Now I'm at a Tully's in Shubuya (one with WiFi access), and it's just fucking depressing. It's not over yet (Ohio 2004 is starting to look like Florida 2000, though the Republicans are more proactively and blatantly trying to steal the election in Ohio than they did in Florida (see Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo for some details), but what bothers me is that it shouldn't have been close. If the American people had any sense, they would not merely have voted out George Bush, they would have descended on the White House with pitchforks, tar, and feathers and run George Bush and his crew out of town on rails. Whether George Bush or John Kerry ultimately prevail (and Kevin Drum isn't hopeful about that) in the Ohio mudfight (mud courtesy of the Republican National Committee), about half of the United States has swallowed the bullshit that the Bush Administration has been peddling.
One factor, according to a couple of sources I've read, is that the much-expected surge in the youth vote never transpired: exit polls, apparently, showed no real increase in youth vote participation.
Congrats, young people: you could have made a real difference in the world and you blew it. Hope you enjoy the mess you'll be inheriting.
As I type this, I'm sitting in a Starbucks in Kichijoji, near Inokashira Park, listening to American Forces Radio broadcasting the ABC News feed. Yeah, I'm anxious, since there's no other source of information for me (no WiFi access here). I have my copy of the New Yorker's Politics Issue from a couple of weeks ago, which includes a handy fold-out Electoral College map courtesy of CNN (complete with paste-in Democratic/Republican stickers for keeping track), but the map remains mostly empty. But obsessively checking the projections and see-sawing returns--even before the West Coast polls have closed--can't be any healthier.
It's a holiday here in Japan (Culture Day), which is why I'm here and not at work. Lord knows what my productivity would be like if I had to be at the office.