Now that two weeks have passed, the victors have celebrated and those who were defeated have had time to mourn the presidential election. In an incredibly close margin of victory, President Bush managed to secure a second term as president, and democrats everywhere were left with nothing but smashed hopes and dreams.
Or where they? Can success be proclaimed on both sides of the political fence even after such an upset?
Randy Neice, a political theory senior and president of the MSU Democrats, seems to think so. After the defeat, Neice adopted a positive outlook on the outcome.“We won over 70 percent of MSU’s support,” Neice said. “We are very satisfied with what happened locally. We fought for the right ideals and will continue to fight for them.”
At the other end of the political spectrum the MSU Republicans rejoiced at their victory in the oval office, even though the state of Michigan and MSU supported Kerry. This local support instills confidence in Neice who said, “In 2006, Congress is up for re-election, and our voices will be heard. Minorities, women and the people of America’s future supported Kerry to a high degree, and this bodes well for the future.”
He pointed out in an email to the democratic community that our campus voted for John Kerry and even went as far as to break it down by dorm. Of course, as political theory senior Erin Trussel, a chairman for the MSU College Republicans mentioned, these statistics don’t take students who went home to vote or absentee voters into consideration, which could indeed tip the scale either way. “Many students chose not to vote in East Lansing because Michigan law would require them to change their permanent address,” she said. “I know that we informed our members about this and encouraged them to vote with absentee ballots.”
Even though Michigan was a blue state, Trussel said that the campaigning efforts of the MSU College Republicans and MSU Students for Bush, made up of about 2,000 members, helped make the race in Michigan closer than many thought it would be. “MSU Students for Bush was the largest organization [of its kind] in the state, as well as third in the nation,” Trussel said. “That is something our members are very proud of.”
Democrat or Republican, the youth of America was far from the typical apathetic stereotype in this election. According to a study by CIRCLE (The Center for Information and Research on Civil Learning and Engagement), the number of young voters under 24 increased by 1.8 million from 2000, and 56% voted in favor of Kerry. Also, 41 percent of voters under 30 voted against amendments banning gay marriage, compared to the disappointing 25 percent of their older counterparts.
Even though many of us are worn out from the past nine months of campaigns, politics will still remain a prominent part of campus life. Both the MSU Democrats and College Republicans will still continue to meet weekly with speakers, movies and plans for bigger things, such as the Republicans’ trip to Washington D.C. for the Conservative Political Action Conference in February 2005.
But all the members, and all of us, deserve at least another month to bask in our glory, or cry in our despair, before jumping back into the political game. Or maybe we could all just nap for the next three years. Both sides of the fence deserve at least that much.

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