Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Lessons in Democracy

I have decided that the number one thing I resent about this election and its results is the fact that everyone seems to buy this concept that the voters' main concern was moral values. The media, the pundits, everyone I talk to keeps saying that the electorate wasn't concerned with who was smarter or who was more presidential; all they cared about the candidates' moral values. And not a single one of them says it with sarcasm. Which leads me to ask (OK, scream with tears running down my cheeks, but let's not get technical here): What the fuck do people define as morals? Lying to an entire country in order to forward your own militaristic agenda? Singling out individual classes of people for persecution? Trying to impose your religious viewpoints on an entire nation, and into its laws and constitution?

George Bush is not a moral man. He is a man who believes that Jesus has chosen him to lie, kill and persecute on his behalf. That's not moral; that's evangelical. (I'd even posit that it's evil. But I'll leave it at evangelical.)

If the people had voted based on moral values, John Kerry would be president today, by a landslide. They voted based on personal prejudices. They voted based on what was best for them, and damn those gays and those Muslims and those people who aren't smart enough to be rich. They're not me, so I don't care, they said. That's why Kerry lost.

If they were looking at real moral values, they wouldn't have even considered a man who has so little regard for people who do not worship like him or live like him or look like him or agree with him. If they were looking at real moral values, they wouldn't have even considered a man so full of gradiosity and hubris that he is willing to destroy entire countries and long-held international relationships in an attempt to try to prove himself right, to not ever have to say "I made a mistake." If they were looking at real moral values, they wouldn't have even considered a man who not only doesn't love his fellow man, but wants to amend our national constitution to exclude some significant portion of them from being equal based on who they love.

He is our president; I accept that. This is democracy, and the people have spoken. I accept some other things as well. For instance, I accept that my right to choose is all but gone. I accept that my civil liberties are going to disappear at an alarming rate, and even faster were I to have the misfortune of being Muslim. I fear that my right to type these words will disappear as well; if the man could put together a campaign culture in which arresting people for the t-shirts they wear was commonplace, and swear loyalty oaths taken as a normal thing to do, then how much longer will he be willing to be criticized in public? Surely, only a terrorist would do such a thing...

I fear that my right to live in this country as a non-Christian is coming to an end; or, more fairly, that my right to live in this country as a non-Christian and not be forced to accept Christianity asour national identity is coming to an end. I fear what comes next. I fear for my children. I fear. I fear very much. And I hate, despite how much I hate hatred. I hate right now. I need to get past it, but this hatred is like an enormous boulder in my path, and I'm too tired to start climbing. So I'll walk around it, I guess. It will take me a while, but I figure that eventually I'll get to the other side.

Walking home from school today:

Em, age 7: I'm sorry about John Kerry, Mom.
Me: Yeah. Me, too.
Em: But why did he say that he lost when they haven't finished counting the votes?
Me: Because there really is no way for him to win, even if all the rest of the votes are for him. So he was being a good sport, just like I tell you to be, and he was congratulating the winner as soon as he was sure he had lost.
Em: So what does this mean?
Me: It means George Bush is president again.
Em: No, I know that. I mean, so does this mean that we're going to have a bad president for four more years?
Me: Well, as far as I'm concerned, yes. Of course, at least half the country doesn't feel the way I do.
Em: So what does it mean? What do we do about it?
Me: Well, I guess, we have to figure out ways to make our world a better place to live in, since we can't trust our president to do it for us.

So now, I guess, all I have to do is figure out how to practice what I preach. And I promise I will...just as soon as I get past this whole sobbing-combined-with-blind-rage phase.

See you on the other side.

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