Thursday, November 04, 2004

Open Thread: Venting the Spleen,

Okay whenever something bad happens the shrinks talk about people going through different stages: denial, anger, sadness, acceptance, etc.

Before we can move forward people need to work through how they feel. Otherwise their minds and judgements will be clouded by their emotions of past events instead of reacting to present necessities.

In the spirit of this I am opening up an open thread. Anyone who reads my blog please put in your two cents.

I will not tolerate the following: trolls, super-long posts especially ones quoting huge sections of news articles (put a link in if you want to ref something), and mindless reactionary boosting for some radical extremist agenda left or right. If I see it I delete it. But I do this not in a spirit of censorship but in a spirit of increasing signal to noise ratio. If you have something to say, even if it's not PC, but it comes from within you please share it. I just want authentic expressions of individuals, not memes or proganda or sloganeering.

Don't post propaganda. Post how you you really feel. From the heart. Write it with feeling.

I also suggest any of you that know of blogs out there or have blogs on your own pass on the word. This is something all the people in the coalition that got defeated need to do. We need to come together and express our deepest aspirations and fears.

Only once we've done this can we stand strong and know what we will be fighting for.

Even if you don't normally comment, please write something down. Not for me - for you. And if you don't do it here, go some place and write it down and share it with someone.

Poisoned hearts can not from heaven's breast capture the sweet nectar of delightful victory's caress, so those who limp in their souls and the angry troll have yet to pay the toll come here now and bear witness to the disappointments and tears of yesterday's ghosts so that the past may at last be laid to rest.

Be of good heart and cheer, and fear not, for times will bring blacker days but anon shall come our chance to make it right. :-)

76 Comments:

At November 4, 2004 at 12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My friend Kevin and I did our post-mortem last night and the conclusion we came to was (as others have) that it was lost on gays and abortion. But mostly gays.

Beyond pathetic. I know you're not supposed to say "goddamn these people are stupid", but goddamn these people are stupid. The train wreck of the next four years, economically, is going to be awe inspiring.

And this is a real moral issue. It is immoral to make your children and grandchildren pay for your filthy consumtion in the present. It is immoral to use services you are not willing to pay for. It is immoral to go to war based on lies. It is immoral to despise blue staters, to despise their cities, yet be taking their money hand over fist while denying you are doing so. It is immoral to support sending jobs to China. It is immoral to support tax cuts for the rich when the middle class and poor are drowning.

I know they're ignorant - I know they live in lalaland where Iraq was behind 9/11, the majority of the world supported the invasion of Iraq, where Bush is a strong and capable leader, the torture at Abu Ghraib was the result of a few bad apples and so on - but this has reached the level of societal pschosis. These people are literally living in a fucking fantasy world where the US is good and strong and prosperous and NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE DOES IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN THAT WAY AND ALWAYS WILL BE THAT WAY. They seem to think that just because they were born lucky, born American, they don't have to pay attention and do the right things to keep that birthright meaning something.

Ian

 
At November 4, 2004 at 12:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Feh.

Shotgun.

Farm.

Canada.

 
At November 4, 2004 at 12:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had the same feeling as the results rolled in as did so many others: I do not recognize my country any more. How can they support this man and his policies?Look at what has happened to all our branches of Government. I can't think about what's going to happen to the Supreme Court as bad as it is already.

I've been reading marccooper.com a thoughful journalist on the left who is a kerry-phobe but voted for him anyway - the first time he voted democrat since McGovern. One of his last posts before the election said get real, a Kerry victory isn't going to change much. A Bush victory won't mean the sky is going to fall.

I was thinking of that as I looked at my wife's teary eyed, depressed face the morning after. I told her that there will be a life after Bush and his Red State mob have their turn.

 
At November 4, 2004 at 12:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stayed up pretty late Tuesday night, and got up tired and irritated on Wednesday. There is a lot I still don't understand about what happened on Tuesday, but the sun still came up today, and my wonderful wife still smiles at me, so the world is essentially what it was before. The fight goes on.

