In the run up to the American presidential election we asked a panel of voters to share their views and predictions. Here they give their reaction to the final result.
New York, New York
San Diego, California
Nancy O'Leary Pew
MEET THE PANEL
Name: Nancy O'Leary Pew
Lives: Seattle, Washington
In 10 words or less: "Concerned American wife, mother, grandmother, librarian, friend, neighbour, activist"
I am deeply saddened by the result.
The last four years have changed our beloved country and four more years of George W Bush could change it even more.
This administration has made a systematic attack on the liberties of citizens and non-citizens alike.
In the war in Iraq we are the aggressors, attacking a country that did not attack us and killing thousands of civilians.
The five voters in my family voted for John Kerry at our polling place which was much busier than usual.
My daughter was a poll worker there and had to stand up to the supervisor to get her to give people provisional ballots if their names were not on the list.
After taking a stand and getting support from official observers, 30 citizens cast provisional ballots, as mandated by federal law.
My three children in their 20s feel bereft because so many Americans did not choose to protect our constitutional rights by voting for Bush.
They have worked hard for the Democrats these past few years, all the way back to the protests against the war before the invasion.
They now feel there is no place in America for them.
But 48% of us were awake and voted to stop Bush's charge against freedom and liberty.
Today I, along with millions of other Americans, am affirming our belief in America's core values.
We need to awaken our fellow citizens from their slumber of ignorance and fear so we can return to the values which made America a wondrous land of freedom and opportunity.
Send us your comments on Nancy's views using the form below.
Nancy, the handwriting was on the wall in 2000 when Al Gore, the anointed heir of a popular Democratic president, coming off of one the longest economic expansions in our history, failed to win by a large majority. In the last four years Democrats have convinced themselves that the problem was the 2000 election was stolen when they should have been looking into why their candidate failed to attract more voters.
The 2004 election where the Republicans gained seats in both houses of Congress should drive that point home. Instead of sitting around feeling sorry for yourselves Democrats need to get out and open a dialogue with people who didn't vote Democrat and find out why. You've only got two years until the mid-term elections, I suggest you get started.
Scott Westwood, Port Orchard, WA, USA
Mrs Pew's thoughts match my own. This is a tragic time for evolved, thinking Americans. (We do exist.) The most terrifying aspect of this election (if it wasn't rigged - I'm not convinced it wasn't) is that people voted for Bush's "moral values" -the ultra-right's code phrase for violence, hate and ignorance. The only winner here is Halliburton and big oil. As always.
Anne Allen, San Luis Obispo, CA, USA
I would agree you Nancy. I am so concerned about our "my way or the highway" foreign policy that is the status quo. For some comic relief Jon Stewart on comedy central is good for those who feel sad. Watch his webvideo of post-election; you'll get a kick out of what he says about GW's speech to all of us Kerry supporters. Best wishes Nancy!
Denise, Prior Lake, MN
Nancy should get over herself. She is not smarter than me or anyone else who voted for Bush. Likewise, I am not smarter than those who voted for Kerry. We disagree, that's all. The Democrats will not win a presidential election until they cease with this pompous and inaccurate belief that they are of superior intellect.
Gary Baird, Rochester, NY
I couldn't agree more. I feel America has changed in the last four years. I am afraid that there will be no stopping Bush and his policies. America was once a beacon on hope in the world. It is now a beacon of hate. It is a very sad day.
Kathleen Simpson, New York
Nancy, I really feel your comments and have been very saddened by this election as well. It is incredulous that the less fortunate of this country would not vote for the person who would best address their economic issues. It has been evident that most Americans have been affected by Bush and his administration's behaviour. I am just floored and am wondering what we will do now that we have Bush for the next four years.
Elisa Soltren, USA
I couldn't agree more with Nancy's views. As a member of the armed forces, I feel thoroughly let down by my fellow Americans. The re-election of Bush is a catastrophe.
