Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Okay, so instead of writing last night, I spent a couple hours and two beers and, say, maybe five cigarettes sitting out on the deck, reading old shit that's locked up in the lappy I generally use only for word processing. And I stumbled across a bunch of kinda cool shit, including this piece, an editorial for the The Voice, written on my birthday, which was a day or two after the mid-term elections that pretty handed the country to the warhawks & conservatives. And I think I got it pretty right. Check it out:

Waking up on Nov. 6 and finding out that I was living in a Republican world wasn’t the best birthday present I could’ve asked for. It wasn’t, in fact, any sort of good birthday present at all, never mind being the best. To be completely honest it was possibly the worst birthday present I could’ve gotten, this dark and angry thing delivered unto the free world at about the worst possible time.

And what made it just even more horrifying was all the Republican crowing on the day after. These smiling, backslapping, positively giddy men chatting with the Prez and gearing up to change the country around to their vision of what it should be.

Which is not the same as mine.


And immediately I began to think of Iraq, and pictured the missiles flying and the troops landing, of leveled cities and tanks rolling across the sand. I pictured George Jr. at a podium with a clenched fist, talking justice and freedom and the fight for Democracy. I pictured mobs of the New Right, cheering in the streets, Bush/Cheney buttons pinned to the lapels of their Brooks Brothers three-pieces. I pictured the heavy hand of societal reform sweeping the nation, new laws taking away the rights of choice and of speech and of fair conduct. I pictured fat cats bellied up to the trough and the little people stomped under the boot of big biz and apathetic government. I pictured an America built on the precepts of the Rockefellers and the Vanderbilts, a nation idolizing the robber barons and gunning for the intellectuals.

A little bit on the dramatic side, perhaps, but I’d just woken up.

Maybe the worst part of the whole thing was the Democratic response, which seems as though it could have been summed up as, “Uh, well, you see, they, um, they just wanted it more…I guess…” The immediate stance of nearly every Democrat was one of concession, of lying down and preparing for a Republican sweep of the country (if not the world). As though anything worth fighting for ceased to be an issue once the polls closed. As though being the minority party across the board was sufficient reason to not care anymore. As though nobody, especially the politicians, actually believe in the democratic ideal, and the belief that the will of the people has any sway.

And, really, what is the will of the people? We voted these guys into office, voted the Republicans into the driver’s seat. Maybe I’m wrong about this whole thing, and it’s just me and my little group of people that are scared out of our minds at the thought of the conservatives running the joint. Maybe the country’s ready for another few years of social program cutbacks, a repeal of laws that protect individual rights and the inception of legally enforced notions of morality. Maybe it’s time that the USA stepped up again to try and run the world, to install puppet governments in countries that we’re frightened of, to hand out guns to rebels, to foster distraction and dissent in the third and second worlds. Maybe it’s time we did what we’ve always believed we should do and just declare war on the planet and turn the rest of the world into the fifty-first state.

Not that I’m making any open accusations, but, hey, didn’t Bush the Elder and Ronnie Rayguns pull this same gig in the eighties?

Maybe I’m just being pessimistic, and what this country needs to get its act together is a few bible-thumping, flag-waving, gun-totin’, war-talkin’, rights-repealin’, good ‘ol boy by gum Merricans to stem the tide and make this the most perfect country that ever was or ever will be.


Happy birthday to me.

Dunno. Liked the piece and it's easier to cut & paste this, rather than come up with something new, right?

Next up, something else from the vault.

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