So be it. For a few hours I hoped that all my American friends were wrong, but they were right, all those I kept asking, in predicting the outcome a long time ago.
Had Kerry not conceded and, instead, enforced the "every vote counted" promise, this election would have surely ended in a juridical imbroglio reminiscent of the 2000 Florida mess. As Le Monde wrote today in its front column, "What image for a democracy that sets itself as a world example, with voters lining up at night in Ohio, anticipated votes, provisional votes, unreliable voting machines, endless recounts!".
I might lean towards Le Monde in thinking that the US electoral archaism is worrying, because it has an impact far beyond the US frontiers.
Le Monde writes, to explain why the Bush administration has no inclination to concede to America's traditional allies anything that relates to US security, that:
Americans do not understand that for Europeans, 11-9 (Nov 9, 1989, i.e. the fall of the Berlin Wall) is more important than 9-11 (the Sep 11, 2001 attacks on US soil).
For the Europeans, the key date is one of reconciliation ; for the Americans, a declaration of war. The American politics expert Robert Kagan has painted this gap in opposing a Europe coming from Venus and an America coming from Mars.
I do not share the newspaper hypothesis that the second Bush's term will mark a fall of the neocons influence in terms of foreign policy (I might be pessimistic though). But I share their views in both the fact that Europe and America cannot ignore each other in many key international issues (terrorism, Palestine/Israël, vigilance against the proliferation of WMD, etc.), and that Bush's re-election should be an electroshock for a Europe that needs to decide for itself rather than react to Washington's policy.
No system without balance is stable, and a world with just one superpower (from Mars) is not one I feel safe living in.