History may not repeat itself but surely it moves in great circles. What may be the result of a Bush Victory? Recall the founding myth of America.
400 years ago England, Europe was split by a gulf in culture. One side, owned by the powerful establishment, claimed that God could only be accessed by his chosen intermediaries. Puritans believed that they had a direct and personal link to God. They believed that they could act in the world and were not subject to the institutions of the day.
There was no compromise possible. More than 100 years of ethnic cleaning and blood followed. Huguenots came to England and fueled the economic and social breakout of empire. Extreme Puritans could not remain in England and left for America where they sought to create a theocracy. Later the divisions in England became so great that there was civil war and the King was killed - not in battle. Not hidden away or assassinated but in public after a show trial. In France the opposite took place and the forces of the establishment won not to overthrown until 1789.
In America, the norm has been to pick up a gun when faced with a cultural divide. The final chapter has been an exodus to Canada. It is important to remember that maybe 35% of colonist wanted nothing to do with independence. Maybe at the outset only 20% wanted this. After the War of Independence, the Loyalists could no longer remain in America and many came to Canada.
In the 1850's cultural tension grew so great in the US between the heroic-age agriculturalists and the machine-aged Industrialists that the result was the bloodiest civil war in history with 600,000 dead.
In the 1960's and 1970's those who could not go to Vietnam chose exile in Canada rather than serve a cause that they knew was wrong.
When the cultural gulf is wide enough in America it is naive to think that it can be patched over. The family story of America is one where cultural issues can become the basis for war. We live indeed in dangerous times.
Already the brightest children of the world who would have had no second thoughts about where they might get their PHD, are thinking of Canada. If I was an American, I would fear what a Bush victory would mean. My fear would be no small thing but a deep unease that America could become a culture that I could not exist in. The lessons of the 17th century tell us that over time the more democratic forces win. But that the forces of fear and reaction exert a terrible price.