Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Curiousity, Fatigue, Anger, and Hope (?)

I may be a little too tired to express fury about Americans and their voting habits this morning. But mostly, at least until I'm fully awake I'm more surprised than anything. Surprised that the youth didn't seem to care. Surprised that the results were so similar to 2000 despite four years of a radical presidency. Surprised that at work yesterday I spoke to a woman who was still undecided and who claimed to like everything about Bush except the war. I had to ask her "you do realize that that's all he's running on right?"

The only thing I'm feeling more than fatigue right now is worry. Americans, or at least 50% of them, seem as shallow as the president himself. That must be why he connects despite his alarming reductivism. Everything is black and white. People are either good or evil. etc... If that's all your mind can process, you won't be able to hold on to the America that is the stuff of dreams. You won't even be able to see it slipping away from you. Take gay marriage for instance. I totally accept that some people won't like it... but again it's reductionist mindset. Oh, we hate them...therefore we must remove the chances at rights they have that would make them on equal footing with us AND we must remove the rights they've already got. Not so long ago the country seemed sorta OK with civil unions and now people are losing those rights. That's more Americans losing healthcare. That's more Americans straight and gay losing big time. That's the loss of way more than marriage rights. This will, in many states, cause all sorts of problems with wills, homeownership, adoption, hospital visitation rights. Frankly, I find it reprehensible that people, in their desire to keep marriage to themselves would decide that they should disrupt healthcare coverage for gay or unmarried straight people as well. But, again, I guess it's the black and white mentality: 'Gays are evil. Therefore I hate them. Therefore I must vote to protect myself from them by damaging the quality of their lives. I am freer now. My marriage means more to me now.' Huh? Nobody is thinking anything through. If you hate someone fine. I have hate in my too. But I don't fight against the rights of my fellow citizens. I just express dismay that so many of them are bigots. Yet, I don't want their rights taken from them. That's positively unAmerican.

Are we Americans really as stupid as we appear? That 50% of us can't see the lies, the distortions, the avoidances, and the hate selling that's been going on -towards Arabs, gays, who knows which group is to come that the Right is going to turn on -maybe the Jews? Some of them have been hoodwinked by the Pro-Israel stance of the President, forgetting entirely that he wants a theocracy in America and that eventually means 'uh-oh!' in one way or another for the Jews.

Not so long ago I thought that another four years of Bush would ensure a Democratic victory in 2008 and for years to come. Things will get so bad that Americans will have to swing back left. But--and this is where my sense of humor is failing me damnit--the past four years don't seem to have registered for most Americans despite all sorts of factual evidence thrown their way, so why would anyone change course in 2008? What would it take to break through the fog? A draft? tens of thousands rather than thousands of our armed forces dying? Some medical trauma that would expose how dangerous our health care policies are since so many people can't get it? The middle class being entirely squeezed out until their is only poor and rich. Those are the two categories that the Administration understands. The poor are there to serve them and pay taxes (hey, millions of people paying dollars here and there adds up) and do the menial tasks. The rich people --well, they just get to maintain the status quo. It might deep down pain them that America isn't in the best shape. But as long as nothing rocks their boat it's all good with them.

If you find a way to find hope in all of this please respond. But to me it feels pretty bleak. I know Kerry hasn't conceded yet. I know it's technically not over. But regardless of who is sitting in the White House in 2008 --the American people have shown (or at least half of them have shown) that torture, fraud, Orwellian lies, hatred, indiscriminate violence, tax cuts for the rich in a bad economy, the burden on their children with huge deficits, and corporate scandals are not dealbreakers for them. That's a pretty bleak realization. It really is. So, if you know where to find some hope... let me know.

I may find it on my own again. But if you find it first, let me know.


head_wizard said...

Well I know what you feel I am very upset about the election, and you are right I do not know what it will take to get people to realize Bush and his cronies are bad. Take heart that so many did vote against him and he won on slim margins, that some people could change their minds in 4 years. Then go watch The Daily Show or Saturday Night Live, they have fun ways to deal with having an idiot form President.

Anonymous said...

You are a hypocrite. You say that "everything is black and white" with 51% of the voters this go around. Yet you call all of those voters "shallow." Now who is using blanket assumptions?

P.S. - I'm a democrat by the way, and people like you are killing our party.

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