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Election ends, but the issues march on

Observer Viewpoint | Sunday, November 7, 2004

With Election 2004 winding down, we are left in the wake to consider what the next four years will hold. Will the world turn against America? Will the terrorists continue their acts of evil? Will Iraq consume countless lives and costs beyond control? Will tensions erupt between Islam and Christianity? Will we be jobless once we graduate from college? Will the economy boom again?

To be honest, I don’t know.

President George W. Bush doesn’t know. No one knows.

Now, I’ve read and heard my fair share of delight and bitterness at the Election 2004 results. Bush won and Sen. John Kerry lost. In retrospect, both candidates were imperfect, each with various strengths and flaws. On Tuesday, America made a decision for whom to vote. And the people have spoken.

To those who supported Bush, you made a decision that is anything but inconsequential. You have a duty to ensure that Bush carries out what you consider to be good for the sake of the American people. If he does something right, commend him. If he screws up, criticize him. A President is elected with the trust that he will do what is in the best interest of the people.

To those who are still bitter and mad, put aside your feelings on the matter. I voted for Kerry and I can empathize with the feelings of loss and disappointment. But now is not the time to grieve. You can wallow and sulk away, or you can hold your head high and do what you can to bring about change. If you are dissatisfied with how the last four years went, then do what you can to ensure that the next four years won’t become worse. Democracy is at its worst when citizens remain inactive and apathetic.

Even though the election is over, our duty as American citizens is far from over. We must not allow partisanship to win over unity. We can still do our part. We can go out, plant a tree and keep our environment clean. We can protect all forms of life. We can support our armed forces and hope for their safe return. We can teach and educate ourselves and others on the world of today. We can help the poor, the needy and the less fortunate. We can treat all human beings with dignity, respect and love, regardless of their race, sexual orientation, or beliefs.

But it isn’t so much that we can do all this but we must.

In the next four years, at least three Supreme Court justices will retire. The choices to replace the outgoing justices will determine whether the “culture of death” lying under the “justice” of capital punishment and Roe v. Wade will continue to take the natural right to life of humans and a generation of our children.

The next four years will require a moral leadership so desperately needed to hold off the cultural revolutionaries from eliminating marriage and family by applying it to homosexual and heterosexual relationships outside marriage and using the power of the State to do such.

The next four years demand an embrace of all peoples, regardless of race, sexual orientation and faith. We must extend a hand of friendship, dialogue and embrace to our human neighbor, regardless if they are white, black, Hispanic, Asian, gay, lesbian, Catholic, Muslim, Jewish or anything else. Tolerance is inadequate; acceptance is needed.

The next four years are an opportunity to solve the health care crisis, restore economic confidence and opportunity and open up the market as a vehicle for freedom in the service of the person, the family, and the common good. We must embrace the poor, the unfortunate, the disenfranchised and others.

The next four years desperately need a foreign policy that embraces reconciliation and cooperation from all nations and peoples across the world. Prudence and justice must trump over all else. Humility and forgiveness are the bridges that must be crossed to achieve the greater good of a united world. The people of Iraq need help in their hour of need, and we have a duty to help them. It is not only America that needs healing but the world as well.

The next four years requires initiatives taken to preserve and restore the health of the environment. The Kyoto Treaty and wildlife preservation must take precedent before the needs of the present. If we continue to hack away the throat of Nature for our own needs, then will our world even continue to breathe for our children, their children and their descendants? The life that we live is inexorably linked with the world that we walk.

That is why we must do what American citizenship demands of us. Nay, not only citizenship but whatever higher power we believe in wants us to do.

Thien-An Nguyen-Vu


Morrissey Manor

Nov. 5