I wish. I woke up to 254 for Bush and 249 for Kerry. By the time I got to work, Kerry had inched to 252. But it all hinged on Ohio’s 20 Electoral College votes, and the exit polls pointed to Bush.
So what the hell are exit polls? Honestly, I thought wrong this morning, and my good buddy Dia corrected me. Exit polls are forms you fill out after you vote, answering 30 or so questions anonymously but with a lot of detail (age, gender, etc). Those are conducted across the country by Voter News Service, a consortium of the television networks ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, and NBC, and the Associated Press. Since about 1980, when we first used them for the Presidential race, they’ve been really accurate. Except for Florida in 2000.
So at this point, I’ve resigned myself to Bush winning. The fact that NPR, CNN, and MSNBC are bleating that Kerry called Bush at 10 Central to conceded Ohio (thus making it mathematically impossible to win) firms it up. Fine, President Bush wins, and we have four more fucking years of the asshole. I don’t like Bush, I’m pissed he won, but I’m damn happy people voted. I hate that 11 states banned gay marriage/partnership. I’m glad California okayed Stem Cell research. I hate that this means we’re going to be in this war even longer. Voters in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah all approved anti-same-sex marriage amendments by double-digit margins. Ohio and Oregon. Damn your eyes! Two of the places I wanted to retire to.
But I voted. I voted for Kerry and I knew he was going to lose. I knew my state, Illinois, was going to end up Democrat. And yet I still hoped he would win. Actually, I wished Howard Dean would have won. I really liked Dean, I liked what he stood for, I liked his message. And yet he got fucked over and we all went ‘John Kerry who?’
Don’t think this is because I’m a Democrat. If it’d been John McCain versus Kerry, I’d have voted for McCain. Seriously. I like his message too. Hell, half the time I really like Cheney. Cheney’s the guy who can separate his personal beliefs from his political (he was willing to support his President on an anti-gay marriage amendment, while personally opposing it, and that’s how politics work).
Dean was an Internet Politician, and in the end I think that was his downfall. Too many people didn’t get him, he was too modern and too geeky. Too much like the idealistic Dr. Jed Bartlet on the West Wing (which sucks this season). Howard Dean: A great idea. Even though by the time Illinois voted, he had no chance, I voted for him. I want him to run again.
I was going to write about the myth of the separation of Church and State, but I’ve realized I can sum it up here. Basically, the deal is that the US government can’t establish a state religion, nor can they dictate HOW to worship G-d. Which means what? Bush can allow tax breaks for religious schools all he wants. That’s fine. It also means that when I say the pledge of allegiance, I don’t have to say ‘under G-d’ (and I don’t).
And now. Feh.
My grandmother called me to apologize for the mess of a country she was leaving us kids. It’s not her fault. If anyone, I should blame the Boomers for being idiots. But even they were creatures of circumstance. In the same way, I suspect my brother and the younger end of ‘my’ generation will be much the same.
Here’s to the highest voter turn out in 30 years. Let’s hope the numbers keep climbing, and more people who think like me get out and vote.