A beautiful post. I would have named this one something like ‘Values vs. Ideals’, but I trust the author knows better. Do read this one.
Read this article at theregister.co.uk by the New Democrat Outreach Program, published Sunday 7th November 2004. Blue states to Reds. [referred by a gentleman in ‘the forums’]
We Blues will come out of the Bush era no worse for wear, although you Reds will come out very much diminished, deeper in debt, and less able to improve your circumstances by your own powers.
It really is rather sneering and harsh, but I can live with that.
A friend directed me to this map you see here of the 2004 US Presidential Election Results and a Map of Pre-Civil War Free vs. Slave States.
He also directed me to this very informative and I’m sure completely comprehensive and scientific chart of the average IQ by state, and the candidate they voted for. I asked a friend how Hawaii could have beaten us geniuses in Maryland, and he reminded me that Stitch is there to break the curve. *edit: the makers of said chart pointed to a possibly more reputable chart. if someone finds more factual evidence toward this end, i’d be interested to hear/see it.
and another friend brought this one to my attention: Greg Pallast’s Kerry Won I don’t know if that’s supposed to be exhilarating or extra depressing. Not that it should necessarily be given a lot of credence, but it is out there. And that site directs on to Democracy Spoiled, a grim account of ballot spoilage. Greg Pallast concludes:
Several friends have asked me if I will again leave the country. In light of the failure — a second time — to count all the votes, that won’t be necessary. My country has left me.
and Part II: smattering of IM and spoken responses I had from friends regarding the election results:
(19:58:29) cxxx: but yeah, our country is split pretty much down the middle on issues.
(19:58:45) cxxx: good luck to bush for keeping all of us happy for the next 4 years.
(3:19:29 PM) Mxxx: its a dark day in america
(3:21:12 PM) Mxxx: notice how bush gets elected and the clouds roll in
“Reagan was a really bad president. he’d sleep through his cabinet meetings. but at least he’d have cabinet meetings. this president (Bush) just held his first cabinet meeting in three months!”
I will tell you that I believe my grumpiness about this whole thing is slowly beginning to wear off. blogging is form of therapy, after all. ‘doesn’t mean I won’t be having more politically-charged material here for a while yet. maybe even scattered through the next four years. hey, worse things could happen.
I do wish my neighborhood looked more like this. Instead, it’s actually pretty full of Bush signs… although there are a few heartwarming Kerry signs.
I wonder when my disappointment and disdain and frustration and disgust for this whole situation is going to wear off. Or at least turn productive. It’ll have to turn productive.
*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 Cohenslated in mainstream at 8:06 am
Electing to Leave: A reader's guide to expatriating on November 3
“Should one candidate win, those who opposed the Iraq war might hope to find refuge in France, where a very select few are allowed to ‘assimilate’ each year. Assimilation is reserved for persons of non-French descent who are able to prove that they are more French than American, having mastered the language as well as the philosophy of the French way of life. Each case is determined on its own merit, and decisions are made by the Minist?re de l'Emploi, du Travail, et de la Coh?sion Social. When your name is published in the Journal Officiel de la R?publique Fran?ais, you are officially a citizen, and may thereafter heckle the United States with authentic Gallic zeal.”
“We sort of hate to pack so we’ll be headed somewhere closer to home: The state of denial.”slated in mainstream at 4:39 amxyz: no one aproached me about my button :(
A little late now…
just a brief…:
i think a heck of a lot> has been said about the new MT 3.0 that finally came out.. i’ll just note very briefly (very very summarized), that i think Movable Type has certainly earned the right to quite much money from its users. i also think Six Apart did a terrible job of presenting MT 3.0 and the pricing scheme, and people are mostly rightfully upset about it. but everyone’s already said all this.
moving right along… i’m not completely horrified at MT.. but i am a bit disappointed…i’d really been looking forward to something a little new and useable in 3.0. so, as i’d considered before, wordpress is a reasonable CMS to turn to.. and so is textpattern. i’ve read a number of things about each, but i’m not really keeping straight in my head which does what, exactly.. i do know, though, that each has its advantages. i expect to get to know each (and continue to learn movabletype a bit better, still) and appreciate them a all a bit… and then i’ll choose my favorite and tell the world why it’s decidedly the best. (maybe) so that’s said. i’m moving from movabletype, but staying as well. that is basically what i had to say.
out to dinnertime for me…
..referring to the previous entry
i am quite excited about this. how not to be? read a page or two from the textpattern forum about the TextDrive VC200… the open enthusiasm and eagerness and faith and trust and appreciation and camaradarie… i think i paid the money just to be a part of all that, just as much as (if not more) for the fascinating idea of a paid host* for life. —life of the project, anyway. but with the integrity and capability and humanity of the people involved..surely it will be made to succeed. *smiling* my appreciation to everyone in that forum, and i am looking forward to all of it coming.
*a reliable and friendly host, that is knowledgeable and compassionate and simply smart. this whole thing keeps enthusing me more everytime i think about it.
imported from email conversations:From: alicson
Sent: Wednesday, May 05, 2004 1:48 PM
Subject: Re: RE: washpost (sent to me from another friend)
this article talked about how what they’re doing is terrible.. and i get the gist of what’s going on. but i haven’t actually seen much of these photographs (not really any) and i only really know what’s going on beause of the big scandal that was discussed on the radio one morning on my way to work… and about military action on this militaryguy who had probably suffered a cruel doctored photo prank… i know the sexual stuff is extra bad to them.. i don’t actually know what’s being done to them of a sexual nature, tho.. besides photos with them naked… honestly? i’m not really surprised about any of it. what outlets are really offered to these soldiers over there? the behavior is unacceptable, but who’s responsible for educating them/ curbing them, anyway?
