Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

As Larry says, "It's over. Let it go." Jon is saying, "Don't complain - organize!" Although the previous post about the wacky voting system is interesting, it's unlikely that any sort of recount or technicality will change the fact that today, the people of the United States of America have voted for George Bush. It was close, but the Americans have chosen Bush. It's a sad day, but in a democracy, you get the politicians you deserve/vote for. This was their chance to change their leader and they have failed. For awhile, many of us thought that they had been conned into voting for Bush - that they didn't know he wanted to be a War President. Many people didn't equate the US policies with the people of America. We thought they had made a mistake. Now US policies = US Citizens. You Americans have my sympathies, but it's still your fault.


Well, as I always say in such situations, each country deserves the government they elected.

Wow, Joi, that's so nice of you to tar the entire country - including the 49% who voted for Kerry - with a single stroke.

I think the problem is that Bush had more support this time than in 2000. And this support come from the whole country... that's weird.

I think a lot of people really don't understand the two issues that seemed to me to decide this election. First, national security. Honestly I think the majority of the American public is against the war in Iraq and how it was handled but I think we also claerly beleived that Bush was the better president to have for national security reasons. Also, I think the other issue important to this election is that the Democratic leadership is too liberal for the majority of the American public. They really aren't in touch with the majority of Americans and what's important to us. Also, although considerable less important, I think the Osama bin Laden tape hurt Kerry. It's in the American nature to be rebellious. Especially with regard to someone so hated in this country. I think a lot of people who were on the fence probably voted for Bush because OBL told us not to.

I'm interested in exactly how the American People failed you. Because we didn't vote the way YOU wanted. Because we didn't vote the way Europe wanted us to vote. This is a democracy and it's made up of American citizens. We got the person we voted for, for the reasons that were important to us. Not based on what everyone else thought we should do. Seems to me that shoudl reaffirm that democracy works.

Besides, you only have 4 more years and then you'll get Hillary and anyone who doesn't like Bush has to be excited about that prospect

Your generalizations and assertions on America are disappointing.

That's a little harsh, Joi. There are over 50 million US citizens who did vote and not for Bush. Clearly, the majority has chosen a President AND a Congress who will continue to butcher foreign policy, rollback social progress, and do an incredible amount of damage to the economy because of their lack of fiscal responsibility. And as you say, we get who we voted for. But 50 million of us didn't vote for it.

For the rest of us, what are we supposed to do? How is this supposed to be fixed?

We don't know yet: in 2000 over 50% of votes went to Gore, yet Bush won because of the Electoral College system.

It may well turn out the same thing happens this time.

And a happy hikikomori to you too, good sir.

It's scary. A faith based president with no fiscal responsibility, no sense of the world, and no curiosity. Joi, I agree with you.

Divided States of America

Dont be quite so harsh, many good people tried to return the US to its ideals. You should also be careful what you say now if you plan on visiting the US, things could get very much more Orwellian there.

Looking at the election maps it is interesting to see how and where the divides lie. Metropolitan areas seemed to vote overwhelmingly Kerry (80%+ in some) while rural areas voted as a majority for Bush. I would suggest the North Eastern and West Coast States vote to secede from the Union and join Canada! Leave the rest of the States to descend into something like a "faith" based monarchy (Old Europe ?).

Your title suggests that half of the population was trying to redeem themselves, they are not, they dont care about you, me or the rest of the world outside their borders and they like it that they dominate us.

My thoughts go out to all those good people who worked to oust the administration, oh, and to the poor civilians of Iran, youre next I guess.

Remember whatever mistakes you make, however unbelievably incompetent you are, just remain condescending, aggressive and deny everything!

I think the Bin Laden video scared the crap out of alot of would-be Kerry voters. Those voters were left with a basic decision of who they felt safer with.

Ouch, that is really harsh as others have noted. It was close, but I guess myself and all other Americans evidently should be shot on sight now because Bush won by a slim majority. Oh darn, better luck next election Americans!

Come on Joi! As someone who voted for Kerry, I'm a little offended at you lumping all of America into the 'evil' column even though Bush won by only 4 million votes. I'm glad that Japan's government and other world leaders have gone on record stating they will continue to work with the US regardless of who it's leader is.

What? A vote for Bush is a vote for National Security? Democrats too liberal for America? We're a democracy? You are a victim of our lame news media, my friend. You must watch Fox News. First, you cannot fight a war of ideology with brutality. Plain and simple. You learn that in kindergarten. Did you go to kindergarten? Second, those Red states USED to be the most radical, liberal, pro-labor states in this country. But they get suckered everytime into thinking that the "moral" Republicans with their so-called "family values" will save them from the despair their bad judgement has wrought in the past. The poor suckers. Read, "What the Matter with Kansas." They keep voting Republican but Republican policies keep dismantling whatever hope they had left. Then, with no other options left, they join the military and get sent overseas.
Nice "values". We aren't and won't be a democracy until we have a better educated, better informed citizenry. The reason that the rest of the world knows that George W. Bush is an idiot, is because they do get real news. Switch over from Fox to BBC News sometime.

I didn't do it. This was the fear that I had going into this election; that the rest of the world would REALLY turn on us if we re-elected Bush. I know that almost half of the voters didn't vote for him, but most of the people I know, when confronted with this argument, didn't care AT ALL what people in other countries thought. Seeing as how throughout history it seems that Americans have always strived to be "the good guys" in the eyes of the world, I am disturbed by this new attitude.

will this affect some of your travel plans Joi? The way you feel about the US and it's citizens now?

I'm wondering just how much it's going to take to stop people like us from going there. It seems being treated like criminals when you enter the country hasn't been enough... Will this move us closer to the tipping point where going to the US just isn't worth the hassle?

I expected something less simple-minded from you. You let down the people of America.

Yes. It's a bit harsh, but this was the best chance that anti-Bush people had to try to convince the rest of America and convince the world that they didn't agree with Bush. Yes, almost half of America voted against Bush, but "the Americans" have failed to change the administration and the anti-Bush people were unable to swing the "undecided".

When I say failed "us", I mean myself and others who wish that Bush had not won the election and do not believe in the policies of the US these days.

Americans have just shot themselves in the ass. Psychopath idiot monkey boy will cause so much damage in the next four years it's scary.

While I don`t agree with Joi, I believe his feelings will be shared by many people around the world.

I rabidly refute that Americans have failed you, we have failed ourselves. We have failed to look at issue one beyond terror, and abortion. The concept of faith based anything and the need to fight terror is a ploy on fear and intimidation. Secularism is now a synonym with progressive, godless heathen. If you want to know the scariest places in the world to live right now as a non white Christian you can find them marked red on the 2004 election map!

Kerry Concedes :(

I worked my butt off for Kerry in this election. I don't think American voters are unique in making irrational choices based on anxiety and anger. This post is unworthy of the Joi Ito I thought I knew.

Joi, in that post it was unclear if you were speaking as a Japanese citizen. If so, would you be willing to apply the same standards to Japan? Your prime minister is one of Bush's strongest allies.

Amen, and woe to the republic.

Of course, in addition to keeping the Shrub around, we've also voted (in 11 states) to formally prohibit -- as John Stewart put it -- "Dudes looking at dudes." Gay marriage is officially illegal if 1/5 of the country. Hooray.

But just when I thought it couldn't get any stupider than that ... Alabama state residents overwhelmingly declined the opportunity to vote down an age-old statute in their state constitution that requires racial segregation in schools (though admittedly this is not enforced anymore).

Jesus H. Christ in a double-wide.

It's really sad. I rode the Boston subway into Copley plaza this morning and watched as they took down the Kerry stage where he was supposed to declare victory last night. This city is devastated, but at least we have the Red Sox - too bad for the rest of the Americans suffering in other blue states.

Where are decent free thinking americans going to go now? We've been hiding out in liberal safe zones like San Fran, NYC, Chicago, and Boston for so long, but now it seems like we need to escape this safe ecosystem. I'm trying to decide between leaving the U.S. altogether (which countries besides canada or aus/nz are open to us?) or moving to a swing state and motivating the mobs of Red Staters to wake up and smell the propaganda.

Hey. I didn't vote for him. The whole country seems to be swinging to the right. But look... here's what really happened last night. The yahoos and religious fundamentalists stood up to be counted. And then the normal people stood up to be counted. The yahoos came out in greater numbers.

This President is not out of the woods yet. He is still hated at home and abroad. He is still incompetent. The fires of hatred in the middle east have just been stoked even higher. Furthermore, the US west coast is very unlikely to close ranks behind Bush and thinking people in the US are very seriously beginning to wonder if our political destiny should be determined by those we do not respect or agree with.

You know what? Fuck you.

What should we have done? Move to a swing state to make our votes "count more"?

We're not all jerks.

Right on! Couldn't agree more.

Betsy, I'm sorry if I've offended you. I'm being intentionally abrasive in this post. For all of you who worked hard on the election, you have my sympathy. I'm just saying that you can't act like there are 2 Americas. America 1 was unable to swing America 2. Some worked hard. other didn't. In any event, you are siblings and have to take responsibility for the other half.

Boo. I'm speaking as a non-American who can't vote. Japanese politics suck. Japanese politics is worse than the US, but the impact that Japanese politics has on the rest of the world is minimal. As the world's Super-Duper Power you have to meet higher standards.

I'm just saying that you can't act like there are 2 Americas.

Come on, Joi. You're stealing a line from Bin Laden's next video tape. There can be 2 Americas. In fact, there are two Americas and you know it.

In any event, you are siblings and have to take responsibility for the other half.

Maybe that's how it works in Japan, I dunno. What are you saying, we're ALL ass-holes because the man some of us regard as a usurper won again?

The international community is very upset with the Bush win. If they want to undermine Bush and help prevent the nation's swing to the right, they must appeal to us, not call us ass-holes. If you brand us all as nutcase Bushists, the country is likely to swing even further to the right.

But there are 2 Americas. Have you seen zephoria's thoughts about Walmart America vs. Starbucks America? I wouldn't expect you to understand, as I imagine you don't spend a lot of time in rural areas when you visit the US. But there are most definately two sides to the US: urban and rural. Just look at the voting maps by county, like California for instance.

Let me add one more thing. Whenever Japan or the Japanese do something stupid, I feel bad and guilty. Like it or not, I'm part of the "Japanese". Like it or not, Americans are all Americans. I'm reacting, in part, to the notion that just because you voted for Kerry, that you are not responsible for the actions of your government and the results of your election.

I think people both inside and outside the US realize that there is a diversity of opinion among US citizens on the current leadership. Within the US we can benefit and act on this diversity by picking and choosing where we live and who we associate with and mobilizing to be heard. But for most of those on the outside, the face of the US is singular - led by the Bush white house - and does not reflect this internal diversity. As Joi says, it looks and acts like one America from the outside, though on the inside there are many Americas. This is a fundamental structural and perspectival difference between how those outside and inside US borders are effected by the US election. I think both perspectives deserve to be acknowledged.

Well, Joi, it seems to me that you're saying Americans are delinquent in their responsibility to do the right thing and that you are painfully disappointed in them. If that's the case, I agree with you wholeheartedly.

The Democratic Party is on its deathbed. It needs reforms, and it needs them now. Quite frankly, the status quo simply won't cut it anymore, so change *is* coming, Joi. Maybe you can help us with it. Stand with us in our darkest hour. :)

I shall seriously consider reading your blog in the future.

If you think it's harsh to hear these sentiments from Joi, get used to it. All of Europe (ahem, generalization) is saying the same thing. It is the common sentiment outside of the white picket fences.

Mimi, I agree. I acknowledge that there are two Americas. But as you say, from the outside there is just one. When I was in China, I found myself attacked by the Chinese about being Japanese. I found it disturbing, but I found myself apologizing for my fellow Japanese and understanding that I can't shake the fact that I AM a Japanese and a representative of the community. You identify with different communities at different times. Sometimes you have to take responsibility for the actions of your family members. Today Americans have to take responsibility for their fellow citizens.

As Mike says, maybe liberals should take a good look at whether the Democrats are representing them properly? Maybe the media should think about whether ripping apart leading candidates during the primaries is a good thing. I am reacting to a lot of the "Oh crap. They won. Pitty us people who voted for Kerry." You can ALWAYS do more. If one in 10 Kerry voters had convinced an undecided voter to vote for Kerry, Kerry would have won.

Anyway, maybe I should stop. I realize that this is not a simple matter, but after being told several times that I should stay out of US politics, I feel really let down. There was definitely a very loud "let us make up our own minds" tone to a lot of the comments. Now the Americans have and I'm disappointed.

I can't even tell you how disappointed and disgusted I am in my country right now. Canada is sounding better and better.

I don't think you should stop. We're all upset.

There are three Americas, not two.

25% of people voted for Kerry.

26% of people voted for Bush.

48% didn't vote. That means - half of the people don't just give a damn. If there's anything that disappoints me, it's the low turnout. Better than ever, yes, but still abysmally low for a civilized country.

(Numbers are guesstimates, but you get my point).

By the way, just so I'm clear. I'm mainly criticizing the people who are whining about Bush who weren't active during the campaigns.

Just wanted to add one more thing. I think that American theocracy mandated a Bush win. The churches across America don't really care about the war or the economy. When will Americans recognize the religious right for the vipers and hypocrites that they are?

Yes. And Janne points out. Those who had an opinion but didn't vote should feel double guilty.

FU - Tufts and U of Chicago? You took advantage of what his country has to offer and then move to Japan to criticize us? Mind you own business you POS. The people have spoken. What would Kerry done any different? A global test? The UN is corrupt ie; food for oil. We should thumb our noses at the rest of the world. Stay out of our politics!

I am almost as disappointed with the (I guessing..) American comments intimating that Joi should mind his own business, as with the apparent blindness to their choice of Leader. 'No man is an Island' and with the US Government (representing the People) making decisions on World as well as National security, simply telling non-Americans to 'butt-out' is selfish and short-sighted.

