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Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Time to regroup and reconsider

The first and most important thing is not to turn on the Kerry campaign. That they got any votes at all with most of the media and most of the money against them is a miracle. If liberals turn on Kerry, then that will discredit the liberal side of the party completely and aid the Republicans in their goal of a one-party state.

Bush won because of two things we didn't see coming--the fundamentalists were whipped into a hateful frenzy after being thoroughly worked over by Karl Rove and the young people of this country didn't see that Bush is trying to ruin them.

I think we can safely give up hope that the fundamentalists won't be driven to the polls out of pure burning hate from here on out. That's as foolish as assuming you could change the white Southern voting bloc to think about anything but their hatred of black people in the 50's and 60's. Keeping down gays and women is their one and only goal and we can write off any hope of changing them and move towards containment as a goal from here on out.

The young people of this country are a disappointment, but that may change in the next four years. All around campus yesterday, I saw Bush/Cheney shirts, some even on guys with longish hair who probably smoke pot and listen to Phish. For some reason, that the Republicans are a bunch of uptight weenies is something that is not getting through to young people.

More upsetting, I heard some young woman passionately decrying Kerry as "anti-war" as I walked to work today.

I feel this pro-war stance amongst the young is fixing to change. It may be fun and games now for the well-off white girl to sneer at pacifists, but when she kisses her boyfriend good-bye as he goes off to die for oil, she might begin to see it differently. I hope it doesn't come to this. But I don't see how it won't. Now that Bush feels he has a mandate, he will get us involved in all sorts of military adventures.

The young are also going to be thrown into a panic if it turns out that BushCo is serious about taking away their birth control. I guess they just poo-poo that now, but it's definitely a worry.

My biggest fears right now, besides the massive wars that we may have to get into now, is jobs and education. After the next round of tax cuts, there's no telling how many of us will get to keep our jobs. That, more than anything, is what's making me sick to my stomach. And I expect that Bush Unleashed will do everything in his power to completely gut public education.

The fascist element of the Republican party has been openly hostile to widespread education for a long time now. Education means that people learn history, government, and science, three subjects that incline them away from voting Republican. As such, it has to go. Twenty minutes of listening to right wing radio and it becomes crystal clear that they have been laying the foundation for destroying education for a decade plus now--it's well-believed that being educated makes you immoral and decadent. By the time NCLB and tax cuts make it pointless to even have schools, half of the electorate will be convinced that they are teaching nothing but oral sex techniques in school anyway, so they won't care.

All things considered, it's better that Bush wins legitimately than by stealing the election again, if those are the only two choices. The masses of Freepers and their ilk who are just waiting to instigate a violent rebuttal to Democratic efforts to resist another unfair election have been thwarted. (Unless Ohio goes to Kerry, of course.) At least there's no excuse to continue to chip away at representative democracy any further. And since Bush won the popular vote, the conservative side will immediately be capitulating on pro-electoral college stance.

As for coping, the answer is simpler than ever. If you are a person on the shit list--racial minority, educated woman, artistic type, liberal, gay or lesbian, etc.--stay in the cities. Don't even consider moving to the country. Rural areas voted Bush in and rural areas are going to get raped the hardest by BushCo. Rural women will be the first to see access to birth control disappear. The seeds of hatred that the Republicans have sown are tearing at rural communities more than urban ones where the reality of diversity blunts the effect of the more paranoid rhetoric. Continued outsourcing hurts everyone, but one-industry towns will really feel the pain the worst. The rural poor will still be routing their children into the military, the one hope they have to get some job training and education to escape the increasing poverty, meaning that Bush will reward them for their loyalty by having their children killed first.

And it's going to be okay, really. Things right now are scary, no doubt about it. But hey, Germany and Italy are still standing, even though the fascists did their best to cause their societies to implode. The conservatives, drunk on their own power, are already planting the seeds of their own destruction. And watching that will be amusing, if nothing else.

