Pass the crow

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Excuse me if I sound like I’m choking…I’ve got a lot of crow and humble pie to eat and I’ve gotta say – it ain’t tastin’ so good.

I was shocked that President Bush was reelected because I really thought when folks got into the polling place they would realize that change was needed for the good of the nation. I was wrong. Folks decided that four more years of Bush is what the country needs.

Well, now you’ve got your wish.

Today is about trying to unite the nation, not further divide it, so I’m going to refrain from the terrible visions I’ve been experiencing since realizing late Tuesday night that Sen. Kerry had lost his bid to become our president.

For the sake of the nation in these trying times, the American people need to find some common ground to agree upon so that we can move forward. I was hoping that Kerry would win because I thought he would have a better chance of accomplishing that than Bush.

Instead, we now have a powerful president, unfettered by the need to win future elections, who has a firmer grasp on Congress and the support of the Supreme Court.

I hope that President Bush will use this power to heal the rifts that have so divided us and that he will spend the next four years making America a stronger nation, not just militarily, but also as a place that provides opportunities for all people to realize their potential and to achieve &uot;life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.&uot;

If he does, it will be a change from the way he governed his first four years.

During the 2000 presidential election, I didn’t have strong feelings either way as to who won because, frankly, I rated Bush and Gore about equal in most matters. To hear one speak was to hear what the other had to say: &uot;Six of one, a half-dozen of the other.&uot;

He didn’t do very much before Sept. 11, 2001 except vacation because even his own party didn’t pay him much mind. There was no mandate for his presidency because of the way the 2000 election went and because of the bickering from within the Republican Party.

Everything changed on 9/11. The country rallied behind the president as he led us into a new era. The world was united with us. Our declaration of war on al Quada was not disputed and our subsequent invasion of Afghanistan to destroy the terrorists and their sponsors was widely hailed as just. Not only did we have the moral support of most of the world’s people and nations, we had their support.

President Bush had as much power because of his initial response to 9/11 as FDR had after Pearl Harbor. FDR used his power wisely to strengthen and protect the nation and its allies. I wish Bush had done the same.

In the interest of harmonious relations with my fellow Americans, I’ll leave out everything after the period beginning sometime around July 2002.

Which brings us to the present. Bush wins the 2004 presidential election, the Republicans pick up seats in the Senate and House of Representatives, and the Democrats are in disarray.

With this mandate, Bush is even more powerful now than he has been since the immediate aftermath of 9/11. He can use this power to unite us or he can abuse that power and further divide us. It will be interesting to see what he does.

If he does a great job over the next four years, nobody will be happier than I. The election and all the weeks and months I’ve spent essentially bashing Bush was never about disliking the president or partisan politics. The reason I kept harping on the same tired theme week after week after week was because I was deeply concerned about this nation.

If we allow safety and security issues to trump individual freedom and liberty, the nation is in deep trouble. Once you ever give up a freedom or a right, it’s not likely to come back. The problem with government – something Republicans used to remind us of – is that it always seeks to amass more power so that it is assured of self-perpetuation.

One of the things that made this country so unique was that our government was partitioned so that it could not amass enough power to override our Constitutional freedoms. Because of this protection against too much governmental power, we were able to have a government that, when pushed from within, granted individuals more power to control their own lives and attain what they could.

I’m afraid we no longer have a partitioned government. One party, led by the president, now rules the land. That power can be used to strengthen our Constitution and expand freedom or it can be used to amass more power into the hands of government officials who may one day decide they should not be answerable to anyone, much less the rabble called Americans.

I wish President Bush the best over the next four years and hope he will be an enlightened leader who both keeps to the ideals the Founding Fathers held when they created the greatest nation in the history of the world and recalls all the things Jesus Christ actually says in the Bible.

If he doesn’t confuse what Christ says with what others in the Bible say or do, then we will have a great four years coming up and this nation will prosper and liberty will continue to dominate this great land.

Good luck on that, President Bush.