My sympathies if you were in the Minority that voted for Kerry, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to not rest until you have a socially and morally responsible President once more. Its the Brits turn to get rid of their Lap-Dog next....

As one of the non-voters (ouch, stop hitting me already) the two candidates that I was given to choose from looked nearly identical to me. I voted for Bush in 2000 based on a platform of staying out of foreign involvements, cutting taxes, and reducing federal programs. Obviously, this was nearly the opposite of what I got, except for a pitiful tax break. As I mentioned earlier, the only difference I could see between Bush and Kerry was the foreign view of them (Bush as evil and Kerry as unknown, therefore possibly good). So I think that the other 48% didn't have any viable options.

I am very disappointed this morning, as an American who voted the other way, and hoped for better.

... but my second thought is that democracy is after all, the tyranny of the majority. In this case a very slim majority either wants a war, or counts a war as secondary to other concerns.

Everyone outside that majority is a victim. I won't suffer as much as someone on the wrong end of a 1000 pound bomb, but I am NOT part of the tyranny.

Hold your horses, Joi. I didn't vote for that pig.

For the record, there's a lot of us in the US that are proud of our country (no matter how unfashionable it gets) and consider the result a great success.

There are some rational people out here that just don't buy into the left's characterization of the Bush administration.

As individuals, I don't blame any of you. But you ARE: "One nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all."

Fascinating to me how people have little faith in democracy. The idea of democracy is much larger than any one person no matter how much power that person might lead.

Liberals are so depressing and show no hope for the future. Kerry and the rest of the Dems had no vision of hope.

I could give a rats ass about countries that came together to support despots like Saddam Hussein. The UN and the Oil for Food program along with a lot of western europe is a great example of hands in the cookie jar while telling us not to do it.

And you guys have the nerve to talk about democracy despite supporting a brutal dictator who CLEARLY was supressing it?

Indeed a dark day for mankind.

I think it's quite apparent even to outsiders that there ARE two americas. The split in ideology was clear before the election to people who cared to read up on the state of affairs in the country and now, with the elections, there are numbers to prove it. However, I disagree with Joi's claim that one half of the country must take responsibility for the other half's choices. It's not a parent-child relationship wherein the parent can be held responsible for the child's actions. It's more like a twin-brother relationship in which each is diametrically opposite in beliefs. You CANNOT fault one for the actions of the other.

Neville: but you only have one seat at the UN, one ambassador to each nation and one commander in chief of the Armed Forces. The politicians are democratically elected officials representing you. You would be surprised how much it's NOT apparent to outsiders that there are two Americas. How many Japan's do you think there are? Or Chinas? I never get away with "Oh, you're talking about the OTHER Japan" when I travel in Asia. Again, apologies for making it sound like I'm blaming individuals. I'm not. I'm blaming "The American People" as a unit that sometimes MUST be accountable as a unit in certain situations.

joi, i too think you are being quite unfair.

i'd guess that the vast majority of your readership, like myself, is very much against bush. and i think it is also fair to assume that those of us whe are american readers have done quite a bit over the last 4 years to support kerry and fight bush in a variety of ways, so domo arigato for hitting us when we are down.

america strives to be a true democracy; how close we are to this goal is of course debatable, but allowing the winner of the popular vote to continue to rule is certainly part of that. the people have spoken. i'm as shocked and disgusted as you are, (if not more-- i have to live here) but it just isn't my fault.

Let me clarify at the outset that I'm not American :-).

I do agree with you - as a political entity, the US has but one face. It's a rather crudely quantized election process - an all or nothing game - which is the source of much international public opinion on the american people. It does seem a little unfair that the people who lost by 1% get no say.

But that's not my point. It's not the ambassadors or commanders-in-chief or the members of the UN who make decisions or form opinion by reading your blog. It is understandable that THEY see the US as a one-faced entity because they have to deal with the ruling party. It's important, however, that the PUBLIC of the world see things not in black and white but in whatever shades of grey we can manage. It's the public that reads your blog - and I don't think having a title like "the americans have failed us" is doing justice to that end.

I wonder how many knew, when I referred to "the tyranny of the majority" I was thinking of Thomas Jefferson and concerns of the founding fathers?

Come on, democracy may be the best thing available (and I think it is), but it does not live up to its best PR. No one with a passing knowledge of history should expect it to, or should believe it is infallible.

Read some DeTocqueville for goodness sakes! If you haven't got time for that, can you take a second to remember slavery?

BTW Joi, were the abolishists at fault?

Personally, I'm extremely disappointed with the election results. I'm far away from America but the results do affect everyone else. Joi might be a little harsh but I tend to agree. First thought that came to my mind was:" What's wrong with Americans??" Next was:" Does this mean there's gonna be another war coming?" Not sure about other people but there was an e-mail circulating around few years ago about how Republicans bring war to the world and I guess Bush ain't gonna be the one who stops the trend... My dad told me Saddam wasn't that horrible a leader but was portrayed by the American government as a despot so America can get to their oil. Not too sure if it's true but I'm quite inclined to believe that.

ScottG, 51 - Your resounding success looks more like a "catastrophic success", to me. A Kerry win would have calmed the the fires of hatred, but his loss will only make the winds of change blow harder. Bush, like Osama Bin Laden, is keeping the fires of hatred stoked.

As a Japanese living in Japan, I totally support Joi's opinion. From outside USA, it does look like "The American People" failed to stop Bush run USA for next 4 years. Even you like it or not, or if you voted for Kelly you can not change that because that's the way the rest of USA see it.

But Joi, saying this means we Japanese must stop Koizumi run Japan too. As Japanese living in Japan, I am really tired with watching Koizumi doing many irresponsible things and not admitting mistakes he or the government made.

To not be same as "The American People" let's do something to make "The Japanese People" not make the same mistake "The American People" made.

We didn't fail, we won... Instead of trying to figure out a way to subvert our Gov, our elected leaders, and our people, I think the rest of the world should look at ways we can all work together to solve the world's problems.

It doesn't make sense Joi. Why don't we look at what the people and nations of Europe are doing which makes the world a crappy place? Why not the focus on what the despots and terrorists in the mideast are doing and how that makes the world a crappy place? NO no, it must be the fault of the Americans, the country that has just liberated two nations in the past 4 years and has the most free culture in the world. The rest of the world is pissed because they've changed for the worse, following all this post-modern moral relativism, while we have largely stuck by our values -- values that have made us the greatest country on the face of the earth and which have inspired to fight for freedom the world over. you are welcome!

Scof, 64 - Please use intellectual honesty in your next argument. Then again, allegiance to intellectual honesty is what got Kerry in trouble in the first place. Hmmm....

I am ashamed to be an American today. My heart is broken. I spend the last few years trying to do my best to make up for all the things Bush and his cronies have done. I have tried to make up for the 1000 american lives, and the countless lives of the Arabs we justify murdering. I have tried to show people that if we want a society of life we have to stop killing the rest of the world. We claim that no one else can have weapons of mass destruction but we have killed more with them than any country. Today I wish I wasn't an american. Today I wish I was anything but an American. Today the blood of all the men and women who have died in these wars have spilled over on to the citizens. We decided it was our war. It was our War President. Today we have slain those soldiers, and those civilians. Today we have let the world down. Today, a part of my soul died. Today, another casualty was tallied. Good Luck America. May God have mercy on your soul.

explain please Mike. My point is: I'm tired of people thinking and blaming America first when it comes to the world's problems. America is, on net, responsible for preserving and fighting for much that is good in this world.

I was feeling unhappy and disheartened this morning by Kerry's defeat--I guess you find out who your friends are when you're down--the ones who kick you and urge their friends to join in are the absolute best because they're so morally pure.

It was nice reading your weblog, but of course we understand how you'll be quitting it. After all, you don't want to have to associate with Americans anymore -- now you can focus on the working with just the Japanese and the Europeans and the other countries who don't have problems with disassociation with their governments.

What's that? The Japanese government isn't you? Sorry, can't have it both ways.

Oh, and we understand how you'll be divesting from Six Apart because you don't to be associated with an American company. Because that means you'll have to deal with American people.

But it was nice knowing you Joi. Good luck in the heaven of your own creation.

To say that people 'failed to stop bush' doesn't really make sense. The people voted for the candidate they wanted, and he was Bush.

I've got to say, I think there are a lot of people on the line in this country, like me, who absolutely hate to try to make a choice between these candidates. I think the democrats failed to state a clear and convincing reason why people should vote for Kerry, tipping this horribly annoying decision in favor of Bush in the key states.

I am fiscally and morally conservative, though not particularly religious. I didn't want to vote for Bush because, although the republican platform calls for a limited federal government, support of individualism, personal responsibility, morality, and individual rights, fiscal restraint, and a strong defense, Bush only provided a strong offense, which may or may not be the same thing.

He lowered taxes, which I wanted, but didn't insist on cuts in all the other bloated socialized crap the federal government does, to compensate. He also doesn't make environmental protection a priority, which I think is only logical at this point.

But Kerry gets his support from blue-collar, union-affiliated people who want a bigger federal government, etc., etc. I cringe when I hear people talk at their convention, because I feel zero sympathy with all the whiners who make up the base of that party.

People on the line may have ended up voting for Bush because they are just not welcome in the throngs of chanting supporters of Michael Moore, et al. I can't stand that crap. I want conservatism, but I just think Bush is bad at politics and bad at being a real conservative.

I ended up voting for Kerry, but only by holding my nose and only as a punishment to Bush, in the hopes that the GOP would return to their proper principles... I still hope they might do that regardless...

Joi -

I think the reason people are reacting so strongly to your comment is that many of us have just realized that we are - profoundly - in the minority. After the 2000 election, those of us on the American left were able to console ourselves: we won the popular vote, the Supreme Court stole Florida from us, votes were supressed, and so on. If all the votes were counted - and if everyone had turned out to vote - we'd see that this country really is a liberal, open-minded, progressive sort of place.

Wrong. We got unprecedented turnout, and we lost. The people have spoken, and they're way more conservative than I am. Nothing demonstrated this to me more profoundly than the gay marriage bans - in the navy blue corner of my deep blue state where gay marriage is legal, it seems spiteful and barbarically retrogressive to prevent two people who love each other from getting married. But clearly that belief puts me in a depressingly small minority nationwide.

Your post gets under my skin because it implies that those of us on the far left should have just worked harder and we would have defeated Bush. I'm not sure that's true. Within my immediate circle of friends - diehard New England lefties - at least ten of us were more active in this election than in any past election. Here's the thing - none of us were in the least excited about Kerry. We took several big steps to the right to try to help push Bush out of office, signing up for a political platform that I, at least, had little common ground with.

If I follow your advice - "work harder and don't fail us again!" - I'm going to find myself supporting a party almost guaranteed to lurch further right. I predict that the 2008 democratic candidate will be pro-life and anti-gay. I'm going to have a very hard time supporting that person. What I'd like to do - and what I would do in a country that had a true multiparty democracy - is support a party closer to my own views. The electoral college system makes that a non-option in the US - Ross Perot, with 8% of the popular vote in 1996, got no electoral votes. And let's not even bring up Nader.

So what am I supposed to do, Joi? I'll be in Egypt and Jordan in two weeks. When I was last in Amman, men in coffee shops pulled me aside to say, "We love Americans, but we hate your president." I somehow doubt I'll encounter a point of view quite that nuanced now that the nation has given the President the mandate he previously lacked. As you point out, no one bothers to ask whether you're from the Japan that violated its own pacific principles to support the US invasion of Iraq, or from that "other Japan". Do I announce that I'm from the bluest of the blue states and that they shouldn't blame me?

Joi, your post hurts because I know it represents how much of the rest of the world feels and I just don't know what to do.

Mike b., 61 - Will see.

They hated us before the Bush administration. They hate us more during the Bush administration because we're destroying their ability to attack us. They'll hate us after Bush is gone.

The "winds of change" were supposed to be blowing with unprecedented strength this time. More people voted yesterday than ever before. The democrats assumed that most of the people that don't normally vote agree with them and they assumed wrong.

Another problem with the Democrat's strategy was that it's very hard to win an election only on hate for the opponent. Hillary Clinton's a senator because the New York republicans forgot that.

I didn't post to change anyone's mind. I know that those that hate Bush will continue to hate Bush no matter what I or anyone else says. Especially so soon after this election. You're entitled to your opinion as I am to mine.

Hopefully now that the election is over, we'll see less opinion stated as fact and less subjectivity stated as objectivity.

I only posted to point out that not all of us who support the Bush administration are hate mongering nuts.

David, 66 - well said.

Scof, 67 - America has caused more pain and suffering to the human race than Bin Laden, Hussein or any other purported "evildoer". You didn't liberate anything except your consience by blindly following what your pseudomedia tells you about the results of your actions.

People blame america first because it is responsible for much, MUCH more harm than good that has occured outside of its own borders. You'd do well to read up on American policy in Latin America, for example.

And contrary to what you might believe, "what is good in this world" and "what is good for American Interests" are very seldom the same thing.

In my opinion, the failure resulted from poor political judgements by Kerry and the leaders in Democratic Party. They should have focuced squarely on the most important problem of Bush, which is the war in Iraq. The majority of American have negative view on the war. The message was not clear and lacked intensity. Kerry should have challenged Bush much more cleary on the issue. For eaxmple, he could have said to American people " If you like what Bush did and is doing in Iraq, then vote for him. But, if you do not like what happened and is happening in Iraq, vote for me." Kerry failed to take advantage of Bush's biggest problem. Also, he failed to inspire average American.

Trevor, 70 -

It's difficult to say how much Michael Moore helped Kerry versus how much he hurt him. Still, I think that your post is a testament to fatal equivocation on the part of people who are intelligent and are in a position to bring about positive change.

