Well, shit. I was really hoping America would pull its head out of its ass, but alas it must be nice and warm in there. Gah, I'm using scatological humor? That's what crushing disappointment has driven me to, folks.
I've cruising around my flist's flists. I'm now aware who the lefties and righties are in the 2-3 degrees of separation I can travel to. And it seems the Republicans' feelings are hurt because the Democrats are mad. I can understand feeling bruised when your friends seem to make you feel guilty for being happy. But other than that, I don't think they realize some very important things and so my sympathy is limited.
The Republicans have all the say and all the power, despite the fact 49% of the electorate did not vote for their guy. Those 49% not only do not have the power, the Republicans neither listen nor respect the feelings or opinions they have. WE ARE DISENFRANCHISED in the political process. All we have the power to do is to BLOCK the worst excesses of the Republicans, and get criticized as obstructionist in the process. That's the crux of the matter. And what's worse, they'll be able to extend their power by selecting up to 4 Supreme Court Justices in the next 4 years. That's the true tragedy here.
So, you can see where my sympathy is limited for the rage of the enfranchised.
I was listening to NPR last night on my drive home from work. David Brooks(R) and EJ Dionne(D) were discussing Kerry's concession speech and Bush's victory speech. In every victory and concession speech, there's talk of reaching out to the other side and to "start the healing". Brooks was talking glowingly about how Bush would reach out. EJ Dionne echoed my view that the sentiment rang particularly hollow this time. Dionne correctly pointed out that Bush acted like he had a mandate when he didn't win the popular vote. So let's get real, folks. We're dealing with sharks. Sharks that assume God will clean up their messes and forgive them for stomping all over the competition. Responsibility is for the wicked.
I've also seen the complaint that Christians are "persecuted" for their beliefs and liberals are trying to force their morality on them. This is more than ironic, since they're working hard to do the same thing they claim liberals are trying to do. But here's the catch, these Christians are trying to RESTRICT liberties of others that do not believe as they do. Liberals want to widen liberties for folks, but are not forcing Christians to partake in these liberties afforded to others. It's not like your local tree-hugger was going to force you to have an abortion and then gay marry, folks.
It seems the Culture War is what put Bush over the top, though not by much. It seems God-fearing folks also fear hot gay sex in a stable monogamous relationship. All the amendments to ban gay marriages/civil unions passed, even in Oregon. This bigotry is what I think is the most disappointing of all. Again, religion is used as the club of hatred.
Where do we go from now? Everybody is asking that. Do we go the Howard Dean route and more outspokenly liberal? Or do we move even further to the center, which has been moved right-wise? I don't have the answer, but I know I don't want to condone bigotry. Bigotry is a step backwards. Personally, I want to move forward because I know that history is on our side. Unfortunately, we're dragging a reluctant mule.