The new Conservatism (not to be confused with NeoConservatism) has always been about sex, or more precisely, fear of sex. Every major social issue they choose as the center of their platform is about sex; abortion, birth control, stem cells, Howard Stern, Janet Jackson, gays in the military, gay marriage, sex education in schools, perhaps even evolution. This has been true since at least 1976. Carter admitting that he lusted in his heart (gasp) was a scandal. In a social-psychological sense, they try to drive sex into the social unconscious, as they drive it into the unconscious of their own minds (of course, the Left can be as guilty as they, in terms of unconsciousness, but there are different blind spots). But as with a person, if a society cannot become conscious of its own dark side, that shadow will express itself in unpredictable and uncontrolled ways (see Abu Ghraib).

In this election, the unconscious won.

Samurai.

 
At November 4, 2004 at 1:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ian,

Rule 1: People vote their self-interest.

You're right about the Gay issue, I saw it coming six months before the election. The Democrats got their knickers in a twist over this and it was stupid of them. They didn't have a clue how most Americans don't like that issue even to be raised.

I tried commenting on the gay issue back then but the Dem bloggers went orbital. They placed blind ideology over pragmatism and positioning.

Rove didn't have to do much after that.

But the Democrats could have won had IMO adopted a platform of economic inclusiveness and railed against the damage done by NAFTA and the other treaties. And kept their mouths shut on Gays across the country.(we're not ready for this yet)

This would have resonated with those in the mid-west
who've been hammered by it. Promise them aid, pork, whatever to get them back on their feet and get their vote.

By taking the gay issue off the table and putting economics on, it would have gotten the attention of our selfish electorate.

Rule 2: Money talks and people like to listen.

FWIW

Rodger

 
At November 4, 2004 at 2:18 PM, Blogger J Thomas said...

I was scared when I thought about it for months before the election. There was the Diebold thing. There was the chance Bush might even win fairly. I wasn't that strong for Kerry but nobody else could beat Bush, he was the only chance.

And the polls kept looking bad, according to the telephone polls Kerry kept needing to take a few states that Bush was ahead in. There was a strong chance the polls were biased in favor of Bush, no way to tell. So I hoped it would work out.

My family went to the polls at 10 AM, there was a long line but we got out before 11:30. The line was even longer then. Old people were talking about how it was far greater turnout than they'd ever seen. The touchscreen computers went fast and easy and used no paper whatsoever. They weren't the Diebold smart-card ones, I didn't recognise the brandname. Bush won here by 3% and the announcement was that the turnout was only 65% of registered voters. Turnout was usually around 50%, and republicans usually won by about 3%. Somaybe the giant turnout was proportionally republican?

I'd hoped people would vote against Bush and maybe the votes would be counted. It didn't work out that way. I felt partly scared and partly relieved. If Kerry had won I'd have felt obligated to look for rational patriotic bipartisan legislation I could push to my senators and representative. I'd feel like there was a whole lot to do and no telling how much of it could be done, and there'd be that sense of crisis all the time, that we had to do the best we could with a dangerous mess. But those responsibilities are gone now. I have Bush for president, 2 republican senators and a republican representative. No reason to think that any of them will pay the least bit of attention to anything I send them. I won't have any responsibility for this government until 2006 at the earliest.

I'm not sure what to do personally. It would be cheap this week to buy 50 pounds of rice and 50 pounds of beans, and a big bag of charcoal and a big jug of chlorox. If I get to keep living at my home I could disinfect drinking water from the creek, and boil rice and beans on the patio. Should I register for a gun license, or buy an unregistered gun, or skip that? My wife wants to move to canada, but could I get a job there? It seems implausible, and would they actually be better off? They do more extractive industry than we do so it's more established. I should look for a new job in an extractive industry, selling coal or wood or some other raw material the chinese will keep buying. When it expands I might get promoted. I'd likely be better off without seniority there than with what I'm doing which depends on upper middle class american customers.

I don't know how bad to expect things to get. It makes sense to me that within 4 years we won't be able to afford imported oil and we'll become a large oil exporter. I don't see very well how to prepare for that, though. I've read stories about people who lived through the russian revolution, or the Pol Pot regime, but I don't actually see many pointers there. Except one, that people who're cold and starving do better to stay active. The ones who took to their beds died like flies.

Would it get that bad? I don't know. I don't know what to prepare for. I have the thought I should pay all my debts, that I'll be better off if I run out of money earlier and be broke, than run out of money later and be endebted. That minimal social services may be cut off for debtors, that would remain for responsible poor people. But it's just a hunch. I'd be betting my family's survival on it, if things go that bad.