Actually, this election was not about Republicans or Democrats. It wasn't really about the war. And it wasn't about about the economy.

This is the final step in the 20-year creeping coup by the theocrats, the Dominionists. In the House and the Senate, the theocrats made dramatic advances, far beyond the number of seats that switched parties. On the GOP side, they have replaced moderates with zealots, and have significantly strengthened the support for the main theocrat bills that will be reintroduced in the new Congress.

You can hear it in the media's codewords: this election did NOT turn on Iraq or the economy or security, it turned on "moral values", the politically correct code-word for theocratic values, i.e., placing one's religion above the laws of man. Polls show that "moral values" were the most common #1 concern among voters, and that among those who marked "moral values" as their primary concern, 80% voted for Bush. Every state that had a same-sex marriage ban up for decision voted the theocrat way.

America has failed no one. In fact, America has triumphed. You may not agree with our choice, but even if America had failed someone you would not be among them. Our political system is supposed to serve the needs of the majority of the American people. The two key words there are majority and American. Our political system worked wonderfully yesterday - not because I voted for Bush (I didn't) but because the will of the majority was done. America isn't perfect but it is a government of the people, for the people and by the people. Our country now faces the difficult challenge of finding common ground and establishing unity with one another. The beauty of America is that there will be no civil war, no coup d'etat. What there will be now is 280 million people figuring out how to fix the problems before us in a concilatory fashion. It is also arrogant to suggest 60 million Americans "got it wrong". These people voted with the hearts and their minds and did what they thought was the best for their country. In the face of such important issues as American homeland security, abortion, war and peace in the Middle East, and the American and global economy it is no easy thing to choose the better candidate between two flawed men. I don't see how you can be so sure you know what's best for America, the rest of the world, or even Japan.

Ethan - thank you. As I sit here shell shocked at what's just happened, and slightly irked by this post, I thank you for putting into words exactly how I'm feeling right now.

Reading the comments left in response to your post has saddened me. To hear an American say he is "ashamed of being an American today" makes my stomach turn. David 66, what does it mean to be an American? Does it mean that when you don't get your way in an election you practically disavow your allegiance? Will you renounce your citizenship since you are ashamed of being an American? If you go abroad will you tell people you're Canadian? Will your foresake the sacrifice so many men and women in uniform made so that all of us - you included - could vote for your candidate yesterday? Will you burn the flag? Of course, I'm not suggesting you will do any of these things. I'm merely illustrating how profound the words you chose to write really are. While my candidate lost the election, I'm glad to live in a place where I can speak freely and disagree with the government without having to worry about my family being tortured or a bullet being put into the back of my head. My family hails from Cuba where they fled a government that did exactly that. My father who has lived in America for 45 years has still not become a citizen. He pays taxes and works hard and genuinely cares about America, but he was born a Cuban and he will die a Cuban in exile. He cannot fathom renouncing his allegiance to his homeland or speaking ill of the place of his birth. He may despise its current form of government but 45 years in exile have taught him patience, and that the sun will continue to rise and set. He remains dedicated to the vision of a free Cuba and is an inspiration to me. He emobdies the best of what it means to be a true patriot. Rather than being ashamed of being an American perhaps you should dedicate yourself to making it a better place. Voting isn't the only way to do it. The world becomes better one person, one act at a time. Will you sow the seeds of hate today or of compassion, conciliation, and hope? We are not a nation of war mongers and bigots. We are a nation of optimistic people; we are human; we are flawed. The majority Americans voted for a man who makes them feel safe. They did not vote for him becuase they want to see death and suffering - they voted for him because they want the people of Iraq to enjoy the freedoms so many of us take for granted. Call them naive if you will, but I will call them optimists. We Americans don't want to harm anyone. We don't give a shit about oil. We want to see Iraq hold free elections just as the Afghans did - just as we did. We want to help them establish a democracy where all Iraqis can choose their leaders and hold them accountable. We all want this. We just disagree on how to do it and who can do it better. For those of you who are not Americans and may read this - don't hate us, work with us. Let's debate, let's philosophize, let's agree, let's disagree, but let's work hard at trying to solve our differences with respect, honesty, and let's hope those who really do hate freedom will never prevail.

OK, so I can be honest with you because this is just one little blog and the whole internet is full of blogs so I'm not going to be found out anytime soon.

I employed a simple yet devestating strategy in this election. I banged on about the moral values that Americans aspire to have. Valuing the life of an unborn American child over tens of thousands of children's lives over the world who die while we stand by, or worse, as a result of our actions. I banged on about marriage being a union between a man and a woman. I played the part of a straight-talking uncomplicated cowboy with little command over the spoken word. This worked well as most of my voters can empathize with this.

Finally, me and my boys, my pals from the PNAC (Google PNAC for some background), identified religion as the most important issue ahead of the economy and terrorism/security. Boy was this a good move (the numbers turned out right in the end). We're not particularly religious ourselves but it's important to play the part. Nothing like a chequered background come clean for a half-nation of half-wits to identify with.

Thank you America (well, just over half America), and God Bless.



PS. Special thanks to the Terminator. It's amazing what my PR boys have done with that man. He's come a long way since his brilliant acting career, itself a truly cultural experience.

Bah steve! At least you get to the heart of the criticism: y'all think America on net is bad for the world, and has been bad for the world. The majority of Americans hold the opposite viewpoint, as it should be. Your comments are astounding in their ignorance. Take two seconds to imagine how little freedom there would be, how much harder life would be, without America and the progress it has championed. No one is arguing perfection here, fighting communism was good, but propping up dicators to do so wasn't (hence why we are trying not to do that in Afghanistan & Iraq). So too were slavery & jim crow. But we've overcome some of our mistakes by sticking to our values and as a result we are still the greatest, free-est nation on the planet. The instinct to first blame, almost exclusively, your own culture shows an disheartening mix of despair & stubborness, not the open-minded self-criticism which it purports to be. but that's just my 2 cents...

The majority of Americans hold the opposite viewpoint

51 percent is not enough to keep you out of trouble.

It's a sad day for the world, maybe not for the US, but for the world definitely. Almost in all countries where people were asked who they would vote for, Kerry came first.

Now, I just try to imagine if the same would happen to Switzerland - 51% of SVP in the Bundesrat, Nationalrat and Ständerat. A real nightmare.

Already with 25% I have a real problem, so knowing that they would dominate politics...

So the first thought goes to all Americans who voted different - they really most feel terrible.

The next thought is - what's next. Right now the opposition is Islamic world vs. US(western world). What if China thinks the time has (already) come?

The presence of a sham democracy doesn't make this tyranny the fault of the people. Plus, most of your American readers are actually Californians, and people here pretty solidly voted for the *other* pro-war president, John Kerry.

The people of America have failed us today

The real failures such as they were, happened inside the Democratic party, in the months leading up to the week of July 26th, 2004.

The Republicans would have had to reach as far afield as Jesse Helms or Pat Buchanan to find a political candidate who was as far removed from Mainstream America (whatever that is) on the right as John Kerry is on the left. Had that nomination been made, nobody would have been surprised when they subsequently did not get elected; likewise, nobody should be surprised that John Kerry, when the chips were down, was rejected by The People as "not the right candidate".

Confident that blind hatred for Bush would carry the day, the Democrats nominated Kerry anyway, conveniently overlooking certain ignominious aspects of his service record, his Sentae voting record, and countless other little problems that came around to subsequently bite them.

I have plenty of disagreements with President Bush's policies (foreign and domestic) and wish he'd learn to say nuclear properly. I would have voted for Joe Lieberman. I would have probably voted for Clark. I might have even been tempted into voting for Howard Dean had he been able to remember to take his meds. John Kerry was just too much though. I set aside our differences, held my nose, and voted for Bush.

Perhaps the lesson that will be learned by the Democrats is that turning out at the primaries is IMPORTANT. Maybe there will be more centrist Democrats turning out at the primaries in 2008, and they'll manage to nominate someone who is electable. That means having broad appeal in Wal-Mart America as well as Starbucks America (Josh, I followed the link and I love the comparison).

By the way, my base of friends was about evenly split on Bush vs. Kerry, in many cases passionately so. That's how the vote went too: a little more than 50% for President Bush. A thought for those whose whose friend-base-politics varies widely from the way the vote came out and are consequently shocked that President Bush got re-elected: is is possible that you are guilty of a bit of parochialism and narrow-mindedness?

Here's a counter-intuitive idea.

McCain in 2008.

Hillary is the "heir-apparent", but she'll never make any headway in the red states. McCain can leverage conservative support, but he won't lead us down the road to hell by pandering the Jesus Jerks. Yes, he's Republican, but he seems to be our best hope for positive change via the laws of man.

On the grand scale of "sad days" I really don't think the free exercise of the vote by more than 114 million people really qualifies.

That 114 million number is why Kerry lost, by the way. All those hypothetical new and urban voters who usually don't vote, didn't vote this time. The rural conservatives did.

As for Americans having "failed" the rest of the world, it should be pretty clear by now that most of us--liberal and conservative--couldn't care less what the rest of the world thinks.

Mike B. writes:

Hillary is the "heir-apparent", but she'll never make any headway in the red states. McCain can leverage conservative support, but he won't lead us down the road to hell by pandering the Jesus Jerks. Yes, he's Republican, but he seems to be our best hope for positive change via the laws of man.

Good point. Here's the question though (in my opinion): if the Holy Rollers all decide to stay home or vote for a third party candidate, can he get enough traction in the Blue States to make up for the loss? The Religious Right is to the Republicans as Big Labor is to the Democrats - kind of annoying to have to deal with them, yet they are ignored at your peril.

Please speak for yourself, Katherine. Your implication that we are somehow noble by showing apathy to the international community in which we live, is very unwise.

One important reason to the anger of many of your readers is due to cultural difference. Although the eastern communality has moved towards individuality, the western individuality has moved further towards hyper-individuality. Feeling communal shame is not common in America.

The fact is that the American democracy is in a crisis, and has been for long now. It just gets worse with each iteration. Hence it's impossible to say that the election demonstrated much anything but the power of propaganda even today. Choosing between Kerry and W.Bush wasn't much of a choice even in the first place. The big conspiracy is hidden in the plain sight, framing the voters' choices to two parties, quenching opposition with lawsuits and using humongous amounts of cash in campaigns.

One quite common sentiment I've heard today quite unanimously from various Finns (our right wing is a lot left from the Democrats) is that the President of United States has far too much global power to justify his election by the American citizens only.

Of course, many European democracies are also in various crises as well, Italy being the most prominent example.

I'd like to finish with a quote from Senator Kerry's address after the campaign:

"But in an American election, there are no losers, because whether or not our candidates are successful, the next morning we all wake up as Americans. And that -- that is the greatest privilege and the most remarkable good fortune that can come to us on earth."

- Markus

Mike B. (85): It isn't a counter-intuitive idea. Plenty of people (probably including the man himself) have already noticed that McCain seems to be respected by both sides.

Hillary hasn't got a prayer. Too controversial, plus she showed what she thought of the red states by moving to New York, plus she'd be the first woman to lead a major party ticket.

The best hope for positive change is one precinct at a time. That's how the social conservatives got where they are, and that's how to displace them. Calling them "Jesus Jerks" is probably not the right tactic, though. Besides, Jesus was a pretty tolerant guy. I don't think He'd approve of what's being done in His name.

As one of the majority of (voting) U.S. citizens who supported President Bush in this election I'd just like to say, "You're welcome Joi, happy to disappoint you."

I do wish that the Democrats would bother to offer viable alternatives (policy and candidate) to the Republicans but as long as they continue their ever-leftward slippage that ain't gonna happen.

As for respecting the "opinion" of the rest of the world, well fuck that. Just look at our history and look at yours. We have the oldest stable free government in the world, while y'all (particularly the Europeans) have experimented with one disastrous ideology after another. And when the shit hit the fan and we couldn't ignore it any longer American blood and treasure has had to pay the cost of rescuing you from your murderous stupidity. The plain truth is that except for us (U.S.) the whole lot of you would be living under one or another species of real totalitarianism. So anything we "owe" the rest of the world has already been paid in spades.

I’ve studied enough history to know that nothing, no culture, no state, no ideology lasts forever – so no, there won’t be any 1000-year American Empire. But whatever is going to replace us hasn’t even been thought of yet and it certainly isn’t Islamofascism, Euro-socialism or U.N.-global-bureaucratism. Because the truth that really makes you resent us is that no one, no where has ever come up with a system that respects and enables the worth of the individual human being as well as ours does. (BTW, nothing could possibly make this clearer than your elitist contempt for the “stupid” Americans who dared to elect someone YOU don’t approve of – so just keep that up, OK?)

And until you do come up with something that ACTUALLY works better, and doesn’t just sound good in theory, as far as I (and I suspect most of my countrymen) am concerned you can just take a big dose of Shut The Fuck Up. Or not, we really don’t care.

I didn't say it was noble, Mike B. (88), just that it's the way things are. Most Americans are convinced they live in the greatest country on earth, and nothing foreigners say will change their minds. George Bush may be a bozo, but he's our bozo.

May I recommend the following which I think rings true for a lot people (even those on the other side):

"The question, as always, is how we fight it. First, we need to get real. I can't tell you how optimistic I was going into this election, though, looking back, there doesn't seem to have been a reason for quite such a sunny view. But I, like most of us, fell for the echo chamber. Daily Kos, MyDD, Steve Soto, Pandagon, and all the other blogs are run by good people with positive intentions, but if they're you're primary source for information, you're outlook is perverted by an overwhelming amount of good news and a general disdain for the factual accuracy of bad news. It perverts your perspective and, because the sample group is so totally different than most of America, it begins to twist your political predictions and assumptions of what works…"

God almighty, what a bunch of sore losers.

