GCC Students Have Mixed Feelings About Bush’s Victory Over Kerry

El Vaquero Editor in Chief

President George Bush’s slim margin over Sen. John Kerry in Tuesday’s election may have given him a second term, but it also proved just how divided Americans are about the issues and the candidate they picked to lead them; Glendale College is no exception to this division.

In an election decided by about 130,000 in the swing state of Ohio, it is no surprise that many are left unhappy with the outcome.

English major Robert Castaneda voted for Kerry in the election and was upset with Bush’s victory. “Although I am disappointed, I am not surprised,” said Castaneda. “I really wish the American people would remember that 9/11 happened during the Bush administration. If they did, I would hope that this would dispel the assertion that he has done, and will do, a sufficient job of protecting the American people.”

Others at GCC disagree. “I’m glad the citizens of our nation have selected a candidate with the optimism and leadership qualities required for the future,” said Chris Kilpatrick, 20, a public policy/business major. “They have also rejected a candidate who was the most liberal senator who masked himself as a moderate.”

Kerry carried every state 2000 Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore carried and Bush did similarly with states he grabbed in the last election.

The only state to turnover on Tuesday was New Hampshire, which Kerry was able to take.

The Kerry campaign was hoping to be rescued by provisional ballots in Ohio, which would not be counted until after election day. But he conceded early Wednesday morning after it became evident that the provisional ballots couldn’t make up the deficit.

“America is in need of unity,” said Kerry in his concession. “I hope President Bush will advance those values in coming years. I pledge to do my part to bridge the partisan divide.”

In fact, the popular count clearly shows the partisan divide Kerry spoke of. Bush received 51 percent of the popular vote to Kerry’s 49 percent. This campus shares that partisan division.

However voters felt about the outcome of the election, all can agree the biggest success of the night was the high voter turnout both in California and nationally.

In a turnout that proved to be a record high since 1968, 59 percent of eligible voters in the country showed up to the polls this election — some spending hours in line waiting to cast a vote.

In 2000 about 100 million voters turned up to vote; this year it increased to about 120 million. It’s estimated that 17 percent of the electorate this election came from young voters between the ages of 18 and 25.

Business administration major Thomas Dryden, 19, is a first-time voter who voted for Bush and was pleased with the results. “Flip flops are meant for wearing on your feet, not for running our country,” he said of Kerry. “Bush stuck to his opinion and principles and I appreciate that.”

The election on Tuesday not only handed the executive branch over to Republicans, but it also expanded majorities for the GOP in the both branches of congress.

They hold 51 seats in the Senate to 48 Democrats and one Independent; in the House Republicans maintain 228 seats to 206 Democrats and one Independent.

However divided students are about the outcome of the election, not everyone had a strong reaction. An undeclared major at GCC, Jonathan Solomon voted for Bush but had no real preference about which candidate won. “I didn’t like either,” he said. “I would feel the same way if I woke up and turned to CNN and saw that Kerry had won.”

Solomon said the reason why he voted for Bush, however, was because of his stronger leadership qualities. “I would rather have a leader who is adamant and decisive all the time and makes some mistakes than a leader who is too conflicted and busy making everyone happy [that he doesn’t do] the right thing,” he said.