...

Most of us in the south don't resent the North anymore. At best, it's a humor item.

But yeah, there is a large contingent (I hesitate to say "wacko" contingent) that holds fast to the notion that "The South Will Rise Again."

Rae said...

Hi there, nice to have you comment. I have been thinking a lot about North and South recently because my daughter Gabe, raised in Delaware, went to Selma, Alabama to volunteer for the Edmundite Missions for a year and wound up staying on. She fell in love with Alabama, then fell in love with David Norton. Got married, and is now expecting a child. Expects to live in the South her whole life.

About 50 years ago, my mother a lifelong Southerner met a guy from up North in Louisiana where the Air Force stationed him. She married him, came up North, and never lived in the South again. She used to tell us kids, "Y'all Yankees don't know how to live", which I thought was particularly ironic given that I was a Yankee because she moved up here when she married Nick D'Orazio, so that all their 6 children were born up here.

But the Bush/Kerry competition that just ended feels a lot like a war between states. And I really wonder if any of my previous relationships with staunch Kerry supporters will ever be the same. Things got ugly. I've worked at the University of Delaware for 25 years and the Wednesday after election was like September 12, 2001 -- the place was full of shell-shocked people, the halls were quiet, it was like a tomb or a site of devastation. And there was much devastation. I don't remember another election in my lifetime affecting people so much. I think that on both sides, citizens are stirring and wanting to do something to take back our nation, our world, our lives after so many years of being pummeled on all sides by the complexity and confusion of modern life and culture.


jack perry said...


Life at NC State has been pretty much the same as at UD. My office was filled with grad students, some foreign, some native, all (but me) in the foulest of moods.