Why did Kerry concede?
My guess is that it's what he said. He believed what he was told by the Ohio election officials -- that he was behind more votes than could possibly be made up by uncounted ballots and provisional ballots.
I fault Kerry for not giving more serious consideration to the paradox of the exit polls -- accurate to within 1 or 2 percent in almost every state of the Union, except Florida and Ohio. He is/was apparently incapable of extrapolating from visible Republican election fraud to considering the possibility of much larger fraud.
We don't know the scale of ballot invalidation and faulty or rigged machinery in determining the visible vote count. But we do have enough evidence of small scale "errors" that many of us would have welcomed the opportunity for more extensive investigation. We, as voters, don't have to factor in the social pressure that Kerry must obviously feel about portraying himself as an ill-mannered fool. Pressing for a complete count or a recount before conceding would certainly have left him open to vicious attacks. And it might have damaged his future Beltway political capital.
But it's disappointing to me that Kerry failed his opportunity to let us investigate the extent of error and illegitimacy in this year's vote counting process. This may be childish, after the fact -- but I have a feeling that Dean would have been willing to risk his reputation to verify what actually happened in all of those Florida and Ohio polling places.
By Occam's razor, it really is likely that Bush did win the popular vote by a large majority. We have plenty of good reasons to be upset over that -- whether or not Kerry might have won the electoral vote. But I'd like to know the truth -- and modify my thoughts and responses, accordingly.
I believe that Bush is now likely to screw us up in ways that hurt worse than before. But I don't think the answer to this is only about fighting with him and the Republicans. Yes. Let's do that, if it promises more good than harm.
But if 51% of this country's voters can look at what Bush has done and continue to vote for him -- we've got a problem worse than the thievery, incompetence, and callousness of his administration. And, I believe, it's a problem that can only be solved at the local level.
If we want change, we have to give children as many chances as we
can to grow up in environments that nurture the healthy values we believe in. So whatever we do that's actually good for them -- we have to keep doing it on a day-by-day basis (while we continue to be screwed by the Republican folly that our generation may not be able to escape).