Archive: November 3, 2004
So John Kerry has conceded. Now we can move forward, thank goodness it is over.
As you know I supported President Bush - reluctantly - but I am not going to gloat. Frankly we have serious problems in our country and although I preferred Bush to Kerry one man cannot solve them all. We need to get back together as friends and neighbors and colleagues and Americans, and work together on our problems.
I think it is wonderful that there were no terrorist attacks. We had a peaceful election, a fruitful exchange of ideas, some good debates about what is good for the future of our country. Now we have to get to work.
Although the Republicans increased their majorities in the Congress and retained the White House, this election was not a unanimous mandate for conservatism. I see this more as a repudiation of the Democrats' liberalism. One has to wonder what might have happened with a Democratic candidate who was closer to the center - someone like Joe Lieberman or indeed someone like Al Gore, or at least the 2000 version of Al Gore. I see this as a mandate for active defense, a mandate for active protection, a mandate for U.S. leadership in the world. I see this as a mandate for fiscal responsibility (although the Bush administration could hardly be considered a model for this during their first term; hopefully they will do as they said and not do as they did in their second term).
Two things stand out for me about this election. First and foremost, the "old media" northeast liberal bias was truly exposed. Clearly CBS, ABC, NBC, and CNN, and the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the L.A.Times do not represent America, and they lost credibilty and readership. It will take them a long time to rebuild the trust. They need to go back to being journalists, and stop trying to be entertainers and politicians. Secondly, the power of the Internet for "open source" communication was truly revealed. Not only in blogs but all kinds of news sites, all kinds of one-to-one and one-to-many communication. The power of the Internet to route around the blockage of big media was impressive and amazing.
It is way early but I just wanted to put in my thought about 2008: Barack Obama vs. Arnold Schwarzenegger. An African-American vs. an Austrian-American. Both conservative on national defense and fiscal policy, both liberal socially. Both the bright future of their respective parties. Given what I know right now, I would have a hard time choosing between them, but wouldn't mind if either one won ;)
Here's an interesting map, showing the county-by-county breakdown of Republicans and Democrats in the 2004 Presidential election:
Obviously since Kerry received 48% of the popular vote, there are a lot of people living in the blue areas, including the largest cities: New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. [ via S-Train ]
[ Later: electoral mapmanship reveals surprising little changed from 2000 to 2004... ]
Earlier today John Edwards and John Kerry made graceful concession speeches, and Dick Cheney and George Bush made equally graceful victory speeches. The emphasis from both sides was on healing the divide we all feel. Kerry made a great point: "In American elections there are no losers, because whether or not our candidates win or lose, the next morning we wake up as Americans." It is good form and smart politics for candidates to react this way, but one senses they meant it sincerely.
Of course not everyone was equally graceful. I enjoyed Joi Ito's post: The people of America have failed us today. Joi is a VC who was educated in the U.S. and who makes his money from American companies, but is a Japanese citizen and lives in Japan.
Xeni Jardin of Boing Boing posted a purple haze electoral map; an interesting counterpoint to seeing red .
Leander Kelly of Cult of Mac thought the election a Global Catastrophe, and ran a classy picture of our reelected President.
My favorite graceless reaction was from CNN, which ran a picture of Bush named "asshole.jpg". How pleasant. Still, I guess you can understand why they're so bitter; they tried so hard to influence the election yesterday.
Rebecca MacKinnon has great inside analysis of what's happened to CNN...
Jay Rosen noted The Coming Apart of an Ordered World. I'm not sure what happened with the early exit polls, but something was definitely fishy.
And how about the way states were "called"? Logic Times terms it Bias Beyond the Pale:
- Are you aware that the Pennsylvania race was closer (Kerry gets 51.08%) than the Ohio race (Bush gets 51.2%) or Nevada race (Bush gets 51.4%)? Think about this fact. Did the networks have any problem calling Pennsylvania for Kerry? None whatsoever. Did they have a problem calling Ohio or Nevada for Bush? Apparently.
- Are you aware that New Hampshire was called for Kerry with 50.7% to 49.3%?
- Are you aware that Wisconsin was called for Kerry with 50.2% to 49.8%?
- Are you aware that Iowa was NOT called for Bush with 50.5% to 49.5%?
- Are you aware that New Mexico was NOT called for Bush with 50.9% to 49.1%?
- Are you aware that Nevada was NOT called for Bush with 51.4% to 48.6%?
Not very "fair and balanced", was it?
I will say most lefty blogs have been graceful, and are constructively analyzing the election. You learn much more from setbacks than victories. If the end result is a Democratic party that better represents Americans' views, it will be a victory for the entire country. Hey, it's the American way.
Return to the archive.
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Aperio's Mission = Automating Pathology
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji
Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
the big day
solving bongard problems
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
where are the desktop apps?