JC, Ex-Republican Soldier, USA
Nancy, I share your grief. My concern now is what Bush will do to the Supreme Court when he has a chance to nominate extreme right-wing judges. Our freedoms and liberties truly hang in the balance.
Gordon Roth, Delaware, USA
Nancy needs to wake up. When the majority of people in America vote for a candidate, that means the core values of America were instituted and she needs to get over herself. What saddens me is when citizens think that it is the end of the world when their candidate doesn't win the election. It's called democracy. This is how it works.
Josh Vick, Denton, USA
If you are a law abiding American the Patriot Act will not affect you in any way. Yes millions of Americans did reaffirm their belief in our shared core values. They just don't live in places like California or New York.
John Swartz, South Bend, USA
I could not have said it better, Nancy. I spent half the day crying when I saw the results. I am very disappointed in fellow younger Americans who did not exercise their right to vote. We must understand that we need to take action before things get worse, not wait for them to get worse and then stand up.
Stacy Earl, Puyallup, WA, USA
If you look at the election results in terms of counties, you will notice that in most of the major metropolitan areas Kerry was the victor. There seems to be a geographic divide as well as a cultural divide in this country. It does not seem fair that the people who live in cities should be subject to the "values" of the somewhat sheltered, under-educated and misinformed inhabitants of rural America. I offer my sincerest apologies to the rest of the world and to the people of Iraq. Please don't give up on us.
Brugh Foster, New Orleans/Little Rock, USA
I share Nancy's viewpoint. It is a sad day for democracy to see this authoritarian government replace liberty and equality. All of the progressive social policies and awareness that we achieved in the 60s seem to have been wiped out in the last four years and we are harkening back to the Dark Ages. I feel as though the civil rights and women's movements were for naught. We are returning to a period of repressive government where dissent and free speech are viewed as unpatriotic as well as liberal thought.
Jennifer Curry, Belvedere, California, USA
I could not agree more. People should educate themselves on the records and issues - or not vote at all. So many people that voted for Bush admitted having no real reason and this is utterly infuriating.
Reta Rupich, MA, USA
Nancy is wrong. Those interested should look at a map of the USA showing the way people voted by county. Virtually the entire nation geographically supported Bush while it is only in the large cities where Kerry supporters were the majority. America is far more than the outspoken big city hold-overs from the 1960s.
John, Seattle, WA, USA
I feel sorry for her. Maybe she should move to France.
Steve, Texas, USA
Please continue to tell the rest of us who have a differing point of view that we're ignorant and fearful. This will guarantee more Republican wins in 2006 and 2008. I know it might come as a great shock to you, but people outside of your groupthink, given the same information, may come to differing opinions.
Brian, Chicago, IL, USA
The Democrats are so surprised and should not be. Today's Republicans are 1960 JFK Democrats and the real conservative is almost extinct. The Democrats have shifted so far left that they are no longer a good draw, look at the results. I have to hold my nose to vote Republican we have shifted so far left.
Steve Barrus, North Bend, WA, USA
Half of America is shattered by the outcome of this election. I cannot recall a time throughout my life when our country has been so sharply divided. It was my conviction that our system has enough checks and balances to ensure that a small majority could not run roughshod over the rest of the country. Sadly, I was mistaken. The Republicans with their disastrous social and economic policies have gained total control in both houses and the executive branch. What new horrors await us from a right wing president with no re-election in the future to keep him accountable to the people and total backing from a like minded congress? I shudder to think.
Alecia Hamilton, Fredericksburg, VA, USA
Religion needs to stay out of politics! If it doesn't the USA will go downhill fast and an even greater divide will develop between Americans.
Angela, Athens, Georgia, USA
Yesterday, I felt nothing but anger toward the American electorate, but of course you're right, nearly half of you were awake to the threat of Bush and his neo-cons. One part of me wants to say send your children to the UK or Europe where their political instincts and skills will be appreciated. But it's essential that they stay. Sensible, informed people with compassion are vital in America now, to help turn the neo-con tide.
Dan Edwards, London, UK
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