People worldwide have expressed opposition to Bush

By Hollie Russon Gilman

Traditionally conservative publications, namely the Economist, have spoken out against Bush. Libertarians and classical conservatives everywhere have raised alarm at Bush’s policies. Where I come from, dislike for the President is palpable. However, I am not just discussing the unelectable “Northeast.” Even “rational people” all across our country have raised dissent toward this administration. However, this dissent was not enough.

Why were the Democrats unable to prove that they are the party of the people? At a time when our country is experiencing deep economic suffering, the Democrats proposed sound ideas to restore fiscal responsibility and help the middle class. The Democrats addressed the key issues of our day: healthcare, social security, and education. All these issues were and are in great peril under the Bush administration. Thus, one must take a harsh and critical look at the nature of democracy in America today. We must ask: What are the limitations of our proverbial and immature democracy? Have we reached these limitations? If not, are we on the verge of reaching them?

For a while now I have tried not to believe the hype about a “polarized America.” I believed that Americans generally want the same things: to be safe, to have good job and to be healthy and happy. Most of the moderate positions on either side of the political specitrum allude to this. Yet when I saw such a large number of red states, I began to think twice. Maybe our country is as divided as the politicians would like us to believe. And if we are divided, we are divided over one thing—our morality. More so than ever, people voted with their hearts and their faith. They voted for whom they believed to be more representative of their morals. The implications of this voting trend are huge. How do you penetrate religious belief? How can the Democrats appeal to rural voters’ hearts and minds? The Democrats can perhaps appeal to the wallets, lungs, and skin of the voters, but not to their very essence.

In light of all this, are the Democrats still a viable party in America? Is the two-party system in America working to the advantage of the American people? Yes and no. During the next four years I believe the Democratic party as we know it will and must transform itself. It will channel the energy and success of 527s and rely more heavily on think tanks and getting out a clear, concise, morally charged image. Some think the party must move further left. Instead, I believe the party will become increasingly progressive, and, while doing so, will need to show that becoming increasingly progressive is the only way to maintain a constant and stable American life as we know it. Homosexuals will marry. Women will need abortions. The answer is to embrace this, stop being fearful, and learn new ways to construct social thought.

I believed John Kerry needed to be elected president because our country is on the verge of civil chaos, and we need a president who can be more moderate to unite us. I do not believe in the mixture of religion and state that President Bush has endorsed. The corruption of the later taints the purity of the former. I think our foreign policy is headed in a fundamentally wrong and dangerous direction. We have made America, Israel, and the Middle East less stable by invading Iraq. We have made Iraq a breeding ground for terrorists. Bush does not understand the fundamental element of foreign policy: diplomacy.

I’ll give George Bush one last chance. Do not reappoint Rumsfeld. Move Powell up in the administration. Bring in John McCain. Make your cabinet a paradigm of moderation, or, at least, not one of extremism. President Bush, you have one last chance. Please care more about the future of this country as a whole than about your base alone. Make us safer, not more scared.