It's exciting. Sometimes I feel scared and sometimes just excited. I figure I won't have time to think about bigger issues for awhile, and my opinions about them won't matter anyway except for guessing which way to jump. But, suppose that in 4 years 1% of the population will own 95% of the wealth. Or 99%. Or 99.9%. This is not something that would change due to politics, no matter who wins the elections in 2008 on. I've usually lived in places that had a pleasant classless atmosphere; rich people lived in nicer houses than poor people and drove more expensive cars etc, but it seemed like a quantitative difference more than a qualitative one. I've talked to politicians and rich people as a professional with a professional's expertise in a limited area, and I usually felt accepted; I might get attacked on substantive grounds and I'd get the chance to explain the point, but it felt like I was a full citizen. It would feel strange to give that up, to be treated like a skilled servant, but I guess that's just a matter of style, something to adapt to.

I dunno. When Reagan was first elected I thought it was bad but it was just politics. Within 2 years I was looking for work and my city had 50% unemployment. But I could overestimate the problems now. There have been countries that had foreign exchange problems that exported food while part of their population starved, but that wouldn't have to happen here. Besides, it isn't enough to store food for my family. If my neighbors don't have food I won't either. In the worst case survival is plain unlikely. And things probably won't get that bad. How do you guess what to prepare for?

 
At November 4, 2004 at 2:40 PM, Blogger Grand Moff Texan said...

Feh. Not sure what this exercise will accomplish. On September 11, my first reaction was that I should find an Arab and kill him. I knew, at the same time, that this was a pointless response, causality and culpability being what they are. All talking about my feelings did was scare the hell out of my wife.

My feelings, on election day, were clouded by the news that an old friend had committed suicide the day before. So I can't tell if what I'm feeling has anything to do with the election.

As I see it, nothing's changed. Same leader, same balance of power, same issues, same failed policies. We go on.

 
At November 4, 2004 at 3:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've felt like this was coming for quite awhile. I knew I/we were in trouble when I started feeling like the Bush regime was worse than Nixon's. As Hunter S. Thompson said recently, Nixon would have been the liberal in this election. It's scary to think that Nixon was more liberal, on most issues, than most of the elected Democrats who currently hold office.

Having said all of that, I'm really at a loss for what to do. Kerry being elected wouldn't have removed my confusion, just probably postponed any action for a bit. I grew up with the concept "I may not agree with what you're saying, but I will defend to the death your right to say it". For me, this, in a nutshell, described being an American. This is how Jewish lawyers working for the ACLU could defend the American Nazi Party's right to free speech. It was always an ideal, but now, not only does it not even warrant lip service by most people, it is viewed as a radical and dangerously threatening viewpoint.

This scares me.

I also fear when the economics and mechanics of our society begin to more visibly fall apart. It takes a lot of infrastructure to support much of our population in the density it has chosen to live in. For this reason I am considering moving to a low density area with some possibility of self-sustenance. This may turn out to be some sort of irrational 60s hippie fantasy, but conversely, it's starting to appear like a potentially lifesaving maneuver.

I agree with Oldman's comments elsewhere about civil war, it would be a stupid thing at this time, but I'm having greater and greater difficulty seeing how it will not happen. There are plenty of reasonable things that could be done to avoid it, but our current government doesn't seem to traffic much in reasonableness. The polarization is so great that it is difficult to even have a general discussion among people who don't share similar viewpoints. And this is without a draft! Adding a draft will likely start to tip things over the edge when coupled with the energy and economic disasters looming immediately ahead.

 
At November 4, 2004 at 5:57 PM, Blogger Ed Tayter said...

I walked around all day yesterday feeling like I had been kicked in the gut. I knew intellectually that a Bush victory was more likely than not, but I couldn't feel it in my gut. Now I do and it certainly does suck. It's sort of like the feeling after a bad car accident, like knowing that what happened did, in fact, occur, but trying to wake up from the horrible dream anyway.

What are the likely consequences of four more years of Bushco, at least 2 of them with Repubs in control of both Houses of Congress? Some that come right of the top of my head are; reactionary Supreme Court nominees that will not just target Roe, but will try to roll back the entire New Deal. No more workplace regulation, no more environmental regualtion, no more welfare state (except for the military). The American attempt at military empire in the middle east will continue to drag on. The continued stripping of public education, expect more "values-based education", this includes abstinance only sex-ed, creationism, and another rewrite of American history to make it even more patriotic.

