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
MEET THE PANEL
Name: Leslie Ramos
Lives: New York City
Works: Budget Analyst
I am extremely disappointed that a president who has constantly lied, cheated and stolen has been elected under moral pretence.
Sadly, most of his policies have and will continue to hurt the Latino populace.
Bush took away overtime pay, gave tax cuts to the rich and is against a living wage.
Latino communities will also experience financial and social harm resulting from rising oil prices, support for assault weapons and an inevitable decline on federal financial support in urban areas.
Family and religion are important to Latinos, which is why many fell victim to the Republican's "family and religious values" rhetoric.
This administration is not "pro-family" and its brand of Christianity is one of intolerance and hate.
Latinos' values have always included helping their needy, their elderly and their children.
Under Bush's administration, I expect less help for healthcare and medicines and more cuts to senior and after-school programs.
Cuts in these services will be detrimental to Latinos' goals of economic and educational prosperity.
Lastly, with the election of Bush I am much more concerned about terrorism and the draft.
Although it was the South and Midwest that elected Bush, despite his policies of intolerance and bigotry, it is urban areas that tend to be attacked and, unfortunately, its poor, young citizens who are sent to the front lines.
Send us your comments on Leslie's views using the form below.
Now wait a minute. Bush has done a great service to Latinos, especially those of Mexican decent who were here illegally. Those people were honest people needing work who were not getting it in their own country. Could we do a better job of keeping them out? Sure. Is that the answer? Maybe. But these hard working immigrants were given a chance to work here legally by this administration.
Orlando Herrera, Texas, USA
I was born and raised in the South. I agree that the South and Midwest re-elected Bush but please don't blame everyone that comes from these areas. We did our part by voting for Senator Kerry. I think the churches here cost Senator Kerry many votes because they focused on one or two issues and not the whole picture. I, also, am very afraid of the future with Bush in office for another four years!
Linda Miller, Spartanburg, SC, USA
As a Hispanic, I disagree with Ms Ramos' opinion of the president. Part of the president's agenda supports commerce and trade to stimulate the economy, which differs from the welfare state she advocates. There are flaws with each economic model and finding one that meets the needs of everyone is impossible. In addition, with an all-volunteer armed force, nobody is sent to the front lines who has not signed up. In a military profession, this is always a possibility.
R Gomez, Kansas City, USA
With all due respect to the problems of NY, it isn't my responsibility to pay more taxes so that NY can have more social programs. If you want more social programs pay for it yourselves. The Latino population here in Colorado survives without federal money to take care of their communities. Also I would say that Bush didn't run against himself. Kerry and the Democratic party do bare some of the responsibility here. The party must move towards the centre if they want the White House. If you want someone to blame, blame your party.
Robbie, Colorado, USA
I am appalled and offended by Leslie's last sentence implying that most casualties in the war on terror are from minorities from urban areas. She fails to recognize that US soldiers come from every area of the country, and "the front lines" are being filled with just as many boys from rural Texas as minorities from urban areas. To make such a statement demeans all of our soldiers' efforts and sacrifices.
Melody, Norman, Oklahoma, USA
First off, there are plenty of urban areas in the South and Midwest. Second, the politics of urban areas tend to be more vitriolic than other areas. When a program in an urban area disappears people seem to always blame the federal government without even thinking whether the program even received federal funding! There are very few programs that are actually federally funded. And to date, intolerance and bigotry has not been a staple of Bush's presidency. That is a generalisation made by angry people and is not based on the bills that the man has actually signed into law. Also, keep in mind when reading Leslie's comments that more than half of the Latino vote went to George W Bush.
Tim M, Pennsylvania, USA
What is she talking about? It's amazing how some people continue to try to divide the nation with issues that they deem only pertinent to "them," in this case, "them" being the Latinos. We are all Americans, and oil prices and gun issues affect everyone! It's very easy to say that the President has lied, cheated and stolen, but to do so without backing these accusations with facts is irresponsible. Tax cuts to the rich? The rich pay the most in taxes, so obviously they will get the most benefit. It's so misleading when people say that not everyone got tax cuts. And what about Bush's "intolerance and hate"? That is just completely ridiculous. When has the President shown hatred or intolerance to anybody? In fact, just this morning in his news conference, he spoke about how it doesn't matter what religion people practice because he is everybody's president, regardless of differences.
Jenn A, Las Vegas, NV, USA
I am very frightened for the future. I don't know whether it is more discouraging that Bush won, or that there are 51% of Americans who support intolerance: towards gays, towards anyone vaguely connected with Islam (read the Patriot Act), and who are favour of a war drawn for oil, for money, for greed.
Jane Doe, New York, NY
The democratic process worked and aren't you just beaming with optimism?
Ronnie Weaver, Atlanta, GA
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts. Bush won the Hispanic vote here in Florida. Just as you were not a victim for voting for Kerry, those of us who voted for Bush did not fall victim to anything. We exercised our rights. That is empowerment, not victimization.
Kevin, Orlando, FL USA
I agree completely with Leslie's views. Bush's policies will still hurt everyone, from Latinos to Europeans, except for his friends over at Halliburton and Fox News.
Brenna Park-Egan, Walla Walla, USA
Leslie, Thanks for your comments on this BBC page. I am not Latino, but I found your words to be cogent, concise, and evocative of the feelings that many people share, from all cultural backgrounds. I probably fall into the Republican demographic as far as my economic situation, but I am a dyed in the wool Democrat who believes in social justice. I grew up with little privilege during the Carter years, when social programs existed that literally changed the course of my life and career. I am still using skills I learned through job training programs of that time. I hope that Latinos and all people from economically challenged backgrounds can survive four more years of Bush. Once again, thanks for your thoughts.
Bob Shockey, La Verne, CA, USA
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