Wednesday, November 03, 2004

On an unexpectedly crappy day

Okay, so by now you've figured out that what happened with last night's election is what I really, really, really really didn't want to happen. I'm not pleased with the results, not even a litle bit. I think the biggest disappointment for me - well, okay, obviously the biggest one is the re-election of the man whom I firmly believe will be the downfall of our country - but a great big disappointment, one of the top three, is Georgia's passage of Amendment One, which outlaws not only gay marriage but also civil unions and many same-sex domestic partner benefits. Living in Atlanta, within the protective embrace of the Perimeter, it's easy to forget that the vast majority of the state consists of backwards, homophobic redneck hicks who would be perfectly happy to bring back lynching because Jesus tells them so. Think I sounds elitist and judmental? I care.

I'm having a really hard time dealing with a lot of Bush supporters this morning. Most of the Bushies in my office have been really decent (as decent as I hope I'd be in their shoes), but there have been some that I just wanted to thump on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper. One in particular was updating us with election results via e-mail all night last night, crowing over each new state and signing each e-mail with "Go W!" "Go W!"? Because this is some sort of a football game? Because all that matters is that her team gets the trophy, and then they all get to celebrate over malteds at the Dine-O-Mat?

I really think that a lot of Republicans have missed the gravity of this election, and it makes sense that they might. For so many Bush supporters, their entire policy knowledge base comes from what Bush himself told them. They don't think that our economy is in trouble, or that the war in Iraq was a bad idea, or that his education plan is ineffective at best, because he told them that things are just peachy, and they believed him without question. They think that Bush is the best choice because he's the candidate that Jesus would chose. That attitude is astounding to anyone who has any grasp of the current situation both at home and abroad and realizes that the wrong choice on November 2 could - and I don't mean to overdramatize here, but it really could - result in chaos in the Middle East, economic collapse or near-collapse, and the appointment of our country's most conservative Supreme Court ever (and all that accompanies it).

I've got to quote some poor, sad woman who tried to look earnest and intelligent as she gazed into the TV camera outside of her hurricane-ravaged home and said, "I do not know what have happen, but something have got to be did." And indeed it do. At this point, I have no idea what that something might be. I'm still in the recovery stage, sifting through my options, trying to decide whether to fight against the inevitable or just close my eyes for the next four years and let it all run over me.

Had a discussion with my dad the other day re: the upcoming election. He shared with me some trends and projections that made me less-than-comfortable about Kerry's chances and the discussion turned to what we would do if, God forbid, Bush should get re-elected. I pulled out the comment about making a run for it, leaving the country, going to Canada. Daddy said that he wasn't about to do that. He said that he was an American before all else, that this was his country, right or wrong, and he wasn't going to leave it. I made the point that watching Bush lead the US for the next four years would be like watching intruders rape your wife in front of you while you sat bound and helpless .

I haven't figured out where I am on that now. I know I'm not going to leave any time soon. And for all I know, the future isn't nearly as bleak as it seems right now. But it does seem pretty bleak, and pretty scary, and pretty frustrating that only 49% of the US population can tell when they're being taken advantage of by the most powerful man in the world. Later on, when passions have cooled a bit and we have some idea of the changes that Bush might make in the future (God willing), I'll look at it all a bit more closely and figure out where I'm headed after this. I hope it's here; I love America, and I really do want to stay. But something have got to be did.

Update: From Wonkette, Harper's offers helpful instructions for those who decide to leave the country after all. Mary at Naked Furniture says what I'm feeling, better than I could say it. And Matt at Basket Full of Puppies says the other thing that I'm feeling, which at first glance might seem to contradict the first thing but if you read it through, actually doesn't.


Anonymous said...

The whole thing had me bummed too. Thinking about the future of the Supreme Court being the worst because it's effects will be so long lasting.

But here in my office I have an old, very yellowed news paper clipping I saved from the Reagan years. It's titled "A Wise Nation Doesn't Keep its Poor Down" Its written by Tom Teepen and too long for me to post here. I'm selecting his concluding paragraphs:

"It is a special cruelty to abuse the poor with their own poverty as the proof of their worthlessness, the fashion these days. A decent nation does not scoff at its poor. A prudent nation is skeptical, at least, of a politics that holds--to the convenience of the well-off, as it happens--that the best thing to do for the poor is beat on them until they get the message to stop being poor.

It is less clear what a wise nation does.

First, care. At a minimum, see the lockstep between income and education, and intervene with whatever resources and tenacity it takes to get the poor up to educational speed; no excuses allowed.

A wise nation, in any event, understands that a worsening, and apparently hardening, inequity is not even a friend of its prosperous and is the deadly enemy of its best future."

Our system of government has a built in mechanism for revolution. We hold elections every 4 years for the chief executive of our country. It seems that most people have not seen where this path George Bush has set us on leads. Given 4 more years, the destination will be clearer.

For the next four years, those of us who see that far down the road already, will fight to open the eyes of those who still do not see, and slow this juggernaut as best we can until those others join us. I will not stay quiet while the deed it done. Blog on


Anonymous said...

There's no underestimating human desire to believe. So many Bush voters are not stupid, just mis-informed, and they don't want to know any different. They just want to feel right, to feel safe, like they've done something to protect themselves from the big scary chaotic world.

As Kerry supporter, we wanted to believe more people believe like us. It seems we just have more educating to do.

But maybe W himself will really drive home the "lesson" in the next 4 years; let's do our best to "help" him!