November 2nd, 2004

Stating the Obvious

Yes, it's finally November 2nd, the day we've all been waiting for so we can either get on with our lives or make alternate plans of the Rosa Luxemburg variety. I'm going to get one of those black hoodies just in case. In the meanwhile, though, don't forget to vote. Skylar has made her choice:

Kim and I will be taking her lead, naturally. I offer you her just-turned-six wisdom: "I'm voting for John Kerry because he wants to share power with other countries. Having all the power is wrong. George W. Bush just cares about the United States. I think he's handsome but I still want John Kerry to win." It's her future, damn it. She deserves a lot better than the self-authorizing asshole who presently occupies the office of President. So do we all, except, of course, for the fools who forfeit what they deserve by voting for Bush.

  • Current Music
    the whirring in my overtaxed brain

Preparing for the Worst

At this point it's clear that the best we can hope for is a slim margin for Kerry in the Electoral College. Because I prefer being cautiously pessimistic, however, I'm readying myself for the outcome everyone I care about has been dreading. Part of that labor consists of whetting the blades of irony.

Why do so many Americans claim to feel safer with the Bush Administration in charge? I suppose it's because the comfort of being hated around the world seems desirable to the certainty of not knowing where people in other countries stand. That's the same principle that leads men and women to stay in marriages that make them miserable, right? Hate rules. Love is dangerous. As I recall, Dostoyevsky's Grand Inquisitor made a compelling case for the practicality of that logic.
  • Current Music
    rumbling in my mind

Was sollten wir nur tun?

I just left my friend's place. He had been hosting a small gathering to watch the election results, but called it a night as soon as the gap in Ohio seemed to great for the Democrats to close. On the way out he said, "Well, I guess I won't be reading the newspaper for the next two-and-a-half years." I knew exactly how he felt, since that was my response to the horrible year between the 2000 election and the start of the war in Afghanistan. This time, though, I felt the need to disagree.

I'm not prone to finding silver linings in the clouds of despair, but think that we need to recognize the opportunity in this demoralizing defeat. The losing side is organized across every manner of divide: generational, ethnic, religious, gender etc. What we do with that organization is the question. Burying our heads in the sand will make all the effort that went into organizing seem futile. And that could very well prove deadly, both in a metaphoric and literal sense.

It seems pretty clear that the second Bush Administration will continue to divide instead of unite, doing whatever it can to promote partisan goals. Our remaining civil liberties will be one of the prime targets. And, given the composition of the new Congress, legislative resistance will be extremely difficult to achieve. But that doesn't mean we have to sit back and take it, the way so many Germans did during the early 1930s. We can act directly without bringing the full punitive power of the state down on us. More than that, we can act with out pocketbooks. Did you notice that most of the so-called "blue states" are also the states with the highest personal incomes?

My friend sent out an e-mail to his friends and family a little while ago in which he asked for help coping with the loss. I'm going to do what I can. Beginning by imagining boycotts we could organize might be one place to start. Sure, it would be a symbolic gesture -- there's no stopping globalization -- but one that might at least get the attention of people we need to court. Ideas, anyone?
  • Current Music
    the hum of sorrow