If thereís one thing the American people have shown in the past 10 years, is that when there is a pressing national issue going on, or a world issue thatís going on weíre involved in, we donít change our presidents. In fact, there arenít many times in history that weíve done so.
For President George W. Bush, that was one thing he had in his corner.
Itís not that Kerry didnít have a snowballís chance of winning, because he and Bush ran neck to neck most of the way, however, with the Afghanistan situation being rebuilt as we speak, and the Iraq war over, with itís reconstruction in the process, the American people were more liable to simply say, ďWell, he knows whatís going on, the world leaders are used to what he does, so why even vote someone in right now?Ē If Kerry had ran at any other time, he would have had a better chance.
Letís look at our history. Slain President John F. Kennedy would have been re-elected if he hadnít been assassinated. The late President Franklin D. Roosevelt carried the country through World War II, and former President Clinton gave us a reality TV show more entertaining than anything MTV could create. However it was his great speaking abilities, and his diplomatic and economic efforts that gave him his mark in our history. And even though heís out of office, heís still in the picture doing different things in the world of politics.
Oh yeah, and letís not forget the roaring 80ís. Our late former President Ronald Reagan showed us that you can get shot in the chest, invade Grenada, and survive a slight recession, and still get re-elected for a second term. Yes, this nation is slow to change our Presidents, but not because there werenít no worthy competitors. Itís political marriage ... only breaking up when the end has come, or when that person has really, really, made some bad decisions.
When it comes right down to it, as a country, we need a real, real good reason to change. Abolishing slavery and segregation was one of those real, real, good reasons, and equal rights for women was another. Everything else will remain in a process of understanding and social education, which will take time.
A good example of that is Iraq. To think we could go in there, take out Saddam and those loyal to him in a matter of months is not good common sense, and yet some thought that was going to be the case. Come on, people are calling the war on terrorism the Vietnam War of this generation. How can we even fathom that thought?
Iraq is going through a change. The only difference from them and us is that weíve had our democracy in place for awhile ... theyíre just getting theirs. The same goes for Afghanistan.
So now the whole election deal is over. The inauguration is over, heís officially back in office, and the country can move on and work to come back together on the issues at hand.
And thatís where the work begins ... bringing the country back together to the mission at hand. For some itís getting the troops out of Iraq as soon as possible. For others, itís stabilizing the country first so that we donít have to go back later. Bush will have another four years to bring things under order. Conservative America gave him the time, even if he does feel he doesnít have it.
In his speech yesterday, Bush said, ďOur country has accepted obligations that are difficult to fulfill and would be dishonorable to abandon.Ē These obligations were accepted, but under circumstances of reaction, not of true objective choice.
When the country watched in horror as the World Trade Towers crumbled to the ground, the country wanted to know who did it, and how we could bring them to justice. This wasnít a choice to do this, it was a reaction to a tragic event that brought a country together to fight a common enemy that has been in the world for centuries - terrorism.
So what do we do to help the country to progress these next four years? Continue to fight the good fight, stay aware, and look out for your fellow citizens. It is not the essence of whom we serve, itís the matter of how. Bush, in a sense, has been pinging on this thought for a while now, he just believes he has a better handle on it. The red marks on the map at election time showed America thinks he does too. His next four years will probably be comprised of rebuilding his administration the first eight months, bringing calm air to Iraq and Afghanistan, and to keep the Gaza Strip from being nuked, which has been an work in progress.
To relay back to my talking points for a minute, change for everyone is not the best policy. In todayís world, itís not if your black, white, or any other race ... it comes down to whether youíre American. There are many places overseas where we are not welcomed. There are places where they burn our flag on a daily basis to renew the hate each day.
And for the die hard Democrats out there, hey, thereís always next time. Just to think ... Isnít there a rumor that a Clinton might run for office at that time? Hey, good luck Mr. Kerry.
I am not bitter, are you interested? Let me know what you think. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts and I will be sure to respond to them in my next column. Oh yeah ... Go Eagles!