Look, you idiots need to realize two simple things: you aren't as smart as you think you are, and you aren't as normal as you think you are.

You're a fringe group with fringe attitudes and fringe values. America didn't become great by listening to you, and you will not guide this country in the future, near- or long-term.

America doesn't need to change, you do. And that "community" you think you're a part of? It's not "reality-based", it's delusional.

Re: "The people of America have failed us today"

Unfortunately, you have missed the point. It is exactly sentiments like the one above that motivated many Americans to vote for Bush. If you actually wanted the election to go your way, you needed to be a little nicer to the people doing the voting.

Dearest World,
I am sorry about the whole American election thing. I would like to point out that our nation is split and over 48% of American voters worked very hard to keep this from happening.

Dearest America,
I hope you are prepared to loose more of your sons and daughters to this “war on terrorism” because today you solidified its existence for the foreseeable future. I am not saying it would have ended with Bush gone, but the truth is the extremist psycho’s that carry out these attacks on us, love Bush because he is an extremist psycho. Bush’s mere presence as the leader of our country causes most moderate Muslims who like America around the world to quietly side with Muslim extremists. Bush is the wrong choice; we will all see that with history’s memory. However many of us who still defend this nation actively, with the US armed forces, will loose our lives in this “war” and history will forget us.

Four years from now if our Rome is still intact we are going to have to go through a period of recovery both economically (thanks to the ridiculous spending of your president) and will have work unimaginable odds to try and regain any status of legitimacy in the international community.

I grieve for those innocent Americans and others who will be killed in the coming four years based on our votes lack of vision and laziness.

I serve at the pleasure of my country but in this case I must say I serve at the pleasure of those in the country who only made up 48% at the polls.

91: Ed. If you don't care, why the lenghty post?

What I did want to mention was my surprise at the *low* turnout. 60 percent plus as a (near-)record participation is not very much.

I applaud Kerry's early concession of the election. This was a grand move that avoided the mess of 2000.

Let's see how much Bush's "reconciliation" is worth.

I agree Joi.

It's a sad day for americans, but it's even more sad for people who live under american rule without the ability to vote for change.

People might say that it's a fringe group, I disagree.
However, Kerry has flip flopped for the last time and anyone that comes to his rescue is grasping at straws. The rational thought process has failed the american people. Secular liberalism is on it's way out and the right wing is in. It's in so deep that America has only itself to lose.

American deserves what it gets at this point, a draft, a terrible economy, a fractured nation, ex-patriots. We get what we deserve. We have decided on morality and we have chosen Bush as the moral leader. It's a shame. We have failed the world.

I am so sorry from the bottom of my heart that I have failed the world, as every American has, for not getting a rational, thoughtful, effective person into office. America will be no safer, it will become less safe. The world will not be safer, it will become more dangerous.

I am so sorry, there is no excuse.

The good news is that Rome fell.
New Rome will fall as well.
I hope it goes with a peaceful vote out in 2008.

Until then just remember: God with us! All Hail New Rome!

48% of my country is depressed today

"Almost in all countries where people were asked who they would vote for, Kerry came first."

Perhaps they'll have better luck electing him than we did.

I've failed you Jol? By voting for President Bush, I've failed you? I'm so sorry.

How will I ever sleep at night knowing that some peon with a keyboard in Japan has been let down by my exercising of my moral responsibility to choose the best leadership for America? I hear the Europeans are mad too. Oh, God, how can I go on?

I'll just have to say that I'm so sorry that I chose not to allow a Eurocentric socialist to gain control of the US treasury. I'm sorry America will continue to look out for its own interests without regard to what you and the thugs in the UN think. I'm sorry the forces of terrorism and Islamofascism won't get a break to regather their strength. Most of all, I'm sorry that you and those like you won't feel justified to drift in an amoral haze because American finally stood up en masse for morality.

So, Jol, please accept my humble apology. I'm so sorry I've let you down. I must confess, however, that I'm a weak person. I'm almost sure that, despite my deeply felt contrition, I'll probably continue to do what's best for me and my country with little or no regard to what you think.

71- Ethan "the Japan that violated its own pacific principles to support the US invasion of Iraq"

You mean the "pacific principles" that the evil USA imposed on them after we stopped their reign of terror in Asia? Because before that the only thing "pacific" about them was the ocean they're located next to.

Dan Willis, 101 - Your coy post is counterproductive, rude, and unwise. If Joi is a "peon with a keyboard", what does that say about you?

Before you attack Joi, perhaps you should think about how do deal with the millions here in your own country that despise your attitude and your politics. I for one, am ready to fight your ilk until my dying day.

Ell - I'm certainly aware of the reason the Japanese constitution has a prohibition against aggresive military action. For some odd, inexplicable reason, I'm able to believe that the people of Japan today might be different than the people of pre-war Japan and that they might view this principle as part of their heritage rather than as something imposed by the US 60+ years ago. But what the hell do I know? I'm a pinko commie liberal Kerry voter.

Yes, I'm all for passionate discussion, but to go on the 'net and post a comment about how posting comments on the 'net means nothing is just foolish and mean. Now, I find it amazing that so many people think all hope is lost while others thank God that hope was retained. What the hell? Do we all really want such different things?

I feel that you are appealing to Americans based upon the "collective responsibility of individuals to the group", which is embedded in Japanese culture. Most Amercican will not get it.

To all those so exercised over Joi's comments: all I can say is sometimes the truth hurts. As someone who worked hard for a regime change myself, in the end, none of that matters. We, as a nation, have elected this man, and as a nation we must live with the result of democracy. All we can do now is use our democracy to continue to fight the good fight and not let this bad choice overcome us.

Ethan (104) - Spoken like a true liberal, dude! If the Japanese people today "view this principle as part of their heritage rather than as something imposed by the US 60+ years ago" it's most likely due to the way they've aggressively sanatized their history books to avoid any "collective guilt" over what they did to their neighbors.

That and having had the luxury of having the US taxpayers cover the cost of their defense for the past 60+ years. But hopefully they won't have to bear that burden much longer.

But I know what I know, I'm a hard-drinking, gun-loving libertarian Bush voter.

Ethan: Sort of off topic, but there is an interesting parallel. The Military took over Japan and it was the Military that ruled Japan during most of Japan's Imperialist reign. Naval officers in Japan assassinated the Prime Minister of Japan in 1932 and ended political control of the government until after the end of WWII. Many people in Japan were against the war and the surely did not elect the Military bureaucrats who ruled Japan. When the war ended, most people were quite relieved and happy that the Military part of our history was over. Most Japanese do not feel responsible for the war, mainly because they do not believe that it was a legitimate government who fought the war and that most people were not supportive of the war. In fact, young teenagers were sent to fight the war as human missiles and torpedoes. What many Japanese don't realize that to the Chinese it was the Japanese people who committed war crimes and hold each and every Japanese responsible for what happened in WWII. The current generation of Chinese hate the Japanese more than their parents did. The Japanese, myself included, need to realize that at some point, the people, the nation, will be held responsible for its actions.

I'm not saying that I like any of my American friends less or that as individuals anyone is bad, but feeling a sense of responsibility when, as a nation you were presented with a choice is something I wish everone in America would feel right now. Maybe Masat is right. Maybe I'm being too Japanese... but I think I'm probably echoing a feeling that many people have about America right now.

What the hell? I *LIVE* here, and I'm bitterly, bitterly disappointed in America.

We had the opportunity to make a good, intelligent choice. That I made that choice, doesn't excuse me, it doesn't allow me to throw up my hands and say, 'Whoa, it's not MY America!'

There is one America, and yesterday, the people failed themselves. They voted their fears instead of their hopes and their god instead of their mind. I voted the other way, I pushed, prodded, and worked to get out the vote the other way, but in the end, I failed, and I do believe that we as a country failed. We failed to live up to our hopes, held down by our fears. We failed to live up to our brains, held down by our religious ideology.

America failed itself just as much as a recovering alcoholic who goes into a bar and loses himself in a bottle has failed himself. Pretending that you're the better part of the brain, so YOU'RE not part of the failure is pure denial.

The real question, now, is (to continue the above analogy), do you go back tomorrow to the bar, or do you work to keep yourself out of it, trying to make it so you never go back again.

It's a pretty good analogy, really, because we're going to get a lot of disappointment like the original post here, because of our failure to keep sober. And we deserve it, and had best learn to live with it, and fix the behavior that brought us there.

..or we could live in denial, like many alcoholics, saying 'it's their problem, not mine!' about the people who are disappointed by our behavior.

We failed. It's time to grow up and try to learn from it.
-- Roger

What this election has shown is that awareness of current issues is terribly bad overall. The media have failed to teach the public what is going on. It's staggering to hear that many people still think Iraq has WMD or that Saddam had active ties with Al Qaeda. If you look closer, those that voted Kerry are generally those who actively follow the news. The rest stick with Fox News and are in fact deceived.

So, instead of mulling about what could have been, the result of this election should be taken as an initiative to try harder to raise public awareness about current issues.

Joi (109) Yes there is an “interesting parallel” but it’s just not the one you’re trying to suggest. The clue is contained in this observation, “The current generation of Chinese hate the Japanese more than their parents did.”

Now why would people you've never done any actual harm to hate you more than the ones who actually experienced the harm?

Could it have anything to do with resentment over the relative disparity they observe between their society and yours? Could it have anything to do with their government selling them on "victim" status to explain that disparity instead of owning up to the fact that it's due to the western ideas of liberal democracy and capitalism that we evil stupid Americans imposed on you?

Naw, it couldn't be anything like that!

Adriaan, 111 - I'm agnostic, but my mom is a hard-core Episcopalian (Protestant). To make her happy, I sometimes accompany her to her church's Sunday services. This year, I've gone four times (an all time record for me) because I wanted to hear what the Pastor had to say as the election began to heat up in mid-Summer.

Sure enough, he campaigned for Bush. By early October, his sermons became nothing more than GOTV rallies for the GOP. There's a cult of personality phenomenon that this pastor enjoys with his congregation and he took full advantage of it. In one "sermon" he seriously suggested that Kerry grew his hair as thick as he did in order to hide his Satanic horns! No joke. And this was in Marin county -- a very progressive part of the SF Bay Area. I can only imagine what went on inside the churches of the south!

Maybe it's not ignorance of the facts (as you suggest), but pure religious zeal that got Bush re-elected.

We Americans are very careful to point out that the current war on terrorism IS NOT a crusade, but I suspect that future historians will diagree.


I sense that you are trying to somewhat justfy the feelings of current Chinese people against Japanese people.
I believe similar feelings are the root causes of many current and potential future brutal conflicts in the world. Do you think we should continue to blame Germany for the Hitler's acts. These feelings are counter-productive for the world peace.

Thankyou Joi for this post. I agree completely with your sentiments. I am sad and the only thing that consoles me is the knowledge that myself and my family had the intelligence to vote for change.

I'll sign off this thread with this post. Changed my mind. Joi is absolutely correct -- America has failed big time. There were millions of voters that could have voted, but they didn't. There were millions of people who should have done their homework with regard to the elections and the issues, but they didn't. Ignorance of the system is no defense. Law imposes a duty on the part of the individual to know law and issues because law and issues are knowable. It's not fair to those of us who did our homework, but yep -- we deserve the four yours of BS that we're about to eat.

I've argued against Joi's post - especially the title - in previous comments (55, 58), but I'm beginning to come around to see what he means by a collective responsibility. As Americans, if you claim you owe allegiance to that country then you must bear the blame or take the credit for the actions of your country. There can be no selective allegiance, saying "I like this aspect of america, and THAT'S the america that I claim to be a part of." If your loyalty lies with your country (as it should), it *implies* that you cannot deny an association with its actions. Some people may be proud of that association and some may not. But to deny it is not an option to anyone who claims to be American.

On the flip side, it must be pointed out that although someone may consider himself partly responsible for his country's actions, it doesn't mean he should pay the price for it. Joi might feel this same "collective responsibility" for Japanese war crimes, but (and correct me if I'm wrong) I don't think he would appreciate being tried as a war criminal.

It is the acknowledgment of being a part of Japan or America or China or wherever it is you hail from, along with its history and its present political ideologies that makes you american or japanese or chinese. Denial is not an option.

I notice that the warmonger-on-the-street here in the USA tends to view the Arab world as a block, that can be despised for the actions of a few. I think that is really the answer to why Bush backers think Iraq had WMD and backed Bin Laden ... they're all Arabs.

Now it seems that we Americans can be grouped the same way. Bush won, so we are all now Bush supporters.

I guess it makes the world go round, but it is sad.

I think it is doubly-sad when Americans buy into it. We can maintain a civil society without a false uniformity. The strength of democracy is that it keeps running even with great differences in political belief.

The majority rules but change is always possible.


I'd love to just take your opinion with a grain of salt, but all I can personally really say to you after years of your commentary on US policy and politics is fish or cut bait. I'd offer you the following two choices:

  • become a US citizen and exercize your right to vote in US elections
  • kindly STFU about what is essentially none of your business

    US elections are just that, elections for US citizens to participate in. They are not world elections or EU or UN or any other thing at all. Everyone who lives in a free country can voice their opionion, but in this case, yours doesnt count.

  • You have lots of energy to devote to politics. I know you participate in international stuff, but I dont hear much any more about what you do here in Japan where your vote and voice count.

    I'm so happy to have read all the posts and have my turn to write. Let me first say that America is one of the greatest experiments in human history. Yesterday the people did speak, all the people, and despite what many have said about two America's there is in fact only one. Some of us have more money, some of us are more educated, some of us have grown-up surrounded by skyscrapers, some of us on farms... but we are all being shaped by this great American experience, and we should all live up to it by respecting each other and treating each other with civility.

