This item originally appeared in the November 11, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.
By NICK TODARO
The biggest single struggle for power in the past four years has ended. Republicans have cemented control over not only the presidency, but also the House and the Senate. What does it all mean?
Republicans have celebrated President George W. Bush's victory since before it was official, based on their predictions about certain key states, like Ohio and Florida.
"On a personal level I'm very pleased, as I have been a strong supporter of our president," Trey Gibson, faculty adviser to the College Republicans and an instructor of speech, said. "This is one of those situations where I believe truth won out over the fear-mongering Michael Moore propaganda of the other side."
Democrats have shouldered the responsibility of carrying defeat.
"As a Democrat, I am extremely disappointed in the results," Dr. Jason Pigg, faculty adviser to the College Democrats and an assistant professor of social sciences, said.
David Anderson, an assistant professor of history, said he doesn't believe the elections boil down to parties or beliefs, but organization.
"The Republican Party put people on the ground in rural areas this election," Anderson said. "There tends to be a kind of rural/urban split because people from larger urban areas tend to be cosmopolitan, diverse and hold Democratic ideals. That rural vote just overwhelmed the Democratic trend in urban areas with a massive blowout in rural areas."
Anderson credits that to good strategy.
"The Bush campaign imbued their precinct captains with a sense of mission, the kind of purpose that Democratic precinct captains used to hold. The Democratic Party didn't have anything even remotely comparable to the national infrastructure the Republicans presented."
Key facts just did not get the focus or spin that could have helped Kerry, Anderson said.
"For example, it would cost less to pay for a national education program than to go to war in Iraq," Anderson said. "You could send every kid in America to college for the kind of money the country is using in Iraq."
Pigg said he feels Bush has muddied the waters surrounding the Iraq war and discoursed on terror in too general terms, but the Democratic Party needed something they did not have to beat Bush.
"People are reluctant to change their president in the middle of a war," Pigg said. "John Kerry didn't emphasize any specific reason he would be a good choice. Democrats tend to support domestic issues that lots of people can agree on, but they couldn't present a pretty package."
Gibson said Kerry's shortcoming was his lack of strong ideology.
"Kerry spent so much time trying to be everything to everyone, he never showed the people who and what he was as a candidate," Gibson said. "Additionally, trying to advance the politics of 'hate George Bush' just didn't overcome the facts."
Republicans just did a better job winning votes.
Chris Jackson, a freshman basic and career studies major, voted for the first time in this election and voted against Bush.
"It sucked," Jackson said. "[Bush] is a war maniac. I don't believe it was Saddam Hussein he was after; it was all about oil."
Ashley Oakes, a freshman physics major, was pleased.
"Watching John Kerry on T.V., he just looks evil," Oakes said. "He can't think for himself, and his mind kept changing. I'm happy Bush won."