There must be an eventual backlash. The only reason that people in the midwest vote for Republicans who will harm them economically, is because economic harm is still no painful enough and they can focus on meaningless pseudo-issues (like moral values). Sure people are out of work, and housing is getting expensive. But most of the red states population is not hungry (yet). With four more years of Bush faith-based economic policy, the economic pain may actually increase to the point where lower-middle class Repubs will realize how hard their party is sticking it to them. Then they will look for someone to blame. We need to make sure that they blame the right people.

Things need to get worse before they can get better. Fortunately, with another four years of Bushco, things getting worse is pretty much guaranteed.

Oldman, keep up the blogging. You and the folks over at BOP have a huge role to play in the future reawakening of reality-based politics in America. The social networks that we are forming are the first steps in this political awakening. Good Luck, we are sure as shit going to need it.

 
At November 4, 2004 at 6:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

" . . . living in a fucking fantasy world where the US is good and strong and prosperous and NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE DOES IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN THAT WAY AND ALWAYS WILL BE THAT WAY. . . .think that just because they were born lucky, born American, they don't have to pay attention and do the right things . . ."

Ian,

This struck me as a good paraphrase of the epitaph of any number of political regimes that have gone down to utter destruction.

Truly the Fates are kind. The Vietnam War was the plain warning that it was time to change our thinking and reassess who we truly are in the world. We got off light: A bit of public embarrassment, a bunch of soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder, and a national heroin habit. Nothing really in the larger scheme of things--just a gentle nudge to WAKE UP!

Too bad we didn't.

--Gaianne

By the way, those stupid psychiatrists can just take their stupid stages of grieving and shove it! I mean why don't they just curl up and die already! :O +_)(*&^%$#@!. . . never mind . . .

 
At November 4, 2004 at 6:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There has been so much hand-wringing over the last few days about the demise of the country and the end of the Democratic party that almost you might forget how weak a candidate Kerry really was.

As much as I loathe Bush, the plain and simple truth of it is that the Dems put up a weak candidate, ran a weak campaign (for the record - when you fail to identify and address the #1 issue 50% of the country voted on that's a good sign that you ran a poor campaign) . . . and just simply got beaten by a better, smarter machine.

I really do question whether so much has changed since last week as to make folks believe that the end is so much nearer.

And as for fixing all this . . . the GOP is ultimately an affiliation between the rich (who have resources but don't care about social policy since it doesn apply to them) and the religious social conservatives (who have many votes but don't care about money so long as they get their social policy). We have no equal on the left.

So instead of hand wringing - how about we get to work.

 
At November 4, 2004 at 6:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The thing about cargo cultists is that they believe that they are the ones who are the real deal, the authentic inhabitants of the island who know its ways to live in harmony and worship the true gods. The unworthy interlopers, clumsy and ignorant, have somehow found a way to trick the gods into misdirecting the cargo meant for all and keeping it for themselves.

In the sureness of their convictions they conjure and construct simulacrum facades to receive their share of cargo, but to no avail as their worldview lacks correspondence with reality. Eventually they conclude the only way to undo the trickery that empowers the unworthy is by deconstruction of the interlopers. Sadly for them, war is always the ultimate form of reality correction.

Perhaps this will bring some cheer.

Mr Pomo was flying coach to Dallas when he decided he’d rather sit in first class. He finds an empty seat and settles in. The flight attendant notices and tells him he’ll have to move back to coach.

So Mr Pomo tells her “The space time coordinates you refer to as coach are continuously overtaking the space time I occupy with a velocity approaching 600 mph. Therefore it is simply an artifact of your limited perception that prevents you from appreciating that here and there are actually the same place in a more universal frame of reference”

The attendant mentions this to the steward who goes over and tells Mr Pomo that since he is not ticketed for first class he will have to leave. So Mr Pomo tells him “Your arbitrary class distinctions are a historically discredited form of oppression that no member of modern enlightened society could possibly honor.”

The steward mentions this to the captain, who tells the copilot “take over for a minute; I know how to deal with this”. He walks over to Mr Pomo and politely whispers something in his ear. After that Mr Pomo meekly gets up and returns to coach. When the captain returns to the cockpit the copilot asks “What did you tell that guy?”