    The reason why I believe we are one America is simple, we are a people that believes deeply in ideals in the possibility of our imaginations and determination. To some, ideals are driven by a faith in God. To others, ideals are driven by a belief in reason or science. This is where the Kerry campaign failed, it may be true that Iraq is a mess, but people want to believe that we are fighting for freedom. It may be reasonable to say that a woman should have the right to her own body. Yet people want to believe that life, all life is sacred. The problem with the Left is that we have not reached out into the heartland with our morality of imagination, of wishing, of equality and tolerance. I know that many of you worked hard to get Kerry elected and I congratulate you. I for one could have done more. I could have called more people in Ohio, reached out to inspire them about the 'morality' of the Left.

    Joi is right we failed ourselves as well as the rest of the world so long as we thought Kerry could be a better leader. I cannot say how Bush will govern in his second term, as our president he should govern for all. I pray that he has the wisdom and strength to wield the immense power he has... understanding that America can lead the world but not only through strength but through respect. I've been told that in the past when you traveled the world as an American you were treated with respect and kindness, for many reasons that is not the case today.

    I am well aware that the next big issue we will have to grapple with is Iran. The Neo-con’s have been very deliberate in having Iran surrounded with our military on either side of them. We all need to start thinking about this issue. The other big issue on the horizon is the make up of the Supreme Court.

    What the Right learned after the defeat of Goldwater in ’64 is that politics is not about election sprints. You have to wake-up every day and try and advance your agenda what ever it is. Aspire to touch people’s hearts and minds while thinking strategically. We need to continue to raise the level of education in this country, in order to have an informed electorate. Be sure of yourselves that the Right despite winning is also fighting for its soul. The fiscally conservative wing and the Neo-cons don’t really see eye to eye. Despite our tendency to want to simplify things into Left and Right, Good and Evil, Conservative and Liberal we are a complex set of people… we have a privilege and a responsibility to fight a good fight for what we believe is important… we have the power any of us to bring a majority together… everyday! As Bukminster Fuller once said, whether it will be oblivion or utopia it will be touch and go until the last minute.

    Neville 117: Thank you. That is exactly my point.

    Chris_B 119: I'm sorry, but I completely disagree with you about "become a US citizen or shut up." Your policies affect me and if you don't like it, don't listen to me.

    I am still fairly active in Japan, but there is just less to report these days since most of the stuff is now less about publicity and more about just hard work. The privacy stuff, the security stuff and the local government stuff is mostly just fighting for incremental changes against a sea of stupidity and corruption.

    My real focus right now on policy stuff is Creative Commons and ICANN. The success of these two organizations will change the nature of the architecture of the Internet and free speech and although they are based in the US, they listen and act globally and as a board member, I will have a vote.


    Please understand, I do appretiate and respect the work you do on here at home on privacy and getting people to vote, on the CC and wish you success with ICANN. After attending a presentation by the National Police Dept yesterday on "cyber terrorism and security" I know how much hard work you have ahead of you.

    I do stand by what I said though. I as part of the "we" of voting US citizens did not fail you becuase "we" are not accountable to you. When you become a voting US citizen, your opinion on US elections will mean something to me and to the rest of the US. Until then it is an that of an outsider with no stake in the system.

    Let me restate: I respect your work but think your position here is arrogant and I disagree with it.

    Greatest country on earth?

    Don't make me laugh.

    Among industrialised Western nations:

    • Largest proportion of homicides/capita (base factor of 5).
    • Largest proportion of population imprisoned (base factor of 5).
    • Worst health care system (most expensive, largest proportion of uninsured).
    • Worst education system.
    • Worst social security net for the unfortunate.
    • Most wasteful consumption patterns (energy).

    WMD - largest arsenal, most regularly used, including the only nation to ever unleash an atomic bomb on another.

    The United States is a disgusting vile land of self-righteous boors who care neither for world opinion or their fellow man. The hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have perished under first a decade long embargo, followed by the unjustified act of aggression of the latest war, mean nothing to the self-obsessed sots. 9/11, 9/11, they cry.

    To recap, 3,000 died in 9/11. Over twice that number of Iraqis perish monthly as a consequence of your invasion. Leaving aside questions of total population and proportion. The raw numbers are enough.

    Imagine THEIR grief, you fools. Imagine THEIR rage.

    As it stood, John F. Kerry is one of the few Americans that an external observer could admire. Courageous in combat, socially engaged his entire life, thoughtful, intelligent and informed.

    Only a second-rate people could prefer the clown who was recently given a second mandate to pursue mayhem and murder.

    F_ck you America. What goes around comes around.

    Your society is no model for the world, but an abyss which reflects all of which is most selfish and vicious in the world.

    Bravo Joi for coming out and confronting these bullies with the truth. And yes, Shelley many of us are in the process of divesting ourselves of our American commercial relationships. As a direct consequence of this administration's actions. So get out of the kitchen one of these days and take a look at what it really going on in Iraq. It's a war zone not a cooking show. And you and your government made it that way. Now you've voted to carry on with these policies. And yes, the world is astonished and disgusted. With both policy and people. Expect to be reviled. You've earned it.

    Chris. I'm probably more pro-US than the majority of the world. I've probably spent more time trying to help the US than the average American. I've NEVER turned down a request from US politicians or government officials to discuss issues or educate them in areas where I have expertise. You CAN NOT say I don't have a stake in the system. I've created wealth for Americans, brought American companies to Japan, paid a boatload of US tax, created jobs in America and defended the US in international and Japanese meetings. You may disagree with my politics, but I have committed a great deal of energy in trying to revive what I believe are the aspects of America that make it great. It's not just American's who will have to work hard over the next four years. All of Americas allies and people who have invested their lives forging ties with America are stakeholders.

    This is not meant to be patronizing, just a set of analogies.

    Alec, we expect to be reviled just as a parent expects to be reviled when he tells his child that it's time to go do his chores.

    We expect to be reviled just as a parent expects to be reviled by other parents when he picks up his fallen child, brushes him off, and tells him it's time to be tough, and tough boys don't cry.

    We expect to be reviled just as many people expect to be reviled by their old friends when they improve their station in life and are able to do things their old friends can't.

    We expect to be reviled just as a grandmother is reviled for not being more sensitive, for blurting out her opinion because she can't take the younger peoples' BS anymore.

    We expect to be reviled just as a young kid might be for pointing out that a neighbor is fat.

    But we sincerely hope that we won't be.

    We have vast, vast differences in philosophy. American philosophy is empowering, not disheartening. It's the can-do spirit. It's about doing what we have to do, when we think it's right, even if others disagree. That's what we think integrity is.

    My countrymen don't always make me proud, but my country's system, deep-rooted philosophy, and integrity does.

    While I disagree with the concept that we disapointed you Joi I do agree on one point you made in your original post. We are one America. Especially outside the US. I think we are also one America inside the US. That was clearly apparent on 9/11 but we are also a nation of widely varying viewpoints and I think that is one of the things that makes this country great. I'd like to apoligize for my fellow Americans who have lowered themselves to inslults and and profanity in either repsonse or support to your position. It saddens me when Americans can't allow other people to voice their opinion withouth resorting to such language.

    Alec - 123 Man, you sure have a lot of anger and you really should work on that it can't be healthy. But, you make some valid points.We do have a lot of problems here. The thing I like about this country though is that we are willing to work on it. Yeah, progress is slower than a lot of us would like and sometimes we do have some setbacks but with that said we make some pretty amazing progress. I mean we took a while to eliminate slavery but from there it only took us 140 years to go from that to having a First generation black american be one of the most powerful men in this county and he may be the most respected, not only here but abroad. We still have issues with instituionalized racism and some issues with violence I'll grant you but how long has the Protestant/Catholic battle been going on in Ireland. What's up with the recent rise of anti-semitism in France or the banning of Muslim headscarves in the same country. Talk about tolerant. What about slavery in Japan? When was that eradicated? What's the status of the decendants of those slave in Japan? Every nation on the Earth has problems. But I believe you have to take the good with the bad. If the good outways the bad you stay. If not, you go. In either case you always try to make it better and I think by and large that's what we are trying to do in America.

    What bothers me most about the tone of you original post Joi, and the tone of most of the comments is the "sky is falling" tone. It's not that you think Bush was a bad choice, I actually voted for Kerry. Although, that decision was strictly an anti-war statement. I'm against most of Kerry's policies but I am steadfastly against the war and have been since day one so I voted based strictly on that. But why the world is going to hell in a handbasket mentality. Here's the thing. There is still a lot of democrats in Congress and enough Republicans will probably split with the party on major issue to prevent anything truely radical. Also, there is the press, political watchdog groups, the American People to keep things from going totally haywire. It's not like this is some country where you have a ruler with absolute power.

    Like I said we make mistakes, but when we realize we do we work hard to correct them. In 4 years I have no doubt you'll see a democratic president (actually I've already predicted Hillary to win in 08) and maybe a swing in Congress as well and for a while we'll march forward a few steps on a more progressive liberal path.

    Maybe I've got too much of that American Optimism, I just think it's all going to work out.

    Joi, I agree with the comment that the post is not well-targeted at the psychology of the Americans you are trying to influence. I am assuming that you are trying to motivate those who tried to vote Bush out to work harder.

    Perhaps a sense of collective shame is motivating to someone from an Asian culture.

    For someone from American culture, the motivation works differently. Collective responsibility is a recipe for despair. If the election result means that even those who voted for Kerry and worked oppose Bush are equally responsible for John Ashcroft and Abu Ghraib, we might as well give up hope now. Leave or opt out.

    What motivates Americans is hope. Even if you fail, you get up and try again. I see that the election was close; that some key swing states were close; more young people could have voted but didn't; many voters are badly informed. There are things we can improve. Four more years of war and deficits are very scary, but it is not time to give up yet.

    Joi, are you trying to motivate us or encourage us to despair and leave?

    It’s interesting that many people who would otherwise claim to be not very nationalistic instantly adopt that mindset when they’re looking for people to blame.

    What if—just for kicks—we looked at the world situation with a different model instead, such as one more tied to economics? Those with more money and power and access being the ones who can affect change the easiest. Are you among that group? If so, you are failing us now.

    With many fewer degrees of separation, and all the leisure time in the world to devote to it, why the hell aren’t you changing the minds of Bush and the other moneyed elite that share your class on the world’s stage?

    Hitler, Mussolini, Hirohito, Mao, Stalin...were popular in their time as well. Just like Bode Gravel..."Find A Need And Fill It". The masses are not as intellectual as we would hope. But then again, why should they be? Daily life for most people is a struggle, not an intellectual exercise.
    P.S. Joi, what news on the earthquake situation in Japan, is there a relief organization you like that could use any donations? Oh,and please keep those puppie pictures coming :-D

    I just read through 128 posts and you know what?

    I don't know what's more depressing – that people chose George W. Bush for "moral values" or my fellow Americans here who can't engage in civil discourse. Stay out of "our" politics? Fuck you!

    Joi: I and I'm sure MOST others here, appreciate your comments and concern. I don't know if some of you knuckleheads know it, but we live in a very SMALL WORLD. Our policies directly affect (and often kill) people around the globe. AND, if our American schools weren't so inadequate, you'd know that OUR government has directly interfered with the politics of other countries NUMEROUS times.

    Part of our problem as Americans is our inability to see ourselves from outside.
    Shut up and listen sometime, maybe you'll learn something.
    And maybe this Empire will survive a bit longer.

    Still pissed,

    The Mayor

    Honestly, if you are going to make comments about the American political system it would help if you understood what all American children learn in 6th Grade history class.

    The US is NOT and has NEVER been a Democracy. We are a Constitutional Republic. This is a HUGE difference. Most Lefties have no idea what they means and you seem to not understand either.

    - Travis

    And why do all you Leftists disparage our Electoral College system? I've met countless Leftist and assorted America-Haters that neither understand how it works or why the Founding Fathers had the brilliance and foresight to develop it in the first place. Did all you guys skip 6th grade or something?

    - Travis

    Joi (124),

    I dont doubt your interest in and sympathy for the US. Nor do I deny that US policy affects the world. Addtionally I'm well aware that lots of non US citizens disagree with US foreign policy and have strong opions about our elected officials. I hope you understand I respect your work and right to your opinions, but it is a fact that you are not a US citizen and can not cast a vote in a US election and therefore you really dont have any say in the outcome of a US election any more than I have any say in the way the LDP governs here. If it means that much to you, I encourage you to take steps to gaining the right to vote in US elections.

    I dont want your sympathy and I dont accept your blame regarding the election. Doesnt matter who I voted for; what's done is done. Perhaps my STFU was too strong, but I cant accept a moral condemnation from someone without a completely vested interest. You are unhappy with the result? Fine, so are many other people inside and outside the US. But really who are you to accuse a group of people who you do not have the same vested interest? If you want to take the moral high ground, let your actions back up your words.

    The truth of the matter is that anyone has the right to say whatever the hell they want, as this thread has obviously proved. This is a fundamental right and freedom for every individual, which Americans should know well. So if the world wants to criticize the US election, it's their damn right and Americans can also put up, STFU, and deal with it.

    The Americans have by a majority chosen Bush, and that's the truth, so the decision needs to be respected. Whether it's an informed decision, whether most of these voters really know Bush's domestic agenda and the hurt he will continue to unleash on the middle lower classes, well that's the bed they made for themselves.

    But to tell others to butt out, please. Then the Americans should stay out of other countries and stop murdering civilians abroad.

    Let me tell you that Bush and his family have a different vested interest than the rest of the American public as do the big corporations. Does that mean that the rest of the Americans should STFU because they don't share that vested interest? When these "vested interests" affect others, it's everyone's interest. Seems like a large part of America still needs to get their head out of the sand.

    Chris, I'm not trying to take a moral high ground. If I sound like that, my apologies.

