I had to appreciate what Jon Stewart said last night on The Daily Show - that now we've tried the "let everyone vote" approach and maybe that wasn't such a good idea. I certainly found myself scratching my head on Wednesday morning saying, "Well, damn, that didn't work." Then I spent about 15 hours playing Neverwinter Nights to avoid watching the news. I didn't see Wednesday unfold. I waited until 11pm Eastern last night so that I could receive the news in the only sugar-coated way I thought that I could take it. I wanted someone to give it to me with some context that I could deal with. Yes, I waited to get my 'official' news from Jon Stewart. I'm sure he would be appalled. But for me he's Will Rogers and Walter Cronkite all rolled up into one. So sue me. It was a bad day.
But today is a new day. I abstained from much commenting or any blogging while the election unfolded. I prefer to think for awhile. And this is what I think. The real issue that the Democrats had was effective communication. We can blame the media, we can blame all sorts of things. But the truth is that the 'average American' only hears about one word in a thousand (maybe more?) of what is spewed out during the election season. Because of that you need central and concrete themes that are expressed in both words and symbols. I know, we were going for a "Stronger America". Did you know what that meant? I sure didn't. And I'm hooked in. If I didn't 'get it', why should anyone else?
The real world beckons, but think on these things. What can we do better next time?
Oh, and I certainly hope that Al Weed is running in two years. He probably has name recognition now so the next step is to connect on issues. Dean has it right - if all else fails, focus on the House and the Senate, focus on the state elections. That means that we still have plenty to keep us busy all the way to 2008.