The captain replied “I just told him that first class wasn’t going to Dallas.”

 
At November 4, 2004 at 6:47 PM, Blogger Floss said...

For the life of me I just can't understand how "moral values" can trump honest well-being for about one quarter of the electorate. I was angry (still am to a certain extent), not that Bush won, but the forces at work behind his election. I'm angry that a rather large minority of my fellow Americans (speaking about those who voted for cultural issues) can have such blind, seething hate.

I live in the only county in Kansas to go for Kerry (Douglas) and every person I've met has the same feeling, one of sheer disgust and bewilderment.

That's best how I can sum up my feelings, anger, disgust, and bewilderment.

 
At November 4, 2004 at 7:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I keep thinking about everyone here's warnings of the recession that'll come in a year or 2, and wondering how much worse it'll be under Bush. I'm 20 years old, who's getting out of the ivory tower next year, and so I'm scared shitless. I want to know how bad this recession could be, and what the telltale signs of another invasion are, and whether or not either the threat of a recession (told to Bush by a smiling Greenspan along with a "no worries" smile?) or the actual deal would stop it. I mean, how far can we sell our treasury to the Asian markets before they say no? Would Iran ruin us, and how would that dip into real pain, as you guys said, be reacted to by the public?

I've read all of David Neiwart's pseudo facism essays, and the thing that stuck out most to me is that we're not nearly poor enough to turn super crazy. This election proved that for all the brilliant wonkery on our side, people just don't get that all but the super rich are going to be screwed in the coming months. In this way, I almost feel happy, since instead of thinking on all the different levels of Yomi as to how the press works in our society, I can go back to simply thinking they're parasites whose job is to pimp everything being HaPpY aNd NiCe. (This is an especially big Fuck You to Kudlow and Kramer)

So I'm just full of questions for my future, especially to how our next big crisis will be used by each party. And the one bit of relief I've clinged to, that now Bush has to take the fall for it, is dashed by the same reason he won - that no one on his side gives a damn about competence or truth. If Rush can spin Abu Ghraib into frat tricks, then who's to say that the neocrats and theocons can't blame this on the left? What's that german word for 'stab in the back'? It makes me almost hope (and this HURTS) that the crisis we face is a terrorist attack first, so it's much harder to spin away. No one is taught economics, and so anyone can get spun away from everything in anything lower than a graduate level seminar, but Bush couldn't hide from another destroyed tower. And if he can, then (again a question) how much further towards 2nd World status would we be headed?

 
At November 4, 2004 at 8:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are China's motives in this new Bushworld?

 
At November 4, 2004 at 9:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm plenty troubled about the implications of the this election. It says some dark things about our society. But being someone that's been watching our economy spiral out of control for a while now, right now I can't stop wondering about how the government will react to the looming economic catastrophe because they are lacking an easy domestic scapegoat once people look around at the devastation and ask "who the hell allowed this to happen?!". A Kerry Presidency dealing with such a crisis would have a very different dynamic than a Bush Presidency facing a similar situation. Kerry and the GOP controlled congress could point the finger at eachother. They would both be natural targets to blame. But with GOP control of all branches of government, I don't think BushCo will convincingly be able to pin the blame on pesky gays and liberals. Even though the Democrats have played a big role in the bipartisan destruction of our economic fundamentals, they will have been out of power for too long for them to convince anyone past their hardcore base that BushCo is not the primary culprit. And I think these guys know this. That leaves a foreign scapegoat. They might be able to blame terrorists, especially if we're attacked again and that proves to be the straw that breaks the camel's back. I'm placing my bets on a something that triggers the kind of war that requires a full scale conversion to a wartime economy. Iran perhaps? The GOP's back is going to be so firmly up against the wall when the economic shit hits the fan they will need something on par with full war mobilization to keep the public distracted and occupied enough for the pols to avoid the gallows themselves once America as we know it dissolves. There appears to be more than enough people in Washington these days that are ruthless enough to send us into a war to save their own asses, which is why right now I'm so concerned about the this threat to Powers that Be's political puppets.