    Betsy, Ethan, Adina and other friends that I have offended. This post really wasn't targeted at you as much as the people who talk about being against Bush, but didn't really do much about. Also, I didn't mean to "kick you while you're down." But I was pretty down too. I know you worked hard and I'm particularly moved by Ethan's point that it's not clear what to do next. I also apologize for blurring two points I was trying to make. One was my personal sorrow. I THOUGHT Kerry could win and I HOPED but he didn't. The other was trying to show how it appears to the rest of the world. The election is one of the most important events for American citizens to express themselves and Americans were MORE in favor of Bush AFTER the war than before. This was just bewildering to me and probably to just about everyone outside of the US.

    I agree that painting everyone with the same brush is bad and that it's important to try to make people understand that there are many in the US who oppose the war. How do we do this?

    On the other hand, I think it's important to try to figure out where you all go from here. As Ethan says, I don't think there is a clear path for liberals in America at this point. How do you deal with such a divided nation? How are things going to change? What can people and other countries do to help?

    Thanks Joi - for expressing how many of us from outside the US feel. Incredible disappointment that those who could have done something to change the future not just of the US - but let's face it - the world, either didn't care enough to vote (roughly 3 in 5 Americans) or voted for a man who has brought the world closer to a third world war than any previous president.

    And yes - until now - I think we all thought that American citizens didn't know what they had let themselves in for when they voted for Bush. But now? You couldn't call the decision uninformed......driven by fear and paranoia - yes. But uninformed......?


    Thanks for understanding. As for painting with a broad brush, I wish I had a dollar for every time I've been blamed/accused of every sort of atrocity under the sun as an American since the invasion of Iraq. Just a fact of life living as an expat I guess.

    On the postive side, looks like lots of world leaders are making public calls to find ways to work together and find common ground with the USA during Bush's second term. Even Chiraq seemed to have nice things to say. As far as what other people can do to advance their beliefs and causes, well I'd say just keep up the good work on a day to day basis. Thats all any of us can do anyways.

    Once again Joi, nuff respect for your own hard work in many areas. Thank you for speaking up on issues here in Japan where I cant but am still affected as a resident.

    This is surprisingly brash for Joi as others have commented. I admit I prefer his, usual, even-handed musing on events far more.

    The Mayor(130),
    Can't agree more with you. I think America has many people who are not educated sufficiently and it is terrifying to know that the fate of a "superpower" lies in the hands of ignorant people
    I hope with all my heart that nothing like the war in Iraq will happen again....

    As an American who voted Kerry, I agree with all of you. We did let the world down. I apologize (and also disowned my own brother who voted Bush). Now those of us who are anti-Bush must do all we can to minimize his damage over the next four years. We need to unite with our Democratic Leaders at the State and Federal level to make it impossible for Bush to maintain the status quo. Those of you throughout the world also need to do your parts to get rid of Bush's playmates (like Blair). Deal?

    The problem with the American politics is that no one is listening to the other side. This is true of both the right and the left. Re-read just about any post in this thread and you get the same message: American's (who voted for Bush) haven't seen the light; They're ignorant; They're stupid; They're fascists; They let us down. These same people who are so intolerant of the opposing point of view denounce the right for being stubborn or unwilling to listen to the left (or the rest of the world). Or they'll just resort to name calling when their arguments fail. "War mongers", Jesus Freaks, etc. For a group whose core value is supposed to be tolerance, your words show none. The only people you are willing to tolerate are those who believe what you believe, think as you think, value what you value, and vote as you vote. Two days ago you found out that the majority (by a small margin of 3.5 million) of voting Americans don't share your values. Instead of hurtful rhetoric why don't you try to build a bridge across the moral divide? Why not engage in open, unoffensive and constructive dialog? Why not make an attempt to understand their views and values and build on the similarities? I have conservative values. I am a registered Republican. I voted for John Kerry. I voted for him because he did a much better job of crossing that philosophical divide than anyone who has written here has, including Joi. I don't share all of your values, but I do share some very important ones. Why not start there? Why not build consensus on those issues where we agree and slowly tackle the harder ones? But please, drop the condescension. Your ideas aren't better than mine just because your on the left. Likewise mine aren't necessarily better than yours because I have conservative values. Let's stop shouting obscenities and start listening to one another. If we can't do that, we won't get anywhere. If we aren't willing to do that we have no right to expect it of the President. I certainly hope we can begin a new era of conciliation and respectful discussion.

    As an American who voted Kerry, I agree with all of you. We did let the world down. I apologize (and also disowned my own brother who voted Bush).

    Wow. This is exactly the sort of rhetoric that more than half the country revolted against. This is what makes me sad. I happen to stand with the part of America that values family more than any political ideal. To disown a brother...and yet apologize to the world. You feel more beholden to people who aren't even your countrymen, much less your blood. I voted Kerry, but I could never support your value system. God forbid you should ever get sick and become hospitalized. Some stranger in Uganda isn't going to comfort you and hold your hand. I'm betting your brother would.

    Christain (141/142), I'm also a Republican who voted for Kerry.

    As background - I'm actually a life-long Repbulican, now in my 40's. I think it is interesting that (1) this is the first time I've ever voted for a Democratic Presidential candidate, and (2) when I went out last year to take the online "political compass" tests I scored almost exactly (0.0,0.24) as a centrist.

    It is accepted that American politics has split into two sides. I could see how it worked a bit in the mechanism of the online tests. They tested people by asking them "always" and "never" questions. If you said muderers should "always" get the death penalty your score moved one way, and if you said women should "never" get an abortion your score moved another.

    I guess the reason I reach back to Jefferson and "the tyranny of the majority" is that if you've really got that, a split between people who firmly believe in these "always" and "nevers" then no amount of campaining is going to change the outcome.

    Instead, the majority (however slim) will rule with their always/never combinations.

    Now it is worth noting that no democracy on earth trusts purely in majority rule. It is always tempered by courts, constitutions, and (where they exist) bills of rights. We have those in the USA, but sadly they (1) are losing their power in an always/never culture, and (2) are of less use in foreign policy.

    The only legal mechanism tempering majority rule in foreign affairs are treaties and international agreements ... but as we've seen, people with an always/never mindset can put aside things as important (and historically powerful) as the Geneva Convention.

    I'm cycnical about how quickly this can all be changed, but I think the thing to work for, hope for, is a long term return to "enlightened" self-interest, rather than a simple (and greedy) short-term self-interest (getting one set of always/never rules into play).

    I think people outside the USA can help by rejecting the block/nationalist worldview, and arguing for the principles of classic liberal democracy (no caps).

    To step back to an American example, "freedom fries" were part of the problem, not the solution. Painting the French, as a block, against us, made things worse. Painting Amercians, as a block, against you, will do the same.

    i personally still believe in "america 2" but i expect more than suffering and complaining! if the good guys allow the bad guys to mess around and even finance the wars of "america 1" it becomes difficult to defend them.

    it's getting time to consider splitting up america into smaller partitions. it would be great to have america 2 and 3 on the east and west coast protecting us from ignorant, stupid and agressive america 1 in the middle.

    i look forward to drink a lot of COCACOLA5 and eat tonns of BIGMAC7s to push the new economies. at the moment coke TM (my absolute favorite soft drink!!!) just makes me sick. does not matter if its ceo voted for bush or kerry.

    smart americans cant seriously consider to be dominated by agressive fundamentalists as a longterm solution.

    4 years = too much. the damage will be huge. get active! change the rules or split the nation!

    Please do not include the entire United States population in your rant about America failing you. I for one, voted for Kerry and I am personally devastated at the loss of my chosen candidate. Second of all, the citizens of the United States do not owe you or the rest of world anything!

    As others have noted in posts here, Bush only won a majority of rural states with a highly uneducated and uninformed public who was easily persuaded into voting for him on the basis of fear and faith. Personally, this scares the hell out of me.

    In my opinion, an individual's faith has absolutely no place in the halls of government. Period! And Bush manipulated this uneducated and uninformed rural population by convincing them that they would not be safe with any other man in the position of President of the United States. I also feel this was a win for the Islamic extremists. With Bush's reelection, they have more fuel to feed the fire of Anti-American protest in the Mid East.

    Please, try and remember that it was a very, very close race and that the other educated and well informed half of the United States DID NOT VOTE for this man who currently resides in the People's White House! All I can truly look forward to is the fact that Bush can never run for the highest elected office in my country again. Thankfully there is a 2 term limit for the President of the United States.

    " a highly uneducated and uninformed public who was easily persuaded into voting for him on the basis of fear and faith."

    You do realize that you just insulted 59 million people, right?

    If you want to persuade people that your point of view is correct, it's usually best to not insult them first. Arguably, this elitist condescension is a big part of the reason why Kerry lost. It's also fundamentally undemocratic (small d), because it claims that the people are too stupid to be trusted with power.

    If you don't know anyone who voted for George Bush and can't understand why anyone would, then you are very far away from the American mainstream. Insult the mainstream all you want, but if you want to win elections you might be better off trying to understand it.

    I hope I'm not trampled on for my opinion as many have been in this post so far. Attacking each other isn't going to solve the issue or make it any better. Yes, it's a debate and a quite heated one. But there's no need to be so vicious as to tell someone to STFU or "Fuck you!"

    I was sitting in a computer lab at a university in sydney on the day of the election (I'm an American citizen studying abroad in Australia) and the overwhelming since of dread by everyone in the room when I announced Bush had a lead in the Electoral College was apparent. It was obviously clear that no one liked him and wanted Kerry to win quite badly.

    I fussed over the election. I stayed glued to my monitor and later knew Bush had one as I saw deliberations and counts flowing out of various news sites. The next day, I was glum and angry. I had even vowed to create a little countdown to the day when Bush would be out of office for good. It's title was to be "Days left of Bush". I changed my mind.

    The title is now "Days left to gain my trust." As Americans - and a world - we have to play the cards we're dealt. Sure I'm angry that my mother and my sister - two very educated people, as opposed to those who stereotype those who voted for Bush as uneducated rednecks - voted for him for strictly religious reasons, but that won't change the outcome.

    Maybe instead of pointing the finger, we should try to look for the silver lining. It's always there, no matter how horrible something seems. Bush is aware of the divided nation and rightly so. I've never thought he was a bad person, just a bad decision maker. But he may rectify some of the damage he's done. We certainly won't get anywhere as a unified or divided America by complaining about and going against everything our government does because our candidate didn't win.

    We need change and we need it now. But not only in our government and their affairs, but inside our heads too. Maybe it's wise for those who don't think outside of America to try and see what it's like looking in, and those who aren't in America to try and see what it's like looking out from inside.

    If this was a cheesy movie, we'd all break into song now and put our arms around each other's necks as we sing "Let's get together and feel alright!" But it's not. There's no sound track, and no script. We can't see the future and we can't change the past. What's happened has happened and we all need to move on and see if maybe it's possible to squeeze orange juice out of the lemons we've elected.

    Joi, yes it seems that we (rest of the world and even some american medias) that US citizens were more progressive :) It seems not. It seems that Bush supporters have voted for their moral values on abortion and against gay marriage, and that Kerry supporters have voted on Irak war.

    In fact it might be even harder for people with leftist ideas in USA than for people outside of USA. They will be the first victims, as the 10 states which have voted against gay marriage. Because we talk only about the consequences on the world, maybe for US Citizens, there will be also strong consequences.

    Is it time to Reinvent Democracy?

    I have forgotten... Good Post! :p

    The comment about disowning the brother was a joke. Get a sense of humor. I do value family more than politics, but my brother has actually alienated himself from the family by his recent decisions and frequent insults of my parents and their values. I don't actually talk to my brother for a whole lot of other reasons, but mainly because he does not engage in actual discussions. According to him, HE is right, always will be, end of story. And no my brother wouldn't help me and has never when I have been sick, including my most recent major knee surgery. Strangers have been much more caring than him!!

    We should bridge the gap but don't expect only the "losers" to do it. Both sides need to and the person who should lead this is Bush. In my opinion, the US did not need to remain as divided as it has since the 2000 election, especially considering what has happened since then. Party Philosphics aside both parties should sit down and find a middle for most issues, but they won't. I bet the middle would be better 90% of the time then the hardline party speak. And dump the mudslinging and lies. It only detracts from the credibility of all.

    Melissa (150), Sorry if I misunderstood you, but clearly we have a very different sense of humor. I wasn't quite sure what was a joke and what was not in the context of this thread. I am glad you agree in principle that both "sides" should come together to build common ground. I would not suggest the "losing side" make the first or biggest overture. As a conservative who voted for Kerry, I think I can honestly say that I am willing to discuss matters of national and global importance with people I disagree with on many issues. Unfortunately, you and I alone can't get anything more out of this than some good, intelligent conversation. The best we can do is propagate the notion that only through negotiation, understanding, conciliation, and respect can we end the politics of division.

    John (143), I agree that there are certain issues where people are going to dig in. There are certain values that one group or another will not compromise. That shouldn't taint the entire process, however. We should start with the issues that are less explosive find a middle ground we can all live with and declare a small vistory. If we can get some momentum in this way, and as people see the benefits of compromise, we can begin to tackle some of the touchier issues. IMHO, the reason the right came out with such force for Bush was the size of the pill they were asked to swallow. Had Kerry stayed away from gay marriage, abortion, and stem cell research he might have won. It's not like he would have been able to advance any of these agendas in office anyway with a Republican-controlled Congress (except abortion which is already legal). I think the Democrats shot themselves in the foot by underestimating how bitter that agenda would be to 51% of the voting public to swallow.

    Trevor, a parent talking to his children? Chores?

    Try a very big fat schoolyard bully who is poisoning school life for all the other children as he can't pass the tests to get out of grade school. You remember the type. He has brass knuckles and a BB gun, dirt for brains and his own father kicks the hell out of him on weekends. He hates fags, school, art and independent women. Loves guns and cars.