Subject: Fwd: washpost
Sent: May 05 2004 12:34:24
It’s really rather terrible. The worst part is that in the Islamic religion, modesty is highly revered. It’s a sin and a shame to be naked in front of another man.
It’s wrong to be a homosexual or to be involved in homosexual acts. So the military people are having them do these grotesque things to them and it’s doubly bad for them.
I’ll send you the new yorker article about it that goes into a lot more detail.
really well written too.
Sent: Wednesday, May 05, 2004 2:09 PM
Subject: RE: RE: washpost
The now infamous Taguma Report was drafted in February, so this has been going on a while. What doctored photograph are you talking about? Re: The not being surprised part…first of all, you pride yourself in not really being surprised by anything, so I guess that isn’t new. And what else is being done besides these pictures?“Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees; pouring cold water on naked detainees; beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair; threatening male detainees with rape; allowing a military police guard to stitch the wound of a detainee who was injured after being slammed against the wall in his cell; sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick, and using military working dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees with threats of attack, and in one instance actually biting a detainee.”
It’s a systematic process of breaking them down, humiliating them, and sodomizing them. And in terms of regulation and oversight…that’s the question, isn’t it? How high up does this go? Who encourages/discourages this? Why was the report issued in February…3 months ago, and why is nothing being done until now?
But the political repercussions are serious. In the Arab world where the Bush Administration has been trying to state time and time again that we’re here for their own good…to liberate them, to give them freedom, to make their lives better…and then something like this gets out…as if there weren’t enough people to view the Americans as being hypocritical. We’re here as liberators…and then we make the Iraqis simulate sex acts on one another. We say that we are sensitive to their religion, and then hit mosques and do this to the people.
On an international level, Americans pride themselves on being a beacon of democracy. “But Americans are still as capable of torture as anyone else. Rumsfeld said yesterday that it was “un-American” to abuse prisoners—as if Americans were still somehow exempt from the passions that grip the rest of the human race. But we aren’t, and because we aren’t, we shouldn’t dispense with rules that have been designed to contain them.” (washingtonpost/A2328-2004May4)
It’s also about the mentality that rules shouldn’t apply to us because we’re better. On an international level, that’s what pisses everyone off…
it’s a big deal, and though it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that people are capable of doing this to prisoners…a lot of people believe that American’s aren’t actually capable of this. The Administration is also really trying hard to point out the fact that it’s a limited variation of the norm when the truth of the matter is that it doesn’t look so limited. Several of the prison systems in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo are under investigation for this very same thing.
It’s one thing to strive for a higher ideal that is beyond one’s reach, it’s another to deny the facts and issues and to keep the world as black and white as one thought of before. That’s Bush and his Administration’s tragic flaw. Regardless of all of this, we’re still liberators and anyone that doesn’t see that is on the opposing side. We’re good people, and therefore we shouldn’t follow any rules.
Sent: Wednesday, May 05, 2004 5:05 PM
Subject: Re: RE: washpost
so what do we do?
war is bad.
torture is bad.
revelling in other’s suffering is bad.
and we’re not gods and are without God’s powers.
so what do we do as a nation; government; species?—short of what is currently being done.
do you attack the motivations, or stengthen damage-control, or enforce strict policing?
we’re fans of the ‘every angle’ approach, neh?
and why isn’t it being done already, if the answers are reasonable, if not basically interpretable (i started to say ‘obvious’.. but i suppose i can’t) ?
right and wrong. good and bad. circumstances beget motivations beget circumstances…
they hate us. we hate them. why do they hate us? because we didn’t like them enough to treat them accordingly. now we don’t like them because they didn’t like us and treated us accordingly.
and of course it’s not even that simple, but if you’ll step back for a bit… well, it is.
“why should i care?” i know you understand that sentiment.
that can be accordioned short, or long so many times in so many different directions that it doesn’t matter how many things you manage to fix now.
some people.. some things… ..some ideologies.. they just cannot coexist.
human beings become more and more complicated all the time. we ‘evolve’. and we become more complicated. we learn more; we’re aware of more; we’re capable of more.. and that simply translates to bigger, badder bads….—which also allows for greater, gooder goods… (i wanted to say ‘greater, gooder God(s)’.. but offhandedly i’d venture that God has not become much gooder in the past fifty/hundred+ years.. and i wonder whether the desperation for Him is greater now than before,..or not…. a lot of terrible terrible terrible things have occurred in our (human) history. how horrified and indignant and despairing and frustrated and confused and hurt people must have been then—just the outsiders looking in at atrocity—not even the tortured and murdered and mutilated and the innocents so terribly trespassed upon and those from who all grains of decency and human kindness were stolen from… ‘human kindness’.. it’s a whole idea… it’s one word by itself… there simply must be stake in it. and there is. but that’s not what we’re talking about here, is it? now where did this parentheses start..?...) ...yes… greater gooder goods… balance and day and night and all of that… more complicated… bigger… our crimes become farther-reaching, and potentially deeper.. and we have the increasing capacity to be aware of the crimes on a larger social scale, rather than just an individual one. when are you people going to read Grapes of Wrath?
constant struggle for good triumph above evil—however we find it/interpret it/label it/create it.
we take very personally the things that we know. our country. our people. our species.
you take personally your news articles.. your knowledge: composed/collected and delivered en masse. of course there’s beauty in that. that with which you are unfamiliar, though, you grimace at.
and that’s prejudice.
and you know that your way of thinking/doing/being is better than others.
and that’s bigotry.
that, my dear, is missing only means, for exercising ‘good’old-fashioned oppression.
and how far away is torture from there?
but you know all of that.
so what do we do?