 
At November 4, 2004 at 9:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oldman, several of the posts hit on it. The gay issue was a killer. As a gay man I put much of the blame also on my fellow gays. It was stupid to push this issue of gay marriage. A gay guy in New York does not have a clue as to the real world in the hinderlands of the red states. And I do appreciate the open-minded and generous stands of many bloggers I follow they made a major blunder in keeping the gay marriage front & center. When a right winger is stupid on economics; the level of ignorance on anything gay is staggering and cannot be over come.

 
At November 4, 2004 at 10:47 PM, Blogger orc said...

The gay marriage thing has been going on for a lot longer than this year. I don't know what the appropriate reply to the Evil Party would have been, but writing off the queer population doesn't strike me as a sensible solution (and saying that gay marriage is okay, but not this year, is writing off the queer population). Remember that the Evil Party just makes shit up(tm) -- if the Democratic Party wrote off the gays, Karl would merely have made something else up and gone with that; the creepy materialistic evangelicalism that has infected the United States is a font of imaginary injustices to cultivate.

And, worse yet, writing off the gay marriage thing is just _reacting_ to the Evil Party. The time spent reacting is, well, wasted (no matter how gratifying it might be to insult Maximum Leader Genius on weblogs) because the true believers won't even listen.

 
At November 5, 2004 at 12:18 AM, Blogger wunderdog said...

You're right about going through stages, and also the need to say what you gotta say to get it out of your system. Rage and disbelief are powerful when combined to upset hopes that have been built up for years. I wrote some pretty rotten shit yesterday, and, like Cheney said, I feel better about it now, but it don't make it right. Either way, time for a redirection for me, get out the anger and get busy finding those things that used to interest me before this political race.

 
At November 5, 2004 at 12:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My best friend voted for Bush. Though I tried to convince her otherwise, even if she had voted for Kerry, it would not have had any noticable impact since she lives in Texas. What really bothers me is that there were never any good reasons for her to vote that way. We talked about the war in Iraq and how none of the proffered justifications could be true; we talked about the environment, which she loves, and how it's being plundered and how the administration is only making things worse; we talked about healthcare, and how she wants to see a national healthcare system in this country, about how neither of us have healthcare because we cannot afford it; we talked about the economy and how lucky we both are to even have jobs. I even got her to admit that Roe v Wade should stand. And yet she always said she'd vote for Bush in the end. Why? Because she's a born again christian and so is he. Bevause he has strong convictions.

I couldn't come up with any effective arguments for that. I tried to point out that his actions were inconsistent with christianity; I tried to argue that strong convictions were not a good reason to vote for someone. I tried everything I could think of, but it eventually came down to a very unpleasant conclusion. God has hijacked her mind and she's gone crazy.

I read your explanations for Bush's base, Oldman, but though I trust you to come up with solid economic reasoning, I've never seen the slightest shadow of such rationality in the thoughts of Bush voters I've come across.

Granted, I'm too young to grasp the boomers mindset, I'm too liberal to have conservatives open up to me about their reasoning. Perhaps it's telling that your arguments for conservative behaviour are the most reasonable I've ever come across. I don't know. What I know is that from my perspective, people everywhere seem to be going insane. It's most noticable in the current political split, but it's not just Bush supporters. Kerry couldn't tell the truth because no one wants to hear it. Certain boundaries exist in discussion beyond which You Can Not Go because no one wants to believe that our Government could prioritize oil over human lives.

Sometimes I think you're a bit too smart Oldman. I think you may be attributing complex reasoning to people who aren't actually exercising any, by which I refer mostly to your explanation of Bush's boomer base.

I was always an idealist, but lately I've been finding myself thinking that perhaps the ends do justify the means. After all, since we all know how stupid people can be, wouldn't it be better to have the better choice elected President even if it means not following our outlined democratic process? Not that I believe the numbers anyway, but should it really matter whether it's 49.9% of people making the wrong decision or 50.1%?

Leaving the country isn't an option for me, although I nominally have British citizenship and might be able to exercise it. The future looks bleak, and everyone looks crazy. I don't have mush faith in our ability to achieve a workable solution. For me, my primary worry is about surviving the unthinkable.

bitbug

 
At November 5, 2004 at 12:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Politics is the art of compromise.

Push issues that are inflammatory and kiss your ass goodbye. Expect backlash, this is what happened to the Gays(personally I think its wrong) Reality trumps ideology every time.

You sneak important but inflammatory issues in discretly and a in a piecemeal fashion. Never the front door. Be smart above all else, take a page from the GOP playbook on the how-to's of this.

