On a dark night in November over one hundred million Americans elected George W Bush and his party to govern the country. With a thin margin of two percent of the popular vote and victories in a majority of swing states and the rural heartland, Bush and his neo-con crew have the opportunity to continue the folly of his first four years in office.

Over fifty million Americans and millions abroad opposed his candidacy, many vehemently. As the results poured in, in the wee hours of the November doom, many, including myself, vacillated from shock and anger to depression.

Despite the serious blunders in foreign policy in areas such as the Middle East, I love my country. I strongly believe in the democratic ideals of its founding fathers, admire the bravery of soldiers who fought for freedom in the two world wars of the previous century and appreciate the entrepreneurial spirit that has worked to make the world more prosperous.

On Nov 3, as the cell phones rang continuously in shared pain, I felt completely alienated and ashamed. How could the majority of Americans elect a man who has lied, engaged in an illegitimate war, weakened the country's standing abroad and endangered the security of the world by provoking extremists?

How could Americans opt for fiscal insecurity, more unemployment, greater infringement of political freedoms and greater social cleavages? How?

The immediate reaction of many of my friends was "stupidity". Clearly ignorance shaped the election results. Many Americans do not understand American's actions abroad and policies at home. The country is extraordinarily parochial.

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