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November 03, 2004 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-11-03

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Challenges ahead in
the next four years

Weighing in on the campaign


instrument at his disposal: the
al government. He must also a

A dramatic and historic presiden- the dramatic increases in thec
tial election has drawn to a close. higher education, acting to ma
Amid high turnout and a tense mood lege affordable for all Ame
in contested states, the new execu- The nation's quality of life de
tive seems to have received a major on it.
mandate. Now, more than any other In order to remain credible
time in recent history, the pressure eyes of his electorate, Bush n
of the election will follow Bush into guarantee full transparency a
the White House when he inevitably closure concerning issues ofna
wins. Indeed, the heat will intensify concern. The days of secrete
as he re-affirms his responsibilities. task forces and closed-door m
In order to successfully live up to his with handpicked lawmakers
mandate, Bush must face up to the end. Concurrently, Bush shoul
failures of the past four years and to dismantle the curtailment of
rebuild consensus and credibility at cy rights enacted by the USAF
home and abroad. Act. The fundamental freedo
Before anything else, the president the American community - f
must reward voters for their unprec- zens and resident immigrants
edented turnout by fighting with full - are at stake.
earnestness to guarantee that all votes Speaking of fundamental
are fairly and competently counted. doms, Bush faces the treme
The triumph of the 2004 election responsibility of protecting
should be the triumph of democratic rights of two major sectorsc
suffrage. With dedicated steward- American population: wome
ship, it can be exactly that. the gay community. He mu
Following closely with this respon- affirm through direct actio
sibility is the need to restore consen- judicial appointments a wo
sus. During the past four years, the fundamental right to an ab
president, his administration and his He must also take a stand a
party have acted with impunity. They the rising tide of exclusionar
have done so at home by excluding icy against gay marriage and
Democrats from important politi- unions.
cal debates and refusing to admit Along these lines, and forn
errors spanning a wide gamut bridge between the natio
from budget deficits the international
to intelligence. munity, is th
They have for intell
one so x reform
interna- Bec
tionally intel
by refuse .gence
ing to prop- ture ha
erly negotiate sufficiently

cost of
ke col-
in the
eeds to
nd dis-
d move
ims of
or citi-
s alike
g the
of the
n and
ist re-
n and
y pol-
d civil
ruing a
n and
e need

What a long, strange presidential
race it's been. Howard Dean's pop-
ularity and President Bush's "Top
Gun" photo-op are faint memories.
But now that the votes have been
cast, it's time for the Daily's edito-
rial board to reflect on the past
campaign season.

Beyond the bitterness, the par-
tisan squabbling and the vicious
political attacks, the presidential
election of 2004 will be remem-
bered as one that made people care
about politics again. Both parties
registered a record number of new
voters, often from the ranks of
young people and minorities, two
groups with a politically apathetic
Maybe it was because people
just saw more at stake than usual.
Embodying such wildly differ-
ent ideologies, the two candidates
had opposing stands on just about
everything from how to fight the
war on terrorism to how to improve
America's schools.
Maybe the bitterness lay in the
personal nature of the election and
its issues. Having a son or daugh-
ter in the military, losing a job
or knowing someone who is gay,
among a plethora of other topics,
can help the politics to really hit
For whatever the reasons, this was
an election that split families down
the middle, and pitted father against
son, generation against generation. It
was as though an entirely new culture
was created. Terms that had once been
reserved to the most political among
us, like "Gallup," became household
buzzwords, while elephants and don-
keys were emblematic of much more
than safari or petting zoo attractions.
-Mara Gav

out-of-state students they were ineli-
gible to vote in Ann Arbor, and some
Detroit residents received letters on
their doors telling them, incorrectly,
that their polling location had been
changed. Empowerment v. Intimi-
dation. Reason v. Religion. The
Enlightenment v. The Dark Age. Left
v. Right. Dare I say, Kerry v. Bush?
-- Sara Eber
Prior to this election, I had the
naive notion that mudslinging was a
sacred ritual that would only make
its comeback if there were a third
installment of Woodstock. I guess
we were all treated with an early
Christmas present this election with
both Democrats and Republicans
resorting to unprecedented lows
with distasteful attacks and utterly
ridiculous endorsements. Holly-
wood celebrities and the Swift boat
veterans should be admonished for
their incessant attempts to spin the
facts to convince undecided, impres-
sionable minds to vote their way.
The celebrities whose faces grace
our movies suddenly found a way
into our television sets as a part of a
slew of Kerry endorsements. A per-
sonal favorite of mine was Rebecca
Romain-Stamos's picking up a mid-
dle-aged man in the mid- die
of the des- ert and
convinc- ing
him to vote N

