OK, it sucks. Really sucks. But before you go and cash it all in, here are 17 reasons not to slit your wrists:
1. It is against the law for George W. Bush to run for president again.
2. Bushs victory was the narrowest win for a sitting president since Woodrow Wilsons in 1916.
3. The only age group in which the majority voted for Kerry was young adults (54 per cent for Kerry; 44 per cent for Bush), proving once again that your parents are always wrong and you should never listen to them.
4. In spite of Bushs win, the majority of Americans still think the country is headed in the wrong direction (56 per cent), think the war wasnt worth fighting (51 per cent) and dont approve of the job George W. Bush is doing (52 per cent). (Note to foreigners: Dont try to figure this one out. Its an American thing, like Pop Tarts.)
5. The Republicans will not have a filibuster-proof 60-seat majority in the Senate. If the Democrats do their job, Bush wont be able to pack the Supreme Court with right-wing ideologues. Did I say if the Democrats do their job? Um, maybe better to scratch this one.
6. Michigan voted for Kerry! So did the entire Northeast, the birthplace of our democracy. So did six of the eight Great Lakes states. And the whole West Coast! Plus Hawaii. OK, thats a start. Weve got most of the fresh water, all of Broadway and Mount St. Helens. We can dehydrate them or bury them in lava. And no more show tunes!
7. Once again we are reminded that the buckeye is a nut, and not just any old nut a poisonous nut. A great nation was felled by a poisonous nut.
8. Eighty-eight per cent of Bushs support came from white voters. In 50 years, America will no longer have a white majority. Hey, 50 years isnt such a long time! If youre 10 years old and reading this, your golden years will be truly golden and you will be well cared for in your old age.
9. Gays, thanks to the ballot measures passed on Election Day, cannot get married in 11 new states. Thank god. Just think of all those wedding gifts we wont have to buy.
10. Five more African Americans were elected as members of Congress. Its always good to have more blacks in there fighting for us and doing the job our candidates cant.
11. The CEO of Coors was defeated for Senate in Colorado. Drink up!
12. Admit it: we like the Bush twins and we dont want them to go away.
13. At the state legislative level, Democrats picked up a net of at least three chambers in the elections. Democrats now control 47 (of the partisan-controlled state legislatures), Republicans 49, one chamber is tied and one (the Montana House) is still undecided.
14. Bush is now a lame-duck president. He will have no greater moment than the one hes having this week. Its all downhill for him from here on out. Itll be like everyones last month in grade 12 youve already made it, so its party time! Perhaps hell treat the next four years like a permanent Friday, spending even more time at the ranch or in Kennebunkport. And why shouldnt he? Hes already proved his point, avenged his father and kicked our ass.
15. Now that he doesnt ever need to pander to the Christian conservatives again, someone may whisper in his ear that he should spend these last four years building a legacy so that history will render a kinder verdict on him. Or he will become so cocky and arrogant that he will commit a blunder of such major proportions that even his own party will have to remove him from office.
17. There are nearly 300 million Americans 200 million of them of voting age. We only lost by three and a half million! Thats not a landslide; it means were almost there. Imagine losing by 20 million. If you had 58 yards to go before you reached the goal line and then you barrelled down 55 of those yards, would you stop on the 3-yard line, pick up the ball and go home crying especially when you get to start the next down on the 3-yard line? Of course not! Buck up! Have hope! More sports analogies are coming!
18. Finally and most importantly, over 55 million Americans voted for the candidate dubbed the number-one liberal in the Senate. Thats more than the total number of voters who voted for either Reagan, Bush I, Clinton or Gore. The country has always been filled with evangelicals that is not news. What is news is that so many people have shifted toward a Massachusetts liberal. If the media are looking for a trend, it should be this. In fact, thats big news. Don't expect the mainstream media to ever report the real truth. In fact, it's better that they don't. We'll need the element of surprise in 2008.
Feeling better? I hope so. As my friend Mort wrote me yesterday, "My Romanian grandfather used to say to me, 'Remember, Morton, this is such a wonderful country - it doesn't even need a president!'' But it needs us.