*this article began at 11:09. i’ve come back to it occasionally and added to it in the subsequent hours
whatever differences I felt with the elder Bush were over what was the right policy. There was much he ultimately did that I ended up admiring. ... But what troubled me yesterday was my feeling that this election was tipped because of an outpouring of support for George Bush by people who don’t just favor different policies than I do – they favor a whole different kind of America. We don’t just disagree on what America should be doing; we disagree on what America is.
Given the current (and past few years) state of this country and notably the state of Ohio, and between the Ohioans who voted for Bush and the Ohioans who voted for/almost voted for Nader/no one.. I’m just not sure where to draw my faith in the American public and in their goodwill and sensibility.
“The glass is half-full”—nearly 50% voted for against Bush/for Kerry. Well yes. That’s fine. But it seems to me that we took over Iraq because of a handful of ‘bad people’ and the power they had (which is all a whole bunch of crap, btw. That invasion is one of the most unjustified crimes every committed by any government anywhere.).. Here, 50% of the country is in full power throughout the House, Senate, and sitting comforably in the Oval Office… and they’re crazy. They don’t believe in equality. They don’t believe in shades of grey. They don’t believe in accepting others for who they are, though it may be different and even weird and unattractive to theirselves. Nor do they believe in global warming.
They do believe that terrorists “hate freedom” and that we were saviors in Iraq and that 52% could be any sort of a mandate of heaven—and
that Bush could be a good President scratch that, they believe that Bush has been a good president.
Despite an utterly incompetent war performance in Iraq and a stagnant economy, Mr. Bush held onto the same basic core of states that he won four years ago – as if nothing had happened. It seemed as if people were not voting on his performance. It seemed as if they were voting for what team they were on.
â€œThey hate us because we don't know why they hate us."—Bill Maher
True for the Middle Easterners and true for the rest of the world and true for the half of us who voted against Bush, despising the other half because they clearly don’t get it.
Remember back in the day when we kept ‘colored’ people as slaves? When schools were segregated. When interracial marriage was disgusting and mixed children were abominations. When only white men could vote and own land. When birth control or even avoiding sexual intercourse at a particularly fertile time of one’s monthly cycle was considered sin.
Well back in the day nothing. Many of those things are still considered morally right (segregation) and morally wrong (birth control) by Americans today. And other Americans who think they’ve achieved something by growing past those things and striving toward unity and equality, turn around and say “gay people? gay people getting married!? abomination!” and “abortion? who cares about someone else’s circumstances and the health/safety of the mother and what are shades of grey and extrenuating circumstances? evil!”
At least if people want to believe these things and behave this way, let them not pledge “one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all.” Cuz it’s all such very much crap.
Is it a country that does not intrude into people’s sexual preferences and the marriage unions they want to make? Is it a country that allows a woman to have control over her body? Is it a country where the line between church and state bequeathed to us by our Founding Fathers should be inviolate? Is it a country where religion doesn’t trump science? And, most important, is it a country whose president mobilizes its deep moral energies to unite us – instead of dividing us from one another and from the world?
Divided indeed. This map shows the breakdown of voting results by county.
Counties won by less than 5 percentage points:
I think that shows remarkable division!
All that said… the glass is half full. Because we survived all of that and I was born and I’ve always loved being mixed and no one dares call me an abomination (let’s not start) and so maybe (slowly and dumbly) even the current crop of Americans will grow up and find something new to suppress and be afraid of.
Besides. My father’s American. And there are others—even many—who embody what many of us envision as the idealistic and worthy/worthwhile true-to-claim Americans. There’s hope as long as that.
read Thomas L. Freidman’s ‘Two Nations Under God’
also glance at these other articles (relevant to this post and the past few):
- Bush, an unemotional profile.
- The Day the Enlightenment Went Out, by Garry Wills
- War? Jobs? No, Character Counted Most to Voters, by Kate Zernike and John M. Broder
- On the Avowed Left Coast, a Feeling of Being Left Out, by Dean E. Murphy
- and as previously mentioned, though the president will unfortunately be the same, changes in the ranks will happen: Who Comes, Who Goes, Who Stays in a New Bush Council, by Steven R. Weisman
- America’s Shifting Reality, by George F. Will
- When Will Grown-Ups Be in Charge?, by Marc Fisher
- The Once and Future Hope?, by Richard Cohen