Word of the Day: Concession

Today, Wednesday, November 3rd, 2004, my favorite word is ‘concession.’ Not as in hot dogs and $4 Pepsi — no, something much better. CNN announced a couple hours ago that John Kerry has called President Bush and conceded the election. He will make his concession speech at 1:00 this afternoon.

Mind you, the election was much closer than I would have liked. Do so many people honestly feel comfortable putting their faith in the United Nations? For all of Bush’s mistakes, both real and imaginary, I am sad that 48% of America would rather have John Kerry running the show. What really amazes me is the 18% Kerry victory in New York; you can’t expect a Republican to win New York, but I expected the terror attacks to make that race closer.

I am very happy that Kerry has chosen to concede this morning rather than create a drawn-out legal disaster. Considering that his loudest supporters were the loonies from MoveOn.org and the fantasyland of Mooretopia, this move gives me real respect for the senator. Maybe this is the first in a long overdue series of steps whereby the Democratic Party will distance itself from the irrational Bush-haters within the far left.

Thank you, Mr. Kerry, for doing what Al Gore would not. Thank you for putting a foot into the fires of dissension that could have (and still may) easily sprung up in precincts across the country.

Thank you, RNC, for an improved ground game. As close as the electoral vote has stacked up, it is encouraging that President Bush won the popular vote by more than 3 million.

And thank you, President Bush, for hitting the right points frequently enough on the campaign trail to make a difference where it counts. I am thrilled by your refusal to bend your position with every release of a new poll. I share your optimism and appreciate your dedication to the war on terror. Iraq has most definitely not been a distraction, and could yet go down in history as the brave move which started a domino effect in the Middle East. If we are wrong, we are wrong, but you pursue goals and allies in a way that makes me proud to be an American.

The polarization evidenced by another heated campaign season and another close election is not about healthcare or the economy. The Republicans usually do a mediocre job of convincing voters they care, and the Democrats always pull in so many union workers and elderly that it makes our collective Right Wing Conspiracy heads spin. Everyone wants a good job and a comfortable retirement, and there are arguments as to how these goals might be reached. There always have been and always will be.

Iraq, however, bares the true issue even for someone as uneducated as myself. I don’t know who would argue that war is desirable, and I haven’t met anyone who says war is beautiful. No reasonable person wants to go to war when peace is an option. But while our safety is in doubt, nothing short of a catastrophic amount of prescription drug or unemployment concerns will matter. So the question, really, is whether peace is an option.

September 11, 2001 proved that America cannot have peace through inaction. There are people in the world who hate us and want us to die. Either we can make tough decisions and try to kill them first, or we can invite them to meetings and ask them to stop. That’s it. George W. Bush has done the first, and he has been called Hitler and a fool and a crusader. John F. Kerry offered the second, and was heralded as a diplomat who was understanding and insightful.

War means admitting that American lives are worth killing terrorists for. Diplomacy at any cost means that, given time, people can always happily straighten things out. I wish the world worked that way, but it does not: politicans agree to disagree, but how is that possible in an argument where one says “let’s just leave each other alone” and the other says “all infidels must die”? Foreigners and many Americans hate President Bush for his straightforward view of good and evil. This is, ironically, one of several reasons why I love him.

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