    That's who Americans would be in your analogy. Come to think of it, it sounds like the profile of the core base of Southern male Bush supporters.

    I feel very sorry for those who did not only vote for John Kerry but worked on his campaign. John Kerry as a man of courage and principle stood for what was good about what now seems a bygone America. Reasonable, intelligent, well-educated and thoughtful. No wonder the Republicans tried to paint him as French. Those are values that few contemporary American politicians would share.

    But as many of you point out, what is done is done. There is only one way to deal with our schoolyard bully now. And that's to take his brass knuckles and BB gun away from him.

    Boycott America. The country is running on a deficit - thanks to Bush - from which it will be difficult to recover. A slow but mass movement to take one's business away from American companies will cripple the current administration's ability to make war.

    They won't have the money to maintain standing field armies or their butchery from the sky.

    Serious economic pain appears the only thing which will knock some sense into the average American. Make the cost of brutality and unilateralism is high.

    Move your business away from the US, don't buy American or American affiliated mass consumer products, ostracise American business and businessmen wherever they may tread.

    An swift end to empire.

    I agree that the people of America have let down themselves, and the entire world. As an American, I feel that 11/2/04 is a much sadder day than 9/11/04. On Sept 11, we were brutally attacked by terrorists, and through this attack America was united. On Nov 2, America elected the most prolific terrorist on the world scene today, to be thier leader, and through his leadership America will only further be divided. Say what you like, but this man ran a campaign of hatred, intolerence, and fear, and won. As for my comments about Mr. Bush as a terrorist, the John's Hopkin's Center for Public Health released a study last week the results of which showed 100,000 "excess civilian deaths" since the start of the Iraq war. Two days after the study was released, the Vice President said at a campaign event that "the Iraq war will be looked back on for it's brilliance'. Thats a pretty sickening statement when you consider that the Vice President had to have known of the release of this study. Through the election of this "man", the US has surrendered the moral high ground in the "war on terror". When the next major attack comes, and the Bin Laden tape indicates that it may be soon, people around the world will be inclined to the thought that "they got what they deserved". I too will be inclined to this thought. Mind you I'm not talking about the individual people that would be hurt or killed in such an attack, but rather the nation as whole. There will be no more American flag flying in front of my house. My fiancee summed it up last night when she told me that it was the first time in her life that she was ashamed to be an American. I agree.

    The Johns Hopkins study can be DLed or viewed as a PDF here:

    VP Cheneys comment can be viewed here:

    Some folks here have written about reconciliation in an attempt to counter the more extreme views. It occurred to me that alot of the worst generalizations bout the character and nature of those who voted differently than you did may just stem from never having dealt with people who are not really like you.

    To those of you who think that everyone from the South or Mid West are knuckle dragging mouth breathers, why not tour around the US a bit? You might find that even though you dont agree with people's politics that people are just that and some of em are really nice.

    To those of you outside the US who have never been there I really strongly urge you to visit! It may be a bit more of a hassle than it used to be to travel to the US, but you may find lots of nice places to see and (shock) that 1) not all southern white males are gun toting xenophobic crusaders, and 2) not all coastal people are hyper-educated snobs with no regard for for the "common man". Calling for boycots and general hating of US citizens really isnt going to help anything

    Hey I used to visit the US every year ffom 1999-2003, however i drew the line at 2004 after being asked to submit full history, fingerprints, photo and provide a visa and we Brits are there right with you in Iraq. Yes I do know that the yanks are not all gun toting rednecks as there are some very polite and educated people that live there. You get what you vote for such as the draft, which will have to be introduced if Bush is to tackle Iran or North Korea. The ever spiralling budget deficit plus the weakening of the dollar could make the USA an economic badland. The future looks grim very grim

    Considering America's reaction to other countries flat refusal to participate in the Iraq war, Americans have no right to complain if someone wants to boycott American goods.. freedom fries anyone? Nor can we complain about "general hating" when Americans are just as guilty.

    Let's own up to the fact we are all humans. No country is perfect. No country has all the answers. No country has the right way of doing things. We all just do things the best we can - sometimes we fail, more rarely do we succeed in a way everyone is happy about. I'd love to see a more tolerant view of all the differing opinions in this world. Open discussions and acceptance would be utopic IMHO, which is why I have little hope for it to occur anytime soon. Instead, we should work together, not just is the US but worldwide, to bridge the fissures the divide all people.

    My first suggestion every single country needs to get off it's high horse and admit it doesn't have all the answers. I know the US tends to be very guilty of this.It's true we don't seem to learn from our mistakes or those of other countries (how many people feel the US is making the same mistakes Britain made in the past - colonization, etc). I for one know democracy works here in the US but I am not convinced it will work everywhere. (Then again, even though I am a church-going Catholic, I don't believe in one right religion)

    BTW Thanks for the debates here. Sadly, many of my peers are just spouting rhetoric and haven't formed their own educated opinions. I feel like I am talking to a recording most of the time. Get educated, get informed, get your own opinion.. PLEASE!

    Leaders LEAD. They are often criticized before they are successful. Walt Disney would sometimes do a film after bouncing the idea off many people--and when everyone rejected that idea, he would push ahead with the film and make a lot of money. The European model of engaging Islam is ineffective - you cannot use diplomacy to stop the march of militant, cut-off-the-infidel's-head Islam. The US model espoused by Bush is to confront them with military force, inviting the Eurosneer of "cowboy", while simultaneously offering them freedom from being shot on sight by making changes that stop the growth of jihad. In a few years, the European model will be seen in the same light as the 1930s appeasement of Hitler, while the Bush Doctrine or whatever you want to call it will be predominant. Sorry Joi, you are just flat out wrong.

    Katherine (146) -- I must admit that much of what Europeans and other non-Americans are saying here about our country rubs me the wrong way, but regarding the ignorance of the american public, there's just no denying it.

    Here's a link to an interesting policy analysis done by Ilya Somin, one of the professors at my law school (George Mason), which is known for being one of the only conservative law schools around. It shows strong evidence that a huge number of Americans are completely ignorant of political issues, and an overwhelming number are woefully under-informed. It also posits a persuasive reason for this: it's just not worth it to get informed...

    Anyway, hope you find it as interesting as I have.

    I agree Joi, except for those Americans who beat the crap out of themselves to try to help Kerry win despite the Rove juggernaut, this country did fail the rest of the world.

    For many in this country, that failure will only become obvious when the pain hits them personally. We're so highly leveraged right now that it won't take much disinvestment from foreign investors to crumple the US economy like so much scrap paper. Bush's proposed economic policies for round two will encourage massive disinvestment, turning the US into the junk bond of the century.

    George Bush: a fantasy-based President ruining our economy (and everything else) in the reality-based world for 4 more years.

    Tuesday the people of the World's Greatest Republic told the emergent democracy movement and the rest of your ilk that we are perfectly capable of choosing a President without your enlightened guidance. And keep this in mind: From 1868-1932, the Democratic Party only won four elections. From 1952-2004, only five. When the party that perpetually puts itself outside the mainstream comes to grip with just where changes need to be made, they will do better. But we have no idea when this will be.

    Hey Joi. Thanks for blaming me. Even though I did not vote for Bush you are right... it's all my fault. I don't know how I can even begin to make things right and reconcile with the rest of the world... a world that I have let down. My actions are truly unforgivable.

    PS: Fuck you. Die in a fire.

    Mark. I never said anything about unforgivable. I forgive you all. I just think the election was a failure from my perspective and I was counting on the American people to come through for me/us (others who feel similarly to me). And I'm not blaming "you" as an individual. I'm blaming all of you at once. It's different.

    PS Is your PS a threat, a wish or a command? In any event, comments like that are "terrifying".

    Patrick G (157) - funny - I was reading your comment, and agreeing with what you were saying until I got to the sentence: "In a few years, the European model will be seen in the same light as the 1930s appeasement of Hitler, while...." It was here that I expected your sentence to end with "Bush will be seen as Hitler".

    You're dreaming if you think that Bush's foreign policies will one day be judged by history as enlightened. There are indeed similarities between the current situation and that of the 1930s - but not in the way you're suggesting....

    The anger in this thread is both sad and human, but I'll ignore it for now.

    I think the practical thing is to consider what could have been done in the presidential election, and what can be done after.

    I think the presidential election had severe limitations. There are powerful feedback loops which keep a dysfunctional two-party system in place.

    With two parties, two platforms, very few of us are going to find a happy fit. Certainly no one reflected my values of fiscal conservatism, social freedom, and restraint in "foreign adventures."

    So people took their top issues, found a match, and voted.

    For me it was Kerry on war and a general desire for more honest and intellegent government - even though Kerry was not a perfect fit on those (calling for a more forcefull invasion of Faluja(sp))

    As sub-optimal as that system seems to me, I don't see it changing in four years, largely because the winners (that vast sea of red counties) like it that way.

    Which leads us to what comes next - I'd some energy might be spent trying to shift policies within those two parties, but better effort might be spent on issue-specific causes.

    Line up your causes, and target them with time or money.

    Your post really highlights the blinders the Bush administration wears. It clearly is representative of the feel good, hate the rest of the world, nobody is as good as a Texan, dope they are peddling. It really serves to highlight the fact that the only threat to the US the administration sees on the horizon is islamist terrorism. They put blinders on to the fact that while they have been going after all those "terrorists" (civilians) in Iraq, Somalia remains a ratsnest of Al Qaeda. Why wouldn't your "enlightened" President have gone to where we KNEW Al Qaeda was. A country that we KNEW is essentially being run by Al Qaeda, instead of trying to finish his daddy's unfinished business in a country where we KNEW Al Qaeda wasn't? The problem is GW has dropped the ball on terrorism by sticking with his/his neo-con cronies pre 2000 plans to invade Iraq. While he has been doing this:
    *He has allowed N. Korea to develope 7-8 nuclear bombs through utter diplomatic failure
    *He has not only allowed, but supported pardon for AQ Khan (Pakistani), the biggest nuclear proliferator in history, who has sold nuclear technology to Iran, Libya, and N Korea (notice the absence of "Iraq" from this list). No member of Khans network is currently in custody, though several have been arrested and let go. He saiid at the 3rd Presidential debate "The AQ Khan network has been brought to justice". I don't think so.
    *He has allowed terrorists to take 380 TONS of high explosives from a facility he was warned about by the IAEA BEFORE the war. Think the explosives were gone before they got there? Watch the video of US troops cutting the IAEA seals at the facility, and finding the explosives which were also sealed. The troops then left the facility unsecured. This was NOT a failure of the troops, but a failure of command to give the order to secure this facility.
    *He has allowed the stripping and virtual dissapearence of what the IAEA characterizes as "dozens" of dual use nuclear facilities around Iraq. I'm sleeping alot better at night knowing this equiptment/material is in unknown hands (read:"black market")
    *He has spent the money the US needed for Homeland Security on his Iraq genocide. Ask anyone who works in HS, and they will tell you that they don't have a fraction of the money they need.
    *Through his actions in Iraq and alienation of our allies, he has caused a boom in Al Qaeda recruitment.

    Face this guy has put our nation in GRAVE peril. I think you will see just how "safe" we are when the next major attack comes. The recent Bin Laden tape would tend to indicate that it will be soon, God fobid.


    i just would like to bring you a scenario based on 2 facts:

    1. most of your comments here say: "please don't get offended individuals as i point you as a nation". and you say this as you feel people differentiate themselves from the collective responsibility.

    2. recently i saw the corporation (which i'm sure you'll see too if you haven't) and the point i most liked they made in the movie was: the corporation emerged as a solution of the need the people to act without being responsible for their actions (leaving the responsibility to their virtual shell - the corporation)

    so my point is the personal irresponsibility through hiding behind some collective decisions is very deep into the foundations of the western culture and surely the american culture is most radical in this 'western' direction.

    with my limited experience of japanese culture, i could say that this collective irresponsibility is so not included into the j-culture, which may explain why you are so astonished that americans get offended.

    and if that;s the case, i'd say you are not right to blame kerry-voters as most of them act through the guides of their own culture. they are forced to react like this by their morale the same way the young japanese were forced to invade china in ww2 (and culture sometimes stronger force than a gun on the head)

    i would even not blame the bush-voters as i'm sure they act with their heart saving the world based on the western culture moral points. (and just think how much different media they get from the one you get thus how much distant they get from 'rest-of-the-world' culture)

    but you are so right to blame the nation for the actions of US but not bush (he is just the face of the ltd.)

    anyway. the western culture habits may have been convenient in the times when there were no intercultural interaction. but now the world is small and the western culture (though being very powerful) is a minority and will need to clash for a while until synchronize its direction with the rest of world's culture. unfortunately this includes wars as it has always have :(

    I think you will see just how "safe" we are when the next major attack comes. The recent Bin Laden tape would tend to indicate that it will be soon, God fobid.

    The Bin Laden tapes indicate where they will be: the RED states.

    Zemetrus - Great post.

    To the person that posted 167.

    The tapes contain no such threat. You must spend too much time on FreeRepublic. Here is what Freerepublic calls an explicit threat to red states:

    "In conclusion, I tell you in truth, that your security is not in the hands of Kerry, nor Bush, nor al-Qaida. No.Your security is in your own hands.
    And every state that doesn't play with our security has automatically guaranteed its own security.
    And Allah is our Guardian and Helper, while you have no Guardian or Helper. All peace be upon he who follows the Guidance."

    Anyone with a third grade education can clearly see when looking at this translation, that by "states", Bin Laden is talking about nations.



