It has taken me a couple of days to get over the results of the 2004 presidential election. I am quite disheartened that my cynical forebodings about the outcome of the U.S. election actually came true. The morning John Kerry conceded all my colleagues and co-workers were kind of gob-smacked, as down here in little New Zealand we had hoped that the Halliburton-Bin Laden led administration would not make it into a second term, but of course we completely underestimated the importance of "moral issues" for a large majority of US-citizens (calling them Americans would certainly outrage the Mexicans and Canadians).
As somebody who grew up in secular Europe, the misguided beliefsystem of these narrowminded, ultraconservative biblepushers is just not comprehensible: if you're a practising christian, shouldn't you vote for gay marriage, so all members of your community can have access to the same benefits of a union by two loving humans that is recognised by the state? Refusing a same sex couple the same rights as a heterosexual one must certainly not be in the spirit of the New Testament, but I might just be wrong.
The next big discrepancy for me is freedom: how can a nation that is so proud of their freedom of speech and expression re-elect a government that has presided over the biggest push to revoke exactly those constitutional rights? How naive does one have to be to believe that the Patriot Act is just a level-headed law to hunt down dangerous islamic terrorists?
The isolationist tendencies of their government are probably not something that people pick up who read USA Today and watch Foxnews, so you can't really blame them for being ignorant about their president's destructive foreign policy. All they know is that the French are cheese eating surrender monkeys and that the Brits are a nation of dentally challenged limeys who do what the US tells them. The rest of the world is an alien blur, populated by quaint folks stuck in the middleages ("Do you have refrigerators in New Zealand?" ) and enemies of the US.
I won't even comment on the environmental record of a government financed by Big Oil, but on electionday 2004 58,941,293 US citizens showed the rest of humanity their middle finger, and will probably hear in church on sunday that they've done well.
Half of the US electorate has disengaged from the rest of the world.
The world should turn its back on them and get on with it...