16 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, the first thing I did was take down my flags and yellow ribbon. It really isn't my flag at the moment. And the servicepeople can be remembered in my prayers. Why associate with the folks who think that it is just fine to send other people's sons over to get killed in non-armored Humvees, but think it is also necessary to advertize that they are more patriotic for sending other people's sons and daughters to die in a war started for a lie and continued with shameful torture? Flags and yellow ribbons are f-ing fashion statements now and don't mean a damn thing.

NancyP

11/03/2004

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first and most important thing is not to turn on the Kerry campaign. That they got any votes at all with most of the media and most of the money against them is a miracle. If liberals turn on Kerry, then that will discredit the liberal side of the party completely and aid the Republicans in their goal of a one-party state.Yes. We need to stress this. Liberal self-flagellation is unfair and self-destruction. Kerry did the best anyone could under the circumstances.

Bush, like it or not, has a mandate. Fearmongering worked. Lying worked. But we need to keep fighting, not despair. Keep volunteering and keep writing to the media. We've lost a battle, but the war rages on.

-Linnet

11/03/2004

 
Blogger La Lubu said...

I don't harbor any ill will against Kerry; he did the best he could. Nor do I think any screwing up was done on the part of diligent footsoldiers driving folks to the polls, phone banking, walking precincts, etc.

But we are not doing ourselves any favors by just tossing the torn tickets up in the air and giving the DNC a pass on this one. Yes, they did screw up, and they've been doing it for years. They have been playing the Repugnican game, on their turf, with their rules, and using their ball. Meanwhile, the Repugnicans didn't get to where they are overnight; they strategized for around twenty years before seeing real results with the Reagan election. They worked, from the ground up, at coming to terms with the natural divisions in their ranks. Yes, Austin, we have a problem.

We have even more natural contradictions within our ranks. We're the Big Boat, ya know? And we've been having the piss knocked out of us by real pros. We can and should be using different methods. We can and should be exploiting the natural divisions in the Repugnican party. Those divisions have not gone away in the past forty years. There has just been an absence of any solid challenge out here in the Heartland.

I really hate the way the media has been framing the deep electoral division as the "Heartland" vs. "Coastal Elites". That division is not a geographic one; it just shows up that way in a "winner take all" electoral count. I also don't like the complete ignorance of how apathy once again played a part in this election...and more importantly, how it plays a tremendous part in why we lose major elections. If you can't motivate people from the bottom up, you are destined to lose.

And as you pointed out Amanda, look at who will lose the most...the people most alienated from the political process. Oh well. Some folks gotta learn the hard way.

11/03/2004

 
Blogger Kyria said...

Hey, I think the kiddies did turn out, in record numbers -- it's just that everyone else did, too, so the percentage is the same as in 2000.

11/03/2004

 
Blogger lawrence krubner said...

"I feel this pro-war stance amongst the young is fixing to change. It may be fun and games now for the well-off white girl to sneer at pacifists, but when she kisses her boyfriend good-bye as he goes off to die for oil, she might begin to see it differently."

What if this never happens? On this one issue, you sound too optimistic. Wealth allows priviledges. How likely is it that her boyfriend will ever join the military? The Joint Chiefs of Staff are still solid in their opposition to a draft - they want a small, highly trained military, not the mass military of 50 years ago. And even 50 years ago, there were deferments for college and certain jobs like doctors in towns with only one doctor.

I walked my neighborhood handing out signs for Kerry. I, too, was surprised at the number of long-haired, counter-culture youth who were supporting Bush. That may seem puzzling at first, but there has always been a strong libertarian element in the counter-culture that can go Republican as easily as Democratic. The Democrats have very little to offer those for whom "freedom" means less governmental interference in their lives. Gays are about the only group in the country for whom the Democrats are clearly more liberarian than the Republicans.

I'd love to see the Democrats return to the roots of liberalism as it was laid out in the books of John Locke, Adam Smith, and John Stuart Mills. There is a faith in the individual that is expressed in those books that would accomodate more of the counter-culture than what the Democrats can presently encompass. The Democrats might also strengthen their base if they looked at what some of their base is doing. For instance, at least a third of the mothers I know are home-schooling their kids, yet they are all Democrats, hippie Democrats.

11/03/2004

 
Blogger Amanda said...