Here's what people are not seeing IMO.

1) Like attracts like. A lot of people identify with Bush's ineptitude, arrogance and ignorance. Egro they vote for him. He resonates with the dummies and bullies IOW.
2) People will invariably vote their self-interest and its collorary:
People can be manipulated into voting against their
self-interest.

3)Our populace has been subjected to 20 years of intense propaganda from AM-radio, tv news and the print media. This has radicalized a large segment of people as a result who can't really think for themselves anymore.

4) 9-11 was a propagandists dream and it did change the way politics is done. If it weren't for that Bush would have been a gonner. The GOP realized that inducing blind fear into its base was a great way of getting out the vote.

5) The Democrats did not run on a populist platform. They ran a elitist(Kerry) who couldn't articulate nor endorse populist economics that would have garnered him the voted needed to win.

The last one I cannot emphasise enough, people. Because when the Democrats abandoned this policy it cost them the votes of the working class.

I'll give you folks a short history lesson.
When Clinton pushed through NAFTA the working class felt betrayed something terrible and Clinton and the Dems earned the wrath of the working class.

How bad? Back then I was a Repub who listened to Limbaugh everyday, now when Clinton was pushing NAFTA guess who came to his aid? Rush thats who.

Rush was defending Clinton against one angry dittohead after another who argued that NAFTA was going to cost them their jobs(it did too), the working class had no one to look to for help. This was truly surreal scene where a GOP turd polisher like Rush was working the masses for Clinton.

The rest as they say is history. We lost millions of jobs to Mexico and the Asia as a result. Whole sections of the mid-west and south became destitute. The people felt angry and betrayed by the democrats.

For 10 years the Democrats were silent on this and the GOP took advantage of it to the max.

Why? Because the Democratic party is corrupt at the top and controlled by corporate interests. They also listend to the DLC which fed them nothing but one policy disaster after another.

FWIW from a ex-rethug.

Rodger

 
At November 5, 2004 at 12:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess I'm just despairing. For so long you were able to count on some part of govt. squelching the ridiculous ideas of another; no more. Now it has to be the populace or, the idea even passes. Ben Franklin said our democracy would work only for a while, that only tyranny would work due to people's corruption. I just think we're sliding into a soft Fascism. Feeling impotent, in a supposed democracy is what feels the worst. It takes away the feeling of being home.

 
At November 5, 2004 at 2:39 AM, Blogger Travis said...

I'm past denial already. I am more angry than anything. I'm angry that Kerry and everyone else just aquiessed. It happened even faster than last time. This was supposed to be the election where Dems showed they weren't going to take any crap. That was supposed to be the BIG LESSON from 2000. We gave money, spent hours trying to flak for various campaigns, and going on the attack. So what does our party do? Turns it back on us. Drop the centrists, drop the "bi-partisanship", and drop the fake civility. Fake civility is worse than yelling, because its weak and dishonest. Its enough to make you want to run for office.

 
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At November 5, 2004 at 11:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Travis: You don't say clearly whether you believe the election was (reasonably) clean. If so, you have to acknowledge that voters have articulated their preference, like it or not. And if the Kerry camp believes likewise, conceding is only the logical step.

 
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[cm] Oops, previous response to Travis was mine.

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(2) A clean & healthy environment is for wimps.

(3) In business and war, there are no rules, as opposed to in love.

 
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"Straight-A student" was an insult. When you said something was "interesting" it meant you didn't understand it; when you said something was "different" you meant that you didn't like it.

I got out as soon as I could. After college, I joined the Peace Corps, moved to Oregon after that, and eventually wound up in Brooklyn. There are, of course, millions of knuckleheads in New York--the old Irish neighborhood I live in has its share of Sean Hannity apers--but I am thankful every day that I live in a place that celebrates the different and the interesting, and I can't imagine raising my three-year-old son anywhere else.

But I worry, and my worry has been magnified by this past election. I feel as if I haven't moved far enough away from Indiana--the people I left behind are now trying to put their stamp on every last corner of this nation, writing their prejudices and superstitions into law. I am not some sort of radical, hemp-wearing hippie (I am fairly conservative in dress and manner) so I could probably pass if I kept my mouth shut. But that's not the kind of life I want for my son, my wife or myself.

