Talk of a mandate and a decisive victory belies the distinctly divided nature of this country — last night there was a massive opposition to President Bush. The Republicans are boasting that Bush received more votes (59 million) than any other U.S. President in history, but so did John Kerry. No losing candidate ever earned that much support in an election. In fact, John Kerry’s 55.5 million votes also tops any other U.S. President in history, including Ronald Reagan’s 54.4 million votes in 1984.
That 55 million is a significant force to be reckoned with. Once engaged, impassioned Blue voters (who were so emotionally invested in this election) recover from the sadness and disappointment they are feeling today, the Red voters (and the President) will find that the current talk of morals does not really explain the cultural, social, and even geographic divide evidenced inside the red and blue electoral college map.
Blue voters need to think about what it means to be the opposition, and then maintain an active, vocal role for four more years.