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Fear and Loathing in America

Make no mistake about it: that is what this election cycle has been all about – what the past three years have been all about. The drumbeat has been incessant. We must fear and loath the straw men created by our "leaders": foreigners, gays, environmentalists, liberals, in short anyone that doesn’t look and talk like the mythical "ideal american". A majority of the country bought what W and friends were selling and, according to our rule of law, that settles the issue.

Look around the web and you’ll find people who say that the result will be the complete ruin of the country. Of course, that’s not true. It simply means that sometime, somewhere in the future, it will be much harder and take much longer to clean up the mess. In the meantime, of course, more people will die in wars started by the US, we will continue our addiction to scarce resources, the rich will get richer at the expense of everyone else, and all of us will lose a few more of our rights due to greedy, shortsighted and bigoted laws.

Coming out of this election I find myself with even less faith than ever in government, and especially with the political system. The long, involved, and expensive electoral process produced few real leaders for this country. Both Democrats and Republicans were far more concerned with image than with truth, more interested in gaining power than serving the people. Along the way, the news media finished the complete and total abdication of their responsibilities by adding even more clowns to the circus.

Although it may not sound like it, in the end I am still an optimist (I don’t see how anyone can teach and not be one). I refuse to go along with this crap. I will not buy into this pessimistic, jingoistic, them-versus-us approach to running this country. Sure there are people who want to attack us. But we stand a better chance of defeating them by working with our friends rather than fostering new enemies and by creating genuine unity at home. I still have hope that there are some who will stand up and make those points in a loud, clear voice.

So, after a short period of ignoring the aftermath (I may not even watch the Daily Show for a couple of days!), I will return to my cynical, but hopeful, self and continue to work to create a positive future in any little way I can. It’s the only way to face the idiots life drops in your path.

1 Comment

  1. Dave Shearon

    Just a word of encouragement. Not all of those who voted for President Bush did it out of “fear and loathing.” I’m one, asyb’s another, Glenn Reynolds, etc. You can think of more, including others in your links.

    As far as the Terror War goes, I know many folks are totally dismissing the possibility we’ll actually help create more stable, representative, and functional societies in Afghanistan and Iraq. But remember, the colonists should NEVER have been able to win the Revolutionary War. But they did. History is often the story of optimists doing what they shouldn’t have been able to do. Maybe America (and it will be America, not President Bush alone) will do shock the world and actually help peaceful, representative allies emerge in Afghanistan and Iraq!

    Hope you don’t mind me posting a slightly different take in your comments. Reading other intelligent, thoughtful, expressive people who disagree with me is one of the real pleasures of blogs for me.

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