Walking around in a fog
My back hurts, my arms hurt and my legs hurt. I thought I slept well last night, but I am exhausted. It's hard to avoid the obvious--this election is stressing me out. Bad.
Because of the redistricting, my anxiety is probably doubled. I voted for Lloyd Doggett, and he's probably going to win, but there's always a lurking anxiety. But mostly it's about the Shrub.
I'm not going to be one of those people pleading that it's only about the issues and that I don't hate the Shrub personally. It is about the issues, of course. But I do loathe that smirking, shrugging, spoiled, idiotic asshole. I cannot wait until he loses and has the smirk slapped off his face. He is the sort of person who has managed to get his way no matter what his whole life and it will be a moment of personal glee to see him struggle to do what he never has had to do before--concede defeat.
But let's be realistic. Kerry may not win. Just thinking about that makes a pain shoot up my neck again.
It seems inconceivable that Kerry won't win to many of his supporters like me--urban, young, educated, etc. Everyone I know in the city is voting for Kerry. Everyone in my office was talking this morning about how badly they want Kerry to win. But lurking right outside of the city limits of Austin is the real power in the state--The Rest of Texas. The Bible Belters, the oilmen, the rednecks who vote Republican because they are suspicious of women's rights, the suburbanites who are sure that gas prices will go down any day now and they will get to keep their SUV's.
What really makes my stomach queasy is that I have overheard 3 students today justifying their decision to blow off the long lines at the polls because Texas is Bush country and their vote won't count. That attitude is pure ignorance--for one thing, if Bush have a smaller lead in Texas than anticipated, it will re-energize the efforts of the Democrats in Texas. But mostly it's about the redistricting. It's unconscionable to blow off voting when Tom DeLay and company have put so much effort into disenfranchising the voters of the Austin area as much as they can.
The good news is that there hasn't been much evidence of "issues" at the polls in Austin today. A couple places opened late for stupid reasons, but there's not been any widespread effort to help DeLay out by keeping Democrats out of the polling places. Logically, it seems like Kerry will win this in a walk, and we'll know it by the end of the day. But since I cannot imagine a situation where the Shrub concedes defeat, unless he's tied down and tortured, I am afraid that even a massive win for Kerry is only going to be the beginning of this election.
During the time of the Clinton impeachment, I was taking a course on the history of German nationalism leading up to the Nazi era. Deep into reading our history as well as philsophers that were shaping the consciousness of the nation at the time, it never really came up in class to compare the politics of our country to those of Germany's at any point in the history we were taking. Why should it? The hysteria that caused the impeachment seemed to us to be run of the mill sex phobia, not the beginning of a conservative conspiracy to grab power by any means necessary.
The militancy on the right has revealed itself in the meantime, which is well-documented at Orcinus. My concerns are intensified by the hero worship of seedy Republican politicians that has escalated during Bush's term. The pictures of Bush the hero that blanket Fox News and no doubt the walls of many supporters are causing a pit to grow in my stomach.
I remember a day in that nationalism class where my professor brought in a piece of Nazi memorabilia that he kept hidden away as a reminder of the sickness that enveloped that country. It was a clock that had a picture of a sun rising over the German countryside and Hitler standing in the foreground, looking dramatic and heroic. He was portrayed almost saintlike, a hero there to rescue the Fatherland from itself and bring on a new day. It made me want to throw up.
It's that sort of thing that I worry about. I hope to god that everyone voted today.