Opinion: Four stages of recovery

Online Poster

By Adam Zmick

We all know how the election turned out. Millions of voters are unhappy about the results. Many, including myself, are downright petrified.

The election was a traumatic experience, but crying about the results won’t change anything. We need to recover if we are going to be prepared to pick up the mess that George W. Bush plans to make over the next four years.

Recovery is a slow and painful process, but it goes faster if you know the steps:

Step one – Confusion. What? Tell me you’re kidding. How could so many voters choose that moron? Is America stupid or something?

I’m not kidding. The little electric bean counters are pointing at Bush, and they show that he won not only a plurality, but also a majority.

While I wouldn’t quite call America stupid, polls show the fraction of our divided nation who did vote for Bush wasn’t exactly composed of Jeopardy contestants.

According to The St. Petersburg Times, when the 50 states are ranked in order of IQ, the top 15 states are all blue, and the bottom 15 are solid red. Also, according to The Boston Globe, a pre-election poll showed that many Bush supporters were misinformed on key issues.

Nearly half of Bush supporters thought Saddam Hussein was actively involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. An astounding 70 percent believed that their candidate supported the international treaty to ban testing new nuclear weapons (Bush actually pumped millions of tax dollars into a new generation of treaty-violating mini-nukes).

Step two – Denial. This did not just happen. Is this some twisted, alternate version of the universe? Bush must have cheated.

Actually, numerous sources say that very well might be true.

CNN reported that a precinct in Gahanna, Ohio, recorded 4,258 votes for Bush and 260 for Kerry although there only were 638 total ballots cast. The Washington Dispatch reported 88,000 more votes than voters in Palm Beach County, Florida. MSNBC reported there were 93,000 more votes than voters in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. The Charlotte Observer reported that 4,500 votes were irretrievably lost and that North Carolina might have to re-vote because of it. This is just the beginning.

From the exit-poll discrepancies to the electronic-voting machines, there are serious questions about the legitimacy of the election. The folks at www.solarbus.org have put together a list of some of the “glitches” reported thus far. The woman who set up www.blackboxvoting.org already has requested thousands of election documents to examine the results. A handful of re-elected Congressmen already have written to the Government Accountability Office requesting an investigation.

While Kerry already has conceded, many voters have not. Kerry’s concession would not be legally binding if investigations show that he had actually won.

Step three – Anger. I hate George W. Bush. No big change there.

Now, I hate John Kerry too. First he sends out his number-two man to tell us all that every vote will count and that every vote will be counted. The next day, while whispers of voter fraud grow louder, he concedes.

Whoa. A flip-flop? From Kerry? Who could’ve guessed?

Step four – Acceptance. Hey, it’s only four years. Maybe it won’t be so bad.

Forgive John Kerry. Seriously, would I want Kerry to demand a recount if it meant polarizing our nation even further?

Maybe it would all turn out for the better if we try to learn from our mistakes this year and set goals for the next election.

You know what I say? Screw step four.

Adam Zmick is a senior in engineering. His column runs Thursdays. He can be reached at [email protected]