utilized entertainment programs
as well as celebrity supporters in
order to connect with the college-
aged voting demographic through
their most favored source for news.
During his campaign, Kerry has
made appearances on "The Daily
Show with John Stewart" and
"The Tonight Show" and has spo-
ken with MTVNews on five sepa-
rate occasions. In addition, Kerry
received celebrity endorsements
and included a few, Bruce Spring-
steen for example, in his campaign
to further appeal to young voters.
Kerry's concentration on the enter-
tainment media outlet has proven
his care for Americans of the young
demographic and has subsequent-
ly resulted in a voter registration
surge among such youth.
-Katherine Cantor
Remember Howard Dean? What a
remarkable story his campaign was until
falling apart in the Iowa caucuses. Dean
represented "the Democratic wing of
the Democratic Party" and by doing so
dragged most of his opponents farther
and farther to the left as they sought votes
from Democrats around the country. First,
by making Sen. John Kerry break federal
spending caps, then by moving him to the
left in order to gain votes, much ofthe Dean
campaign lived on in Kerry's campaign for
the presidency. This resulted in some of the
instances of Kerry's "flip flopping," which
may have cost him the general election as
more Americans believe Kerry says what
people want to hear. With his Iowa scream,
Dean handed Kerry the nomination, but he
also gave him some ideals and positions
that Kerry has never seemed to be quite
comfortable with.
- David Russell

gay marriage and womens' rights
are being halted for religious rea-
sons. America can do better, had the
chance to do better, and gave it up
in last night's election. This time,
there was no discrepancy. It was
clear on the map that Kerry's small
blue states would not be enough to
win him the election - America
wanted George Bush.
Perhaps more disturbing is that
nothing changed in the amount of
young voters who went to the polls.
Contrary to the prediction that the
18-24 age range could sway the
election due to mass turnout, once
again our age group failed to step
up to the plate. Exactly the same as
in 2000, young voters made up just
17 percent of the vote.
The Democrats put up a good
fight, but it was not enough to over-
come the fear of change that per-
vades this country. Here's to four
more years of war, a struggling
economy, and waiting with bated
breath to see if our rights will be
taken. Here is to four more years of
George W. Bush.
--Whitney Dibo
I wasn't at all surprised when the
GOP decided that it would single out
homosexuals for political oppression
and abuse; in recent years, the Repub-
lican party has often fallen back on
demonizing whole groups of Ameri-
cans in order to stabilize its religious
base. What is truly shocking, how-
ever, are the millions of fiscal conser-
vatives that pulled the lever for Bush
and others in spite of this nationwide
campaign of hate.
If being fiscally conservative
means voting economically con-
servative and socially progres-
sive, those of you who voted for
Bush have a lot of explaining to
di Millin of clf nn

s not

with our allies and
withdrawing from major trea-
ties. Bush, must work immediately to
heal the rifts caused by the past four
years of his bad policy decisions.
He must invite both allies and dis-
senters to the bargaining table to
realize policy in a sensible and cred-
ible manner. Now more than ever, our
leadership - and the nation - can-
not afford to act alone.
Unfortunately, Bush faces a world
of trouble, the legacy of his first term.
He faces the double-headed dragon
of domestic and international cri-
ses. He must act quickly to address
the failures and neglect of the past
four years in order to guarantee the
safety and prosperity of the nation
and the world. This means dramati-
cally reversing and revising policy in
a variety of areas.
Domestically, Bush must act
immediately to stabilize the bud-
get and reduce the nation's stagger-
ing deficits. This means permitting
bipartisan cooperation concerning
taxation and spending policy. It also
means Bush must reassess the tax
code and reverse the tax cuts for the
wealthy. Fiscal competence is funda-
mental to guarantee the solvency of
the economy, and once again, Bush
must restore it after four years of
destroying it.
Bush must work simultaneously
on a variety of other issues facing the
nation. He must admit that the price
of private healthcare is jeopardizing
the health of the economy and avert
the impending crisis caused by the
inefficiency of the present system. He
must do so with the most powerful

tected us, Bush must
act deliberately yet decisively,
with the full consent of Congress, to
restructure the intelligence system in
order to guarantee its effective func-
Bush has not only inherited a
nation in trouble - he has inherited
a world in crisis. The most pressing
policy front, and the principal failure
of the past four years of foreign pol-
icy, has been the war in Iraq. Bush
has no choice but to work tirelessly
toward a multinational commitment
to keeping the peace there. At stake
is the future of stability of the Middle
East - and the global community
- as whole.
Bound up in the need for interna-
tional stability is the importance of
re-affirming the strength of Ameri-
ca's alliances. Bush must reverse the
country's drift away its European
allies and elsewhere and resume rea-
sonable diplomatic discourse. Along
these lines, he must also reverse the
precedent of the past four years of
national withdrawal from interna-
tional treaties. He must work to con-
tain global nuclear proliferation. He
must act on the principle that Ameri-
can interests are interdependent with
global interests.
Domestically and internation-
ally, Bush has inherited tremendous
responsibilities. He must rise to the
challenge and act wisely. Americans
have turned out in high numbers to
decide their leadership, and Bush
must live up to this mandate. The
prosperity and safety of the nation
- and indeed the world - depend
on it.

Sy w
Kerry ...
This election has occupied
ny mind daily for the past
ear, and all I can consistently
lo is give some shrug-exasper-
ted hand gesture-jaw dropped-
notion. What is left to say? This


uo. ivnons of seu pro-
fessed fiscal conserva-
tives pulled the lever for
... Bush yesterday, despite an
economic agenda that is
hardly conservative, and a
social agenda that is laced
with intolerance.
I suspect that it was this issue,
gay marriage, that really helped
carry the day for Bush. Certainly
the war played
huge part, but I think we


is the biggest election in history?
We've seen the ads for months - the
Swift boats, the Wolves, the Ameri-
can flags and smiling babies - and
if the ads weren't enough, the debate
and news coverage on the ads. Yet
these campaigns, though glossy and
glorious, missed how utterly dire and
direction-changing the results of this
election will be. There are no words
to express this. The election brought
out the best and worst in our country.
More people participated in the dem-
ocratic process - thousands of new
registered voters - and "November
2" was burned on people's brains for
weeks. Yet yesterday, we also wit-
nessed disgusting incidents of voter
intimidation: people still tried to tell

ridiculous. But then who could forget
veterans who weren't even on Ker-
ry's Swift boat that tried to convince
us Kerry was a disgraced soldier?
Hopefully politics will regain some
ethics before we see the Libertarians
or Greens getting into the mix.
- Dan Skowronski
Certain factors that have never
been prevalent in past elections have
proved integral in this year's pres-
idential campaign. Sen. John Kerry

So much has changed in this
country, but nothing changed in
the way Americans voted. Despite
a new war, controversial social
issues, and pressing economic
problems - this country seems to
have opted for the same decision as
2000: George W. Bush. How did we
let this happen? Shouldn't the state
of the country be enough to insti-
gate a change in government? The
economy is struggling, 1,121 troops
have died in Iraq, and progressive
ideas regarding science research,

all underestimated just how pow-
erful hatred is as a political tool
and just how much America hates
homosexuals. I know I certainly
did. I also know that as the polls
came rolling in - as Michigan and
several other states voted to ban gay
marriage, as the GOP increased its
stranglehold on the U.S. Senate and
as the Kerry campaign died some-
where in rural Ohio - that I have
never felt this hopeless in America.
Maybe I'm just tired. Maybe this is
just sour grapes. But ultimately, I
think America, and in particular
the red states, have an awful lot of
growing up to do.
- Daniel Adams

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