Thursday, November 04, 2004

Shame, Shame


The Guardian:
Mr Bush faces a clear choice at home. He can treat his mandate as a blank cheque to govern in the interests of the conservative (and for conservative read, in many cases, anti-black) voters who backed him in such numbers - shaping a conservative majority on the Supreme Court, waging war on legal abortion, amending the constitution to prevent gay marriage, unpicking affirmative action, limiting and marginalising dissent still further, flirting with the notion of declaring the USA an explicitly Christian, English-speaking nation, seeking in all things to construct the conservative Republican hegemony for which Karl Rove has long dreamed and schemed. Or he can recognise the greater wisdom and the greater long-term security that mutual respect and bipartisan reconciliation will provide to a United States, and to a wider world, in which the belief in America's manifest destiny is not shared with such fervour as it is among evangelical conservatives - or even shared at all. We have few illusions about the course he will take. Yet both America and the world need a handshake right now, not a clenched fist of defiance. In an interconnected world, such choices matter and shape all our uncertain futures.

The Independent:
Financial markets rose after his victory, largely from relief that there would be no repeat of the unsettling confusion of Florida four years ago. But the gains also reflected the hope that, having secured victory by appealing to his base, he will now reach out to the country as a whole. For its part, the world awaits Mr Bush's next moves with a mixture of caution, apprehension and not a little scepticism. The first test of whether the election has given birth to a new Bush will come at an Asian summit later this month. But many critics fear that, if anything, this President may be even more convinced of the rightness of America's cause.

On the campaign trail and in his debates with Mr Kerry, he famously refused to admit the slightest mistake - and won the backing of a majority of his countrymen for his pains. For them, Mr Bush is the man best equipped to keep them safe, and protect traditional values.

I'll let Muad'ib respond:
"For your part in this I could have you strangled,"he said. "You couldn't prevent it!" he snapped as she stiffened in rage. "But I think it a better punishment that you live out your years never able to touch me or bend me to a single thing your scheming desires."--Frank Herbert, Dune

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