Today is an important day for the U.S. Whether this will be written in global history as the beginning of the end of the U.S. empire, or a powerful defense of it, or something a bit less dramatic, only time will tell. I've never made any attempt to hide how I feel about this administration and its policies (I disagree with ALL of them), but the clarity I feel this morning about how the majority of nonpolitical Americans think is at some level "interesting".<br><br>I don't believe that Bush's supposed strong leadership on terror was the reason he won. I don't feel that fear from 9/11 or support of the Iraq war was what put him over the top either. What led to him receiving a majority vote was pure, conservative, domestic issues; chief among them is the anti-gay movement. Its astounding how strong the support is for modern-day prejudice in America. War, interaction with other nations, fiscal responsibility, all took second place among voters that are only half tuned-in to the world around them. Its in these points that the true nature of the United States lies. Maybe I'm way behind on realizing this, but its painfully obvious now.<br><br>Sure, I was shocked and sad last night. I felt all the things that I have been feeling over the past four years (e.g. America is LESS safe, civil liberties are trashed, science and truth are suppressed, etc.), but I feel a little differently, a little less emotional about it now. <br><br>We will reach the absolute depths of conservativism. The Bush administration will probably appoint 3, who knows, maybe 4 justices to the Supreme Court and other federal courts over the next few years. Roe vs. Wade and other similar issues can now be addressed by the religious right with more power than they could ever hope for. The most conservative administration in decades (ever?) now controls every single branch of the federal government. They control the majority of the 50 states. There is now, in principle, nothing barring them from almost any agenda they want.<br><br>I'm frightened by that, because I feel that it is wrong for this country, yet, pushing that emotion away, I see that we get to be the observers of a great conservative experiment in a country that has isolated itself, no less. Can this government fix the unique econo/social issues that are rapidly approaching (social security is beyond a nightmare)? Will this cause even further separation of the economic classes and the demise of the middle class, or is that really just a liberal conspiracy? Will the problems in the middle east be pacified or will it finally reach a point where every single American is personally affected? <br><br>What I really wonder about is this: If John Kerry, a middle of the road democrat, had slipped by with a tiny victory might that not have been worse in the long run for progressives? Are democrats just pedaling the ill-fated flying machine harder as they continue to fall? I am sure I am not the first to make this analogy, but the next four years could be the equivalent of hitting "rock bottom" for the liberal minded. Rock bottom, though, is both terrible and wonderful. It is the consequence of mistakes and the beginning of redemption at the same time. Its too early right now to really even organize my thoughts (as you can tell, no doubt), let alone think about an entirely new political movement... but once I arise out of my fetal position I think I will feel much stronger than I ever would have believed last night. <br><br>