Well, statistically speaking, since this is a public university in Texas, the young woman's family is probably solidly middle class. And if tuition continues to climb, she and any boyfriend will be feeling the pinch in their pockets. So college deferments aren't going to be as accessible as they used to be.

Anyway, the draft bill being kicked around doesn't allow for college deferments, and I think if it passes, the ability to get one will be minimal. Too many kids are in college already in the party of anti-intellectualism. Those kids are much better as cannon fodder for Halliburton.

11/03/2004

 
Blogger Don Myers said...

Keep the faith, sister. There are 55 million of us and we shall not be moved.

11/04/2004

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Education means that people learn history, government, and scienceYou know as well as I that "education" here in Texas means only reading comprehension (to the point that kids can parrot back the main points but can't analyze whether or not they make sense), writing essays with an introduction, exactly three paragraphs in the body and a conclusion (content optional), and math enough to make change at your McDonalds job.

11/04/2004

 
Blogger Amanda said...

Yeah, that's what they want it to mean. A little science snuck through to me, via a science teacher who actually liked her job.

11/04/2004

 
Blogger lawrence krubner said...

" It may be fun and games now for the well-off white girl to sneer at pacifists, but when she kisses her boyfriend good-bye as he goes off to die for oil, she might begin to see it differently."

When I was in middle school and ignoring my homework my teachers would threaten me with future pain, as in "If you don't do well then you won't get into college and then you'll be poor all your life." That did not work as a motivator. I thought that everything would eventually work out, and it did. You're making the same mistake as my 7th grade teachers. You're hoping these people can be scared into seeing things your way.

Your words suggest that you are living in deep denial. You don't want to believe that there are people in this country who believe in the right-wing ideal. You don't want to believe that anyone will follow through the full rigors that the right-wing ideology demands. You'd like to believe that these people will crack under the strain. You'd like to believe that if this girl's boyfriend goes to war and dies a horrible death then she'll convert to leftism. You'd like to believe that some day she'll come back and look you in the eye and say "You were right and I was wrong."

That's a form of denial, a form of intense wishful thinking. Be honest with yourself, especially on an issue where your hopes are liable to trick you.

The truth is there are people in this nation who admire warrior cultures and are ready to bear the full hardship of their beliefs. They are ready to go off to war and die, they are ready to see there loved ones go off to war and die. They console themselves with the belief that there is honor in a noble death and that life is mostly about honor.

Remember, just because you personally think such beliefs are a laughable crock doesn't mean that others think they are a laughable crock.

11/04/2004

 
Blogger lawrence krubner said...

"The young are also going to be thrown into a panic if it turns out that BushCo is serious about taking away their birth control. "

Why won't they just have more unwanted kids? America is already way ahead of Europe when it comes to unwanted kids, and the problem is at its worst in the South. Why not believe that southern Christians will simply export the problem to the rest of America? Perhaps the rumor that withdrawl is an effective method of birth control will continue to spread. Given the high level of ignorance we already face in America, why not believe that things will simply get worse? Or perhaps right-wing youth will be content to get their birth control illegally. I personally know several pot-smokers who voted for the "War On Drugs" Republicans. Why do you expect any kind of rationality from people who voted for Bush? I'm not able to comprehend your optimism.

11/04/2004

 
Blogger lawrence krubner said...

"Continued outsourcing hurts everyone, but one-industry towns will really feel the pain the worst. "

No major Democratic figure has said they will stop all out-sourcing. Clinton helped it build its current momentum and Kerry would have brought back a similar economic team. Good liberal economists like Brad Delong (who has a great weblog and who served in the Clinton economic team) think out-sourcing is a good thing and Kerry would certainly be advised by people like that. Besides, the Left once worried (way back in the 60s and 70s) that the Third World would never catch up to America in terms of wealth, but out-sourcing is one of the most direct ways of helping Third World countries catch up to America.

This strikes me as one of the main divides between the Liberals (like Brad Delong) and the Left. The Liberals want free-trade and an expansion of out-sourcing because they believe it helps the Third World and also helps America. The Left believes the exact opposite. On this issue I'm with the Liberals.

11/04/2004

 
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