No More Mr. Nice Guy
The most worrying outcome of the 2004 presidential election is it means that we can no longer pretend that Americans are our friends.
Four the past four years, the excesses of the Bush administration have always been accompanied by vocal protests from the liberal segments of America. Believing (and still believing) that George W Bush stole the election and lost the popular vote in 2000, it was easy to regard American foreign policy as the irresponsible actions of a renegade president, acting in opposition to the wishes of the majority of US citizens.
We can no longer cling to this comfortable illusion. Regardless of shenanigans in Ohio and continuing odd results in Florida, Bush won the popular vote across the nation by more than four million votes. You have to believe that nobody could falsify that many votes. Therefore, the only conclusion is that Bush's agenda and his actions have been validated: America, for better or worse, supports this president.
Of course, it may be that Americans themselves are deluded. As has already been pointed out, a majority of Bush supporters believe things about the world that are objectively untrue, such as whether WMDs were found in Iraq and whether Saddam had anything to do with 9/11. The answer to both questions is no, but 63% and 56% of Bush supporters, respectively, believe the opposite. So perhaps the problem is that the majority of Americans do not understand what it is they were supporting.
The other possibility is that they have been forced into supporting more than they do. There's evidence that the high turnout (10m more voters than 2000, more voters than any previous election) may have been formed not of the mobilized youth vote that Democrats were hoping for, but conservative Christians voting against gay marriage and abortion. These people may not support Bush's foreign policy, or, more likely, may not care, since conservatives are not known for caring about anything outside of the US. However, they did care about gay marriage, and despite Kerry desperately attempting to tip-toe around the issue so as not to offend social conservatives, gay marriage may have been a deciding factor. And the shenanigans in Massachussetts and especially the circus in San Francisco may have added further fuel to that fire.
But the reason for Bush's victory is not relevant. America has chosen to support him, by a majority that is more than just statistical noise. Whether or not they support all his policies, whether or not they support him for the right reasons, they support him. He is no longer the renegade president, and now his actions will truly represent America, not just his administration.
The Bush administration is no friend of mine. I do not support their actions on the economy, the environment, gay marriage or abortion. I am apalled by Abu Ghraib, disgusted by Guantanamo, and worried about Iraq. America has come out in support of the man who took those positions, the man who decided that despite Abu Ghraib, Rumsfeld is doing "a superb job". The American public decided to support these positions, and so I can no longer assume that the people of America are my friends.
Yes, there are 50 million Kerry-voting exceptions. But they are in the minority, a fact proven as decisively as possible by the results of November 2nd. Thus, when I meet an American, the likelihood is that they support President Bush. This doesn't mean that I need to start treating individual Americans differently when I meet them -- at least, not until they reveal themselves to be Bush supporters -- but it does necessitate a change in the way America itself is treated.
This is a profound change to the way other nations must relate to America. Yes, there are nice people in America, but America is no longer the "nice nation ruled by an idiot". It is Green Day's idiot America, with a contingent of nice people desperately trying to enact change. We cannot wait for them to succeed any longer. Their nation is doing what it is doing because the majority approve of it, not because the wrong people are in control. They are now a nation to fear, not to pity. When their actions go astray, we must no longer complain, and hope they come to their senses when Bush is gone. Bush is here to stay: now, we must oppose.
The Bush administration has been walking all over us, and the American nation has decided that they like where they stand as a result. It is time for the rest of the world to stand up, and push back.
Don't want to be an American idiot.
One nation controlled by the media.
Information age of hysteria.
It's going out to idiot America.