Election Day ... and beyond

Table Talkers weigh in on the big day, and how they're facing the aftermath.

By Salon Staff
Published November 5, 2004 11:23PM (UTC)
main article image

White House

Kerry04 - Election Time! (Part III)

Grace Newton - 09:55 am Pacific Time - Nov 1, 2004 - #1135 of 2373

With apologies to Mr. Shakespeare

This day is call'd the feast of Democracy.
We that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
And rouse us at the name of Kerry.
We that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will fourth-yearly on the vigil feast our neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Election Day.'
Then will we strip our sleeves and show our scars,
And say 'These wounds I had on Kerry's day.'
Old Demos forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But We'll remember, with advantages,
What feats we did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in our mouths as household words-
John Edwards, VP, Dean and Clark,
Kucinich and Graham, Braun and Gephardt-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
This story shall the good Democrat teach their kin;
And Election Day shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the USA,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers (and sisters);
For those to-day that sheds their blood for Kerry,
Shall be my kin; be they ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle they condition;
And Republicans in Texas now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their tax breaks cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Election Day.


Someone usually posts a parody of the St. Crispin speech every election - I haven't seen one yet and I feel it's especially appropriate this time.

White House

What Do Americans Want?

Tona Aspsusa - 09:00 am Pacific Time - Nov 3, 2004 - #31 of 60


As an EU-citizen, and from the secular north to boot, my main reaction to the election is sadness, or a kind of low-level horror, bemusement perhaps, at Bush's 3.5 million lead in the popular vote.

To me this means that the U.S. is on the road of seceding from the Western family. Seceding from the common ideological thread with roots in 1789 and refined and strengthened through the League of Nations and the United Nations.

During the cold war America was a leading light in the ideas of defining what freedom is. Personal freedoms, the state having no say in how you run your life. The freedom of thought (oh, the McCarthy aberration was noted -- but official rhetoric even then clung to the basic tenets of free thought and expression).


America's relentless pushing of the idea of freedom -- liberty, made the corporativistic elements of the left reframe and rethink ideas about social equality in terms of "positive freedoms" ("you have to have the means to live to be free to make choices").

This election seems to show that the U.S. has crossed over -- perhaps matured? -- from a country founded on ideas and ideals to a "normal nation-state." Albeit with an almost new-speakish political liturgy.


Social cohesion, us-vs-them, my-country-right-or-wrong seem to be the important things to the electorate in the U.S. today.

The very pillars, the revolutionary philosophies of the United States are no longer what defines the country. The separation of state and church, the personal freedom to not have the state interfere in your life.

It is as if the moderate, rational and reality-based Western culture has just lost one of its founding mothers.


Another grieving family of ideas is the "international community," the idea that states can work together, respecting each other, for a better world.

On a more personal note, what this election means to me is that as a blond and blue-eyed European I am again a tiny bit less safe when traveling in the Muslim world.

And I will probably postpone any plans to visit the U.S. -- when friends of mine are subject of interest to the Russian FSB due to interest in the Chechen conflict I am sure the CIA and dept. of Homeland Security already have my name too on a list.


White House

Mark Crispin Miller Discussion Thread, Part 2

LetterMan - 07:20 pm Pacific Time - Nov 3, 2004 - #7325 of 7333

I keep coming back to the question of how we got here. We got here because Americans no longer care enough about their government and the corporate overlords who control our government are more than happy to keep us fat, dumb, and stupid.


I think it's a fairly safe bet that more Americans know who Kelly Clarkson is than who Paul Wolfowitz or Richard Pearle are. Even though the latter two gentlemen have a greater, more immediate impact upon the lives of the average American, most Americans could care less.

More Americans could explain to you and I the provenance and significance of the term "being voted off the island" than could explain the history and importance of the concepts behind the phrases "rule of law" and "consent of the governed."

I believe we are about to witness the end of the American Empire. Like all empires, our empire will eventually come to an end and it will devolve. Whether that devolution is a violent, disruptive one or whether it is a peaceful, gentle transfer of power is up to us.

The god of our empire is not the Judeo-Christian god but rather the internal-combustion engine, contrary to the rhetoric of the Bushies. That god is a jealous god, demanding vast sums of refined petroleum products as tribute, which our corporate petro-drug dealer corporate overlords are more than happy to supply us with, so long as we don't ask too many questions about where it came from and the true costs to bring it to us. Half the country voted for that lying, mass murdering war criminal and his cabal.


To them, I say this: "You have made your bed with George Walker Bush and his criminal cabal. Go to Hell with him or renounce him."

Unfortunately, most Americans still don't "get it" and won't "get it" until it is too late. God help us, because we're on our own now.

Posts of the week is an ongoing feature of Table Talk, Salon's vibrant community forum. Older posts of the week may be found here in TT. Want to join the discussion? Sign up here.

Salon Staff

MORE FROM Salon Staff

Related Topics ------------------------------------------