Saturday, October 11, 2008

Nov. 4th

Call me a moral relativist--maybe that's why I vote Godless Democrat--but I completely understand the mounting emotion of those Republicans who have dedicated their mental space to a horse who will not only most likely lose the race, but do so with wild, rolling eyes. I sympathize because I remember my own investment in 2004. (Not that Kerry could muster some rolling, much less any sort of wild, but still...)

At this point, with the finish line bearing down, the election feels so important, so big, and so totally out of your hands that the only emotional response can be rage. "How," you lament, "how can people not see what a wrong choice that guy is?!"

I feel for them, the true believers frothing over Palin's knife-blade rhetoric. It's just a short hop back to my own ABB days, when the idiocy of the previous three years (I only started paying attention to politics on 9/11, when I realized--Yatzee!--that politics had real world effects) seemed so baldly plain that I was (and still am) unable to comprehend a sober lever-pull for the Fuck Up Twins. (See?) There was nothing about Kerry that got my blood moving, other than the fact that he wasn't them or anyone like them. But being against something does not automatically motivate that portion of a populace to pry their fat asses from their armchairs and be for something. And so Kerry was forced to take his ball and walk his droopy eyes home.

Now, though, the jackboot's on the other foot: Obama is up in the polls and looks like he might have the fight to finish. I imagine I'll see this pendulum swing back and forth several times during my lifetime. I also imagine that it will never stop being satisfying watching the ass-end of that pendulum grow larger as it heads back my way. At the moment, the conservative "movement" has as its spokespersons someone who has never actually been a part of it and someone who is its unflattering caricature. My heart goes out: Kerry managed to make the party of San Francisco leatherfests sound boring.

And yet...and yet...after Guantanamo, extraordinary rendition, wiretapping, the lawless (and, more to the point, unnecessary) war in Iraq, the politicization of the Justice Dept., and so many other offenses, I myself can only admit to a kind of glee--mathematically diametric to the paroxyms currently gripping the GOP ticket's rallies--at the current prospects of the Republican party. After all they've wrought--after all the fundamentally anti-American policies they've imposed--the best that can happen to them is the non-violence of a political defeat.

(I say "anti-American" with this story in mind: talking with a friend who generally votes Republican, I made the argument that certain of the Bush Administration's policies were anti-American, meaning that they did not respect those rights to individual liberty and speech [among other things] that are enshrined in our Constitution. My friend unambivalently shrugged: the ends justify the means.)

That said, the only mildly supportive trope I'll offer is that We're All Americans here. Representative democracy is how work it, baby. I'm a Democrat, you're a Republican; ostensibly we each have the best interests of the country at heart; let's call the whole thing off.

Still...may McCain and those loose wingnuts who comprise his base lose. Lose their way. Lose their faith in conservatism. Lose their anti-humanitarian, 19th Century frontiersman misogyny. In the worst possible way. Just lose.

I would say "lose their minds," but, well...

No comments: