A Dark Day For Liberals Across America, But This One’s Keeping His Chin Up

Devastation, disbelief, alienation, anger and frustration are among this liberal’s emotions after watching Tuesday’s election returns. I fear what this president will do to our country with a wide conservative mandate. I fear that this nation will be turned into a Bible thumping, survival-of-the-fittest country we were in the late nineteenth-century. However, I’ve not lost hope. Here are a few reasons why we liberals should exhale and realize that a second Bush Administration will not bring about the apocalypse. While this is a different stance from my position a few weeks ago, it’s beneficial to look at the bright side, not the bleak side of the next four years. The Power of the Minority. In the United States, minority parties have significant strength in our government. Though the Republicans have 55 Senators, many controversial matters, including the confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice, require a supermajority of 60 Senators to avoid filibustering. When (yes, when) a Justice retires or dies in this Bush term, a massive political war will erupt. President Bush claims his model judge is ultra-conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. If Bush nominates a Scalia-type judge to fill the vacancy of liberal John Paul Stevens or moderate Sandra Day O’Connor, you can bet on a Democratic filibuster. After all, Roe v. Wade, the court case upholding a woman’s legal right to abortion was upheld by just one vote in 1992’s Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The Democratic minority in the Senate will fight for a woman’s right to a safe and legal abortion, despite the conservative mandate in this election. The Will of the People. America is not as conservative as these right-wingers say. A majority of us believe in legal abortions. In fact, 79 percent of Americans believe abortion should be legal in all or some circumstances. More than half of Americans believe that the Iraq War was a mistake. A majority of Americans want a clean environment. This is all good news for liberals. Will Republicans govern with these things in mind? Will they think of all Americans before they nominate a right wing extremist judge? I sure hope so. 2 More Years. The Democrats need to clean house. Terry McAuliffe, Democratic National Committee Chairman, should be fired. Bob Strum and Mary Beth Cahill, Kerry’s top advisors, should never be allowed to run a political operation ever again. The congressional midterm elections in 2006 will present the next chance for Democrats to regain control of government. If they intend to do that, the party needs to refine its message and cannot be afraid to distinguish themselves from President Bush. After all, this Republican regime is an extremely conservative one, much more so than Ronald Reagan’s coalition in the 1980s. Democrats need to stop trying to act like Republicans and start adopting an agenda of their own. These days, the Democratic Party simply reacts to what’s done by the opposition, and that has to change. A total revamping of the party is necessary if the Democrats want to win because lately, all this party seems to do is lose. Political power swings like a pendulum and right now, we’re in the midst of a Republican swing. President Bush was given a second chance and he should be very grateful. John Kerry squandered a huge opportunity to change government and he let down millions of fellow Democrats all over the United States. Democrats need to look in the mirror and ask: “What kind of party to we want to be?” I’d hope they want to be a party that wins elections once again. Hopefully, in the next four years, the Democratic Party can revamp itself and regain the winning attitude of the Clinton years. Though devastated, this young liberal hasn’t lost hope.