As Election Week ends, Republicans are celebratory and Democrats
are stunned or more.
Tuesday evening I had a conversation with the conductor on
my train from Hudson to New York. He was definitely a Democrat;
a white middle aged man with a couple of kids who said that
when he went to school hed always asked himself: why
didnt more people leave Germany when Hitler came to
power? Now he understood. In his mind, he should be leaving
the U.S. but how could he: it was his home. Its not
so easy to leave home.
His sentiments may be extreme but are ones that were echoed
the following morning by several friends. One set discussed
Rome as a refuge point. From Tokyo came e-mail from an ex-pat
who described the shock in their community and their fears
for the future. While American policy has been widely disliked,
individual Americans have not. Now they are afraid they will
be both shunned and vilified.
Also, they are afraid that the deficit will collapse the dollar
with horrible ramifications.
Most of those I know who supported Kerry have articulated
fear to me. The people I know who are Democrat are afraid
they are now living in a country they do not understand nor
where they are wanted.
The gulf between liberal and conservative is more profound
than it has been.
We have become, I suspect, a bit more like England in the
years before Tony Blair. England had changed; Labour had not.
Blair bridged that gulf by moving the Labour movement closer
to the vast psychological changes that the UK had embraced
Its not something the Democratic Party has done successfully,
except under Clinton, who brought the Democrats into the mainstream
during his time. Like Blair, it was by the force of his personality.
United mostly by hatred for Bush, the Democrats now have to
find other planks to put in their platform and they are going
to have to have that platform become more sensitive to the
conservatism of the country as Blair had to do with
his party when he took control back from the Tories.
There is a huge shift that has happened in this country, toward
conservatism that has not been understood, embraced and used
by the Democratic Party. They might want to look to Blair
for some inspiration.
Speaking of Blair, Im sure he is breathing easier with
Bush re-elected. It shores up his position and enhances his
already good chances of surviving the British engagement in
In Russia, Putin must be pleased. A conservative
in Russia is balanced by a conservative in Washington, united
by their common foe of terrorism.
Im sure that across the EU there is a degree of stunned
disbelief. I think they would have preferred Kerry to Bush
but now must live with Bush and an America that has, at least
to them, declared itself THE Imperial Power of the time. It
cant be a happy thought in Brussels.
The majority of Americans have spoken; a clear majority has
given Bush a second term. No need for the Supreme Court this
time round, which is healthy for the country, no matter who
The solid BLUE states, which include New York and California,
somehow feel as if they are part of a different country than
the RED states. [There have already been maps
sent out that have joined the BLUE states with Canada into
a thing called New Canada.]
I do know television executives who have started looking for
jobs abroad. It will be interesting to report back if they
actually go that route. More than one television exec I know
has perused varietycareers.com to see what opportunities lay
abroad. [What! Nothing in Australia?]
But what is real and true is that we must heal as a nation.
The Democrats must bridge the gap between them and the rest
of the country, find a way to address the new American conservative
reality and Republicans must remember that they have a solid
majority but not an overwhelming mandate and both must reach
for a middle.