Life as an Extreme Sport

Kerry Concdes; Election Thoughts

I’m not at all surprised Kerry is conceding. He made it very clear, from quite a while back, that the last thing “we as a country needed” was a repeat of 2000.

Bush is almost 200,000 votes ahead in Ohio, with 100% of precincts reporting. Yes, there are still provisional and absentee ballots to count, but to reverse that large a lead would be hard – the provisional and absentee ballots tend to match the voting patterns of the rest of the state. While it’s slightly more likely that those additional ballots could sway things in Iowa and New Mexico (where Bush leads by 13,000 and 12,000 votes, respectively), I suspect the logic again goes back to knowing how voting patterns play out.

This isn’t Florida, where one state and less than a thousand votes swung the election. This is three battleground states, and a significant margin in the one with the votes needed to seal this thing.

Kerry was big on the country needing to “heal the divide” that exists between the near-half that voted for him, and the near-half that voted for Bush. To stretch out the election results and take the battle to court would have been doing exactly opposite of what he’s been preachin’. And as much as I would have preferred Kerry win the race, I have to respect him for actually practicing what he’s been preaching.

That said, what’s been going through my head since late last night is not frustration about the election, but frustration about what the results could possibly do. And I don’t mean Supreme Court justices, laws, et cetera (although as a rather liberal woman those things do concern me), but the people who typically don’t vote who got out and voted. I’d be interested in seeing how it broke down, people who’d never voted before versus those who have. A lot of analysts were saying yesterday that the only reason people get out to vote en masse during an incumbent re-election is to vote against him, and I wonder if that’s true. If it is, then there are an awful lot of first-time voters who are going to feel like their voice didn’t matter, and I’m afraid it will discourage them from ever voting again.

I don’t like our process for electing presidents. Douglas blames the brainwashing done by my department, and that could be… or it could be that we really do just have a very broken system that is incapable of accurately representing our society. But, any which way and regardless of how I feel about the process, it’s what we have, and it would be a shame if people who finally got up and spoke up and voted decided there was no point and never did it again.