Monday, November 01, 2004

We have a chance to make history, here in our hand

It's E-minus-1, and I have almost nothing left to say. That bothers me. I suppose it's because tomorrow wraps up a solid year of nonstop campaigning at some level, and not much has changed between then and now. Few Democrats take national security seriously. Few Republicans are as socially centrist as I'd prefer. But that's the way it is, and that's the way it'll be tomorrow. As in June, I'm nearly paralyzed with anticipation - or would be, if I didn't have to use what free time I have to slog through an analysis of Utopia for Early Modern Europe. If Kerry wins - and I am sick with dread of that coming to pass, though it remains eminently possible - I will give him the benefit of the doubt, for a time. Hit the reset button; he can start at zero. I can only hope he'd show more resolve and leadership than he has during the campaign. I realize that's unlikely, but I don't want to be one of those embittered ideologues, who'll decry the best of outcomes should they come from the wrong side. If a President Kerry can actually succeed in the war we now fight, I'll stand behind him no less than I have for George Bush. Even those too far left for my taste in the domestic sphere can be heroic and stalwart when they've had to stare down disaster. On the other hand, should Bush be returned, I expect the perpetual sniping from the media and activist left to let up, and bloody well soon. Should their policies and ideologies be soundly rejected, I want them to stop pretending themselves victims of creeping fascism or Rovian conspiracy. I want them to undergo a period of self-reflection, and return in 2008 with, at the very least, a new FDR or Wilson - though I'd settle for a Truman or LBJ, at this point. Most of all, I just want the internal kulturkampf to quiet down, because we have enemies near and far that profit mightily from its distractions. I hope Bush wins with something between 280 and 290 electoral votes; a sound victory, but not enough to allow getting cocky. I hope that, failing that, Kerry won't be as bad for America and the world at large as I fear. I hope whoever's in the White House this time next year is as good and reasonable and steadfast a man as anyone could want. I hope.


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