    I see why the left keeps losing elecitons. They are lost in a fantasy world of lies and hate. They said punch-ballots were no good and demanded e-voting, only to claim those methods were even more flawed. They spew hate for Bush who, in four years, did much better overall than Clinton did in eight. Don't get me wrong, I didn't like some things Bush did either. If the Democrats had just nominated a viable candidate, instead of a fool like Kerry, I would have seriously considered voting that way. But the best they could do was a loon like Dean, followed by a tax-and-spend flip-flopper with a trial lawyer sidekick. WAKE UP. You on the left are abdicating and your worst nightmares will come true if you don't start being more honest and move towards the center a bit.

    It is you who is lost. Lost in a fantasy world of misinformation

    "They said punch-ballots were no good and demanded e-voting"
    I don't recall EVER supporting touchscreen voting. I might support it provided machines provided a paper receipt (paper trail if a recount is needed). Oddly enough DEMOCRATS sued to have paper receipts added to existing touch screens in FL, and Jeb and Glenda fought it tooth and nail. Why don't they want a paper trail?

    "They spew hate for Bush who, in four years, did much better overall than Clinton did in eight."

    Now I'm on the floor laughing! 22.7 million jobs were added to the US economy during the Clinton years (the largest net job gain of any modern President0. Curious George has posted a net job LOSS of 821,000 jobs so far (first time since the Graet Depression that this has happened). Clinton-crime down. Bush-Crime up. Clinton largest budget surplus in history. Bush-largest budget deficit in history. I could go on and on, but what exactly has your genocidal madman of a President done for this country?

    "instead of a fool like Kerry"

    And why exactly is John Kerry a fool? Haveyou listened to YOUR President talk lately?

    "tax-and-spend flip-flopper"

    So let me get this straight. The guy who has run the 2 biggest budget deficits in HISTORY, is calling the guy who voted for the balanced budget amendment, and planned further tax CUTS for all but the top 2% of income earners a "tax and spend liberal"???? Now thats a hot one. What exactly were the "flip flops" peanut head? The war? says that John Kerry has only ever had ONE position on the war:
    Nope, nope, nope. Couldn't be that. What then? You mean "flip flops" like these?

    Oh, and the 9367 votes to raise taxes? You may want to look at this:

    " with a trial lawyer sidekick"

    You mean the kind of "trial lawyer" that runs up the cost of healthcare?:

    Or maybe you feel safer with Dufus after reading this:

    or this...

    or what Cheney had to say a day after that report was released...

    Please get a little info before you vote next time. You have just helped install a terrorist in the oval office that is directly responsible for the deaths of over 100,000 civillians. A little more prolific than Bin Laden, eh?

    Greg - Stop gloating and get serious. Think honestly about what performance in a President really means and whether or not you care about it. If the Democrats manage to get their act together within the next couple of years, your favored political party will be quite vulnerable. Trust me, the happiest moments in Bush's second term happened last week.

    To "chughes," the person that posted 169:

    You said:

    The tapes contain no such threat. You must spend too much time on FreeRepublic.

    Never heard of it.

    You then said:

    Anyone with a third grade education can clearly see when looking at this translation, that by "states", Bin Laden is talking about nations.

    Well. Only someone with a third-grade education, as yourself, would read a poorly translated, English version of an Arabic message and then make assumptions about its meaning. You must believe there are WMDs in Iraq. You must believe there's a connection between Saddam and Al Qaeda. You must have voted for Bush.

    Osama bin Laden used the term "ay-wilaya" to refer to "state." According to the Middle East Media Research Institute, this term means "a warning to every U.S state separately." If he had meant country or nation-state, he would have used the word "dawla."

    Hello Mr. 173,
    "Only someone with a third-grade education, as yourself, would read a poorly translated, English version of an Arabic message and then make assumptions about its meaning."

    Yeah, Al Jazeera probably doesn't know much about arabic-english translation. Thats where I got my transcript.

    For everyone still keeping some anger
    this site may vapor (at least some of) your anger

    I find it very respectful :]

    Proud to be 1 of the 165,000 AMERICANS that signed onto CANADA'S Immigration website after the Election.

    I may be young, but I'm not stupid. What my country is doing is WRONG I know that and at least 165,000 of my country would agree if not a whole lot more. I'm Sorry World. Hope to see you soon Canada :)

    Oh by the way I think they said on any normal day Canada gets 12,000 hits a day from Americans.

    Kara - You should stick around for the fun. Within 12 months I believe that Bush will crash and burn big time. Only question is, will we have to pay for his mistakes too?

    The stage is set for an awesome backlash. Keep playing with fire, you right wing gloaters.

    Hey Joi -

    I do feel enormous guilt that 51% of my country voted for Bush, but I can't let that emotion linger. The healing must not begin with understanding, but with a fight.

    When you're trying to buck the system, guilt is a non-productive, bullshit emotion. I know that you must understand the futility of languishing over things in the past that cannot be changed. The future, however, is a different story.

    The enemy is within us all, his color is green, his name is Benjamin, and he leaves a big yellow streak down our backs.

    You know, voting is the least of it. Even many if not
    most of the 48% or so that voted for Kerry are driving
    this country into the ground in their cars, with their
    egotism, with their shelteredness, and I include
    myself in that 48%. I have known most of what I know
    today in my head...but I am finally feeling it in my
    heart after witnessing an audacious assault on a
    bicyclist in front of twenty - forty witnesses by a
    man who walked off nonchalantly as I laid on my horn.
    A week later I find out that the victim didn't press
    charges. We are being terrorized by bullies locally
    and globally. Christian Bullies and Muslim Bullies
    and Soul Twisted Money Grubbing Bullies.

    We fear ourselves and we hurt others in retaliation
    against ourselves. Hostility breeds hostility
    absolutely, and kindness breeds kindness absolutely. I
    have experienced this first hand having been off work
    and homeless for a week. If you can't or won't give
    money to homeless people at least acknowledge them.
    As the old poster in the 80's said "They are
    somebody's child" I would re-phrase it: "We are all
    each others children and each others 'kind mothers'."
    Nathaniel G.

    Mike. I agree. I didn't mean to ask you all to sit around feeling guilty. Just take some responsibility and move on. That's why I linked to Gillmor and Lessig.

    Joi! -

    I didn't mean to ask you all to sit around feeling guilty.

    I know ya didn't.

    Just take some responsibility and move on.

    Holy crap! Responsibility? How the heck do we espouse that? Last week I had no clue, but after thinking about it for awhile, here's what I've come up with.

    1. KEY FACT: Currently, the Dems cannot rally a base that is big enough to overcome the Repubs. They MUST win over some Bush voters. So, a militant lurch leftwards is not a good idea. Anti-Bushies (like me) say that the voters who handed Bush a victory last week, did so because they are stupid. I don't think that's accurate; or at least, I hope it's not true. Because those very same voters, if they stay stupid, will hand the Repubs another victory in '08. Would that mean permanent minority status for the Dems?

    2. Officially, the Democrats didn't favor gay marriage; at least Kerry and Edwards didn't. Make the stance official. The MAJORITY of Americans (Repub and Dem) oppose gay marriage, but not necessarily civil unions. Heteros will fight forever to maintain dibs on their word "mariage", so let them keep it. Come on. Why aren't civil unions a good compromise? It would give gay couples the equal benefits to which they are entitled. "Marriage" is just a word and on its own, it doesn't amount to a hill of beans. Equal treatment under the law is what's important. I think that gays are making a huge mistake by being so stubborn about this.

    3. Find a Democrat who is a religious southerner, but has the same ideals as someone like Kerry. (Clinton, Carter... remember them?) Also try to find a Presidential candidate that ALL Democrats can rally behind. The party must run as a unified entity.

    4. Try to eliminate labels like "liberal" and "conservative'. As many have said, these are outdated terms. Stop living up to labels and start thinking seriously about the issues.

    5. Stop calling Bush voters idiots. (even though you can make a very good argument for the claim) This will only increase marginalization and aleination. It will ensure a growing defecit, the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and environmental laws will continue to go out the window.

    My 2 cents.

    P.S. - I still haven't read the Gillmor or Lessig pages to which you linked. Running my mouth off is much more fun, but I will read them now.

    John Kerry lost the election for three main reasons:
    1. Bin ladin tape right before the election. It gave the perception he would prefer kerry to bush.
    2. Teresa hines kerry. Every time she opened her mouth she stuck her foot in it costing kerry votes.
    3. Swift boat adds. Very powerful

    most will not read this, but who cares.

    1. Fiscal liberalism is the best way to grow an economy, I think you folks in europe realize this as it is the EUs approach and it is proving to be very successful. Taxing the shit out of wealthy people takes jobs away from the lower class.

    2. Clinton dropped quite a few bombs on hussein himself as well as yugoslovia. The sanctions after the 91 war were being violated and the UN should have took action on its own.

    3. A fetus does not equate to a unwanted growth. From 4 weeks it is a living breathing *thinking* entity with life support from the female body.

    4. Equal opportunity is a racist concept. I do not need lower standards or special exceptions to outperform a white person. This policy only perpetuates white hostility to blacks.

    5. Gay people are the same as everyone else, they deserve the same rights. At least bush isnt too much of a pussy to admit he thinks its wrong. Kerry thinks its wrong but doesnt want to alienate his voters. Both parties blow majorly on this issue. Dont even try to use this argument.

    6. The only way to fight force is with force. If someone wants to kick your ass bad enough, walking away isnt going help. It is going to leave you defenseless. Remember that spain? Japan? Poland? anyone????

    7. I work with all democrats, every single (no fucking joke) has made a nigger joke to me. I go to a vastly conservative school and I have never heard a racial slur spoken there... so who are the racists?

    8. One america controlled by the media... one world controlled by the media.

    9. Can anyone back up these absurd statements made about the president? Oooh, nothing but speculation.. just as I thought.

    10. There is such thing as too much freedom, think about it. Absolute freedom=anarchy.

    11. As a lower class college student working full time with a kid, bushs system pays my kids medical bills and most of my tuition. another two arguments out the window.

    you people need to open your mind and study some good philosophy. You are jalous because we have more money and more power than you. Saddam hussein needed to be removed from power, Khamenei should be examined and Kim jung ill (sp?) definately needs to be removed from power. There are sociopaths running countries and some of these countries have alot of firepower. The world would have been safer if someon would have stepped into germany and removed hitler in 1930. How many chinese lifes would have been saved if a country would have dealt with japan before the decided they had a claim to the mainland. What a fricken joke. Use your head, not your heart.

    This poor tiny post will be lost in all the mulch and years above... but it must be said that not all of the people of America believe their vote was actually counted... why would the rest of the world assume it was so?

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    November 4, 2004 1:44 AM

    Spero vivamente che alla fine abbiano ragione, ma forse un po' di prudenza ci vuole, se devi chiudere il giornale presto... AGGIORNAMENTO: appena ho finito di scrivere le righe qui sopra le notizie hanno purtroppo dimostrato che il manifesto aveva... Read More

    Joi Ito skriver att det amerikanska folket har svikit oss: For awhile, many of us thought that you had been conned into voting for Bush - that you didn't know he wanted to be a War President. Many people didn't Read More

    You had a responsibility to the rest of the world. You are the worlds' wealthiest and most priviledged citizens. That wealth w Read More

    edit: this entry was at first simply the word "fuck" repeated 500 times. i now decided that this is maybe a bit too childish and simple for the situation this re-vote creates for us. so, i'd like to quote joi... Read More

    From Joi Ito: The people of America have failed us today As Larry says, "It's over. Let it go." Jon is saying, "Don't complain - organize!" Although the previous post about the wacky voting system is interesting, it's unlikely that... Read More

    Has weblogging done much for politics? Probably not as much as we think. We were more of a interesting aside than a powerful influence. Will that change in time? Perhaps, if more people become webloggers. But it's not going to change the world overni... Read More

    Since it’s common amongst journalists to predict the outcome of elections, I thought I should preempt them. Come Nov. 2nd, John Kerry will be elected the 44th President of the United States of America.. The world will heave a collective... Read More

    Well, as it seems George Bush will be the American President for another four years. From an European point of view this is almost unbelievable. This man has brought so much problems over the world and his own country that it seems hard to understand t... Read More

    Joi blames America. He says: "Many people didn't equate the US policies with the people of America. We thought they... Read More

    It’s also the last political post for a while. As most of you know, I am not a born American. I have lived and studied in countries that were different. Most of my youth I spent in a really divided country, Germany, and I vividly recall the days

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    Much reflection on the web after the US election result. To cut to the quick, the role and rise of fundamentalism has been commented on by Andrew Sullivan: What we're seeing, I think, is a huge fundamentalist Christian revival in Read More

    So, it looks like President "Dubya" Bush is here to stay for another four years. The People of the United States have chosen. And already some are analysing and discussing that choice, while others make fun of it all, are depressed by the results, are ... Read More

    A selection of responses to the US election result. Read More

    Mirrors from Laughing ~ Knees
    November 5, 2004 10:05 PM

    There is an enormous discussion (via On Gaien Higashi Dori) going on over at Joi... Read More

    As Larry says, "It's over. Let it go." Jon is saying, "Don't complain - organize!" Although the previous post about the wacky voting system is interesting, it's unlikely that any sort of recount or technicality will change the fact that... Read More

    Urlaub hin oder her - eine Sache Sache habe ich nat Read More

    from Mirror, via Alas, a Blog The tragedy for me was Bush re-election. I'm not American but I read some blogs from Americans and I have some online buddies that live in US and I'm very sad for them. I still thinking about why, he won and I still can't... Read More

    grace from Critical Section
    January 30, 2006 8:40 PM

    Of course not everyone was equally graceful. I enjoyed Joi Ito's post: The people of America have failed us today. Joi is a VC who was educated in the U.S. and who makes his money from American companies, but is a Japanese citizen and lives in... Read More

    John Perry Barlow: Magnanimous Defeat. Among all the liberal hand-wringing about the election results, this excellent and constructive article stands out. Read it now, especially if you're a Bush supporter. There is clear coherent thought on "the... Read More