I think we've got a brutal year ahead of us. The guy who sold himself as a "uniter, not a divider" has turned the political middle ground into a smoking chasm, and the rhetoric is as vicious, and the propaganda as shameless, as I think I've ever seen. And just to make it all extra-special, the people who've been doing the President's thinking for him over the wonderful past few years have even grander plans for 2004:
" President George W Bush was sent a public manifesto yesterday by Washington's hawks, demanding regime change in Syria and Iran and a Cuba-style military blockade of North Korea backed by planning for a pre-emptive strike on its nuclear sites.
"The manifesto, presented as a "manual for victory" in the war on terror, also calls for Saudi Arabia and France to be treated not as allies but as rivals and possibly enemies."
Terry McAuliffe was recently taken to task for warning a group of high school kids that Bush's re-instatement would probably mean a return of the draft, but it's hard to imagine any other outcome if these guys get even half their wish list.
So, yeah, it's going to be a tough year, most likely. But you can't lose faith. That's a luxury you don't have right now. If half the country seems to have cheerfully downed the Flavor-Aid, always remember that the other half hasn't. There are plenty of good and decent people all around you, thoughtful people who understand that the world is not limited to binary codes, on or off, one or zero, black or white, evil or good. And together, we will get through this.