Time to regroup and reconsider
The first and most important thing is not to turn on the Kerry campaign. That they got any votes at all with most of the media and most of the money against them is a miracle. If liberals turn on Kerry, then that will discredit the liberal side of the party completely and aid the Republicans in their goal of a one-party state.
Bush won because of two things we didn't see coming--the fundamentalists were whipped into a hateful frenzy after being thoroughly worked over by Karl Rove and the young people of this country didn't see that Bush is trying to ruin them.
I think we can safely give up hope that the fundamentalists won't be driven to the polls out of pure burning hate from here on out. That's as foolish as assuming you could change the white Southern voting bloc to think about anything but their hatred of black people in the 50's and 60's. Keeping down gays and women is their one and only goal and we can write off any hope of changing them and move towards containment as a goal from here on out.
The young people of this country are a disappointment, but that may change in the next four years. All around campus yesterday, I saw Bush/Cheney shirts, some even on guys with longish hair who probably smoke pot and listen to Phish. For some reason, that the Republicans are a bunch of uptight weenies is something that is not getting through to young people.
More upsetting, I heard some young woman passionately decrying Kerry as "anti-war" as I walked to work today.
I feel this pro-war stance amongst the young is fixing to change. It may be fun and games now for the well-off white girl to sneer at pacifists, but when she kisses her boyfriend good-bye as he goes off to die for oil, she might begin to see it differently. I hope it doesn't come to this. But I don't see how it won't. Now that Bush feels he has a mandate, he will get us involved in all sorts of military adventures.
The young are also going to be thrown into a panic if it turns out that BushCo is serious about taking away their birth control. I guess they just poo-poo that now, but it's definitely a worry.
My biggest fears right now, besides the massive wars that we may have to get into now, is jobs and education. After the next round of tax cuts, there's no telling how many of us will get to keep our jobs. That, more than anything, is what's making me sick to my stomach. And I expect that Bush Unleashed will do everything in his power to completely gut public education.
The fascist element of the Republican party has been openly hostile to widespread education for a long time now. Education means that people learn history, government, and science, three subjects that incline them away from voting Republican. As such, it has to go. Twenty minutes of listening to right wing radio and it becomes crystal clear that they have been laying the foundation for destroying education for a decade plus now--it's well-believed that being educated makes you immoral and decadent. By the time NCLB and tax cuts make it pointless to even have schools, half of the electorate will be convinced that they are teaching nothing but oral sex techniques in school anyway, so they won't care.
All things considered, it's better that Bush wins legitimately than by stealing the election again, if those are the only two choices. The masses of Freepers and their ilk who are just waiting to instigate a violent rebuttal to Democratic efforts to resist another unfair election have been thwarted. (Unless Ohio goes to Kerry, of course.) At least there's no excuse to continue to chip away at representative democracy any further. And since Bush won the popular vote, the conservative side will immediately be capitulating on pro-electoral college stance.
As for coping, the answer is simpler than ever. If you are a person on the shit list--racial minority, educated woman, artistic type, liberal, gay or lesbian, etc.--stay in the cities. Don't even consider moving to the country. Rural areas voted Bush in and rural areas are going to get raped the hardest by BushCo. Rural women will be the first to see access to birth control disappear. The seeds of hatred that the Republicans have sown are tearing at rural communities more than urban ones where the reality of diversity blunts the effect of the more paranoid rhetoric. Continued outsourcing hurts everyone, but one-industry towns will really feel the pain the worst. The rural poor will still be routing their children into the military, the one hope they have to get some job training and education to escape the increasing poverty, meaning that Bush will reward them for their loyalty by having their children killed first.
And it's going to be okay, really. Things right now are scary, no doubt about it. But hey, Germany and Italy are still standing, even though the fascists did their best to cause their societies to implode. The conservatives, drunk on their own power, are already planting the seeds of their own destruction. And watching that will be amusing, if nothing else.