I couldn’t agree more with Lawrence Lessig’s view: I am saddened by the result of the election, but especially given the clear result of the popular vote, we need to accept Bush as the president for the next four years. Given that, we need to make sure that the damage is minimized.
When I look to who we should blame, the finger continually turns back on me and on the university. It’s not just a stark difference of opinion that divides the country, it is a divide between what we consider to be enlightened and not. That is, a vote for Bush was a vote for vengeance, barbarism, and strength through deadly force, and against science, reason, diplomacy and deliberation.
Look at the tropes that were used throughout the campaign. Kerry was accused of re-evaluating his position when provided new information. He flip-flopped. Instead of embracing this as he should have, he came back and tried to out-Bush Bush. Why? I suspect because he listened to the polls, and that was a huge mistake. The polls can only tell you what people are comfortable with now, not what they might come to understand and like in the future.
Now, my role has to be not speaking against the administration, but providing clear unbiased evidence that can be used to shape policy. I know that the current administration is not likely to make decisions based on scientific evidence, but it’s the only way I know how to inform the process.
When Bush was elected last time around, I thought it was going to be a difficult four years, but we’d come out the other end relatively unscathed. Boy, was I wrong. I look forward to the next four years with much more trepidation.