Much has been made of the complete freak out of the American Left over the election of Donald Trump. Indeed, in a lifetime of observing politics, I have never seen such a total refusal of the losing side to accept the results of an American presidential election. That refusal is all the more ironic because at one point during the 2016 presidential debates, Donald Trump refused to promise that he would accept the election results, causing a great outcry from Democrats who declared that Trump's hesitancy was a threat to democracy itself. The Democrat Party's media allies chimed in with solemn editorials demanding that Trump publicly accept in advance whatever the results were, with everyone of course at that time assuming that Trump would lose. So what did we hear from the Democrats when Trump unexpectedly won?
But is this angry denial on the Left so unique? Recently I discovered in the archives of The Diary of J. Wesley Miller this old issue of the Valley Advocate, which had on its cover a simple and concise response to the defeat of John F. Kerry by George W. Bush way back in 2004:
So maybe the more things change, the more they stay the same. Can it be that modern Democrats have pretty much always been graceless losers? Anyway, in that same issue of the Advocate, I was surprised to find a brief, pre-election interview with me that I had completely forgotten about. It was part of a series of interviews the Advocate did before the election with people like myself who have a reputation for sometimes sorta knowing what they're talking about when it comes to politics, but before the actual election results were known, with those results determining who was a guru and who was a fool. Here's the interview:
Tom Devine, the force behind the long running Baystate Objectivist website, told the Advocate in an interview that he is hardly optimistic about a future under Bush or Kerry.
Advocate: How do you see the future of the country if Bush wins the election?
Devine: Because of our system of checks and balances, it is almost impossible to govern America from anywhere but the center. Therefore, any tendency of Kerry to be too liberal or Bush too conservative is likely to be reigned in. For example, Bush's desire to insert religion into public life will continue to be slapped down by the courts, while any attempt by Kerry to socialize medical care will probably be no more successful than Clinton's was.
Ironcially, on the issue where there is the most passion, the war in Iraq, there is actually the least disagreement between the candidates once you cut through the rhetoric. Anti-war voters counting on Kerry to radically alter Bush's policies are likely to be bitterly disappointed. What I fear most in a second Bush term is further curtailment of civil liberties in the name of fighting terror. If we are not careful, such restrictions could send us down a slippery slope that may land us where we don't want to be when it's too late to do anything about it. And look for a big escalation of the war against the insurgents in Iraq. Bush has been holding back because of the fear of a lot of casualties before the election, but all restraint will be gone after November 2.
How do you see the future of the country if Kerry wins the election?
I have a digital copy of a picture Kerry once gave to the now disgraced former Springfield Mayor Michael Albano. On it Kerry writes, "Mayor Mike, you're the best!" I'm fearful of whether someone who would write that has the judgement to be appointing Supreme Court justices.
Do you see a difference for the future of your community if Kerry wins or if Bush wins?
As a Western Mass peson primarily interested in issues of liberty, I am not particularly hopeful about either candidate. I've learned over the years that politics is not likely to be a means of solving problems. I trust technology to fix things more than politics. Most of the time politics is a farce that will only break your heart.
These are some views from the top of the parking garage of Union Station in Springfield I took in September. Here's looking across towards the former bus station.
Looking towards the Springfield Newspapers.
Looking towards the post office and beyond.