Note: I originally wrote this back in November 2004 following the 2004 election, and I just decided to share it after finding it on a backup drive. It’s an opinion piece I initially wrote for the student newspaper in college, but withdrew when it was handed to a student editor in a journalism class and butchered.
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In several States, this was a close election. Analysts agreed that it came down to Ohio. But, as numbers kept rolling in, it became clear to Kerry and his camp that they were not going to pull it out.
Watching the election progress, flipping through the many channels, I was pleased to see that the networks had learned the lessons the 2000 election taught. Better statistical models, plus their willingness to hold off on declaring winners was a good sign.
Prior to the election, there was a lot of talk about the Congressional campaigns, as it was the prediction of analysts that the Presidential election would end up tied in the Electoral College. If that were the case, the House of Representatives would elect the President by a simple majority with each State having one vote.1
The Republicans managed to increase their lead in both the Senate and House. Probably the most surprising of the Senate elections was Tom Daschle’s loss in South Dakota by a narrow margin of little more than 4,500 votes.
Michael Moore recently announced as well that he is making a sequel to his controversial documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11“. Reuters quoted him as saying, “Fifty-one percent of the American people lacked information (in this election), and we want to educate and enlighten them. They weren’t told the truth.” The documentary is expected for release in two to three years.
Much of Moore’s film has already been refuted. Citizen’s United has put out a movie to refute the main points of “Fahrenheit 9/11” called “Celsius 41.11: The Temperature at Which the Brain Begins to Die“. It is available on DVD at http://www.celsius4111.com.
On his web site, in a message dated November 4, 2004, he listed the names of every fatality from the war in Iraq as his “first thoughts after the election”. “May they rest in peace,” he said. “And may they forgive us someday.”
Prior to the election, Moore was telling college students that if Bush were re-elected, the draft would be re-instated. There has already been a Congressional attempt to re-instate the draft: H.R. 163, introduced by New York Democrat Charles Rangel. It was struck down in October. The Department of Defense has stated that there is no need for a draft.
Surveys agree that this election came down to the war on terrorism. And one thing that I clearly noticed about the campaigns was this: Republicans were talking about preventing future attacks, Democrats were talking about reacting to future attacks. Proactive solutions versus reactive solutions.
Personally I would prefer to see future attacks prevented instead of just reacting to them. Reaction would cost much more time and money than prevention. We did enough reaction during the course of the Clinton administration and the first part of Bush’s administration in regard to September 11. To ensure the security of this country, we must do so proactively.
National security does not bow to the wills of the people, for without national security the will of the people no longer matters.
So in a clean election in the wake of dirty campaigns from both sides, the country has once again chosen its President. The Electoral College will make the decision official later this month, and everyone can look ahead to the future.
There was a lot of fire before the election, and there is still a lot of fire afterward. Hopefully that fire will dissipate as we move further into the new century. Four more years with Bush, and hopefully they will be four years free from attacks on the homeland.
To me, only one question remains: how long will it take Kerry to pay off that $800,000 mortgage he took out for his campaign earlier this year?
- Constitution of the United States at Article II, Section 1 [↩]