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Letter from New York
Mathew Tombers is the President of Intermat, Inc., a consulting practice that specializes in the intersection of media, technology and marketing. For two years, he produced the Emmys on the Web and supervised web related activities for the Academy, including for the 50th Anniversary year of the Emmy Awards. In addition to its consulting engagements, Intermat recently sold METEOR’S TALE, an unpublished novel by Michael O’Rourke, to Animal Planet for development as a television movie. Visit his web site at


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 he’d always asked himself: why didn’t 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. It’s 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 under Thatcherism.

It’s 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, I’m 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 Iraq.

In Russia, Putin must be pleased. A “conservative” in Russia is balanced by a conservative in Washington, united by their common foe of terrorism.

I’m 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 can’t 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 had won.

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 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.