I feel as if I've already made my compromise by leaving the land of my parents behind, left them and my brother and sister to their young Earth creationism and Bill Bennett platitudes and "we're not racist" racism and the whole ball of wax. They're better off with me not running them down to their face all the time, and I'm better off hanging out with other exiles from Red America. Still, I've believed the myth that America was full of good people who would do the right thing if you presented them with the facts of malfeasance and incompetence, they would respond by throwing the bums out.

Instead, I realized that the disdain for the smart guys, for people with new ideas or different points of view has metastasized into a general hatred of anyone who won't kowtow to Red America cultural touchstones. If you don't elevate NASCAR over NASA, angels over atoms, Krispy Kreme over canolis, then you are now an Enemy of America. My mom has always spoken of Indiana as "God's Country" and I always took it for a joke; now it seems to be taken by many as a point of beligerence, an assertion disagreed with only by infidels.

It's no longer enough that I've left. They want me and my kind gone.

I always took for granted that even though I couldn't live there, I could always go back and understand my home turf. I'd root for them and be happy for them.

I don't know about that anymore. The politics of the heartland seem so mean and twisted that I feel the bond between me and it has snapped. The covenant has been broken. And as I ponder what is best for my son this year and next year and thirty years down the line, I've come to believe (if temporarily) that whatever is bad for Red America is good for him. If those kids are trapped in hollowed out schools and fed religious dogma rather than science, then great. That's less competition for the best colleges. If those kids are sickly and obese, that means my healthy son will be physically stronger and more attractive when it comes time to find a spouse.

I see the people in thrall to Bush as, if not he enemy exactly, then as neither comrades nor compatriots. I feel no affinity for them, and as they feel the brunt of the failed policies of the Bush administration and cry out that It Just Isn't Fair, I'll smile and be heartless.

Damn them all. They've turned me--at least for the near future--into a yuppie. Damn them all.

 
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I don't know if the election was clean. The conspicuious attempt at voter suppression was not a good sign, nor were the stories about problems with voting machines. It doesn't matter now that Kerry has conceeded. If had fought, who knows... At the worst George Bush would be president. It could have helped rally the troops at least.

He may not have been president but he was the focus of the entire party. He was in a unique possition to lead. Now we have no one to focus on except Bush. Its not pleasent and its not good for the party.

As for the voters... there is obviously a failure of leadership on all sides when so many of Bushes supporters believe things that are clearly not true (refering to that media/viewer survey on Iraq). I don't know if that is a cause of Bush's win or a symptom of something else, but those perceptions should have been brought back to reality in a harsh way.

 
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I don't know how we became such a fearful nation. Didn't your drill sergeants teach you better?
I don't fit in to either party. I don't want more cops. I really do want less debt.
I run a business, but I don't feel constricted by too much regulation.
As far as abortion and stem cells, I'll believe the repubs care, when they start caring for ppl after they're born.

 
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Oh, that was me. Jeff

 
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Actually, that is what really ticks me off. I am so fed up with watching the media (that is supposedly liberal) pass on the disinformation. I just shudder and think about 1984 and Orwell. I see the administration make an error, and then, poof! It's not THEIR mistake; look at Kerry - HE makes these mistakes! The list would fill a scroll down to the floor and out the door. To be fair, the Democrats were not particularly truthful, they just met the usual standard for politicians. The current Republican party has just made them look like choirboys, and that's no small feat. This is the first time I have not enjoyed sitting on the sidelines as an Independent. This past year has not been pleasant and the outcome concerns me a great deal.

I fear for the economy, the debt for our children, and what is going to happen in the world. I have been reading your blog, Oldman, and a great deal of it resonates. What I don't know is if there is some way to deflect our trajectory just enough so that we can reduce the coming damage.

Whatever it will take, my gut tells me that only by shaking some sense into the media will we get any results. I just have no idea how to do it right now. I know that many of these people are fine, decent, honest folk who have fallen into a trap that I have avoided.

In addition, I plan to make some changes and preparations for what may come. I am not well-to-do financially, but I plan on making the most of what I have; savings, skills, and resources. My grandparents ground their way through the Great Depression while raising my parents and I plan to do the same for my kids. Whatever it takes.

 
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I was original reporting today and will have a published story in a day or so on the vote in Ohio. Stay tuned. There's a movement afoot in Columbus that will hit this weekend.

 
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