Post #517

Final thoughts on the US elections

4th November 2004, mid-afternoon | Comments (0)

In response to some annoyed comments, I’m making this post to clarify my feelings on the US election results. Clarity won’t necessarily help, but I don’t see that it can do any harm, either. Oh, and FYI, I won’t be posting on this subject again.

Why the angry face?

If you’re a blogger, and you supported George Bush’s campaign, then the odds are you’ve written something similar to this in the last two days:

I have had enough of the foaming mouthed, vitriolic, exasperated, and condescending whining from the left…

If, like Jay you’re wondering why so many anti-Bush people are upset right now, I think I can tell you: it’s not because they lost an election (that’s just the way things go), it’s because the guy that won does so many harmful things that once done, can’t be taken back. You can’t undo killing. You can’t give back years lost to repression. You can’t readily remove pollutants from the atmosphere. And it’s even harder to remove extremist judges from the Supreme Court.

Kerry supporters are not angry at losing; they’re angry at the intentions of the man they lost to. Their anger is rooted not in some bitter sense of esprit de corps, but rather in moral outrage. Those are big distinctions, and, I think, important ones to make.

Four years is a long time

If the only issue that divided America over this election was the health care system, or economic policy, or immigration, (or all three), then things would no doubt be calmer than they presently are. People would be bummed, but they wouldn’t be furious: in four years they’d get to vote again and ring the changes.

Unfortunately not everything can be changed.

In four more years people will have died as a direct result of George Bush’s decisions. In four more years sections of America will have been polluted and eviscerated beyond human healing, because of George Bush’s decisions. In four more years God knows what loss of rights and freedom certain people in this country will have suffered, because of George Bush’s decisions.

Those are things that we won’t be able to undo. They’ll be permanent. They’ll be fixed. And there’s the rub.

What supporters of John Kerry can’t understand is how people can vote for Bush knowing that these things will happen. Knowing that if Bush was elected people would die. Knowing that he’s willing to trample on certain sections of the American people to have his way. Knowing that he’s happy to score the earth just to give Industry a leg up that, frankly, it doesn’t need or deserve.

Bush-voters must know these facts, they’re not stupid people, they’ve done their reading and their research, right? So why did they vote for Bush? Again, there’s the rub.

The easy way out

I think (and I don’t mean this as an inflammatory statement), that if you really thought all that through, and still voted for Bush, then you’ve done a cowardly thing. You saw a threat to your ideas and you took the easy option to remove that threat, regardless of the consequences to others.

Sure some innocent people will die (probably quite a lot of them), but it’s not as though it’s you that has to go and kill them. Sure gay and lesbian people in this country will slowly have their rights eroded, but it’s not as though you actually have to tell them they’re unwanted members of society. And sure some bits of land will get ruined, some fish will die, the air will get a bit dirtier, but really where you live is fine, and who cares how things will be 100 years from now, you’ll be long gone.

Bush may get everything else right in the next four years, he may stage an amazing economic recovery, fix the health care system, and get Halle Berry to dance naked on the lawn of the White House for our collective pleasure; but he’s also going to do some terrible, terrible things which cannot, just cannot be undone.

Can you really live with that?

Can you understand why others can’t?

Hence the anger

It’s hard to believe that people I know, whose sites I read, whose houses I’ve visited, who I previously thought were ‘my kind of people’, could be willing to tick the Republican box in full knowledge of what will happen as a result. And since those ticks give Bush the empowerment to kill, repress, and pollute, not just in America, but all over the World, please don’t be surprised if I’m a little miffed about the situation.

Really quite miffed, in fact…

Now, here’s a picture of some people trying to put a sweater onto a penguin.

Some people trying to put a sweater onto a penguin

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