Wednesday, November 03, 2004
Well, it's official.
The pundits and analysts will take a long time to dissect the reasons Kerry/Edwards blew this thing, closely examining all the now-obsolete exit polls. Was it the lower-than-hoped turnout of young voters? Was it religious southerners? Was it the "Security (aka Scared) Moms"? The ironically-named "Moral Moms"? Was it Bush/Cheney's negative campaigning (or Kerry's lack of it), the swiftboat slams, the flip-flop red herrings? There are so many little factors that could have brought this on, we'll probably never know.
Soooo... what exactly does a President have to do to get himself fired? We'll see if Bush tries to test that any further over the next four years, but really, what does he have to lose? He's just been told "nice work, love what you've done with the place, keep it up!" by a (admittedly bare) majority of the country. Once again, he's our chosen game-face, our formal attire, he's what we put out there for the rest of the world to see. "Here we are now, disdain us!".
It comes down to this: Time may heal all wounds, but the one from Osama's attack is far too deep, all too new. With the Bush/Cheney campaign having constantly brought it up, it'll take even longer. As long as it's fresh in the minds of so many voters, as long as their primary worry is another looming attack, Bush & Co. can obviously do whatever the hell they want. Now, with a second term, Bush doesn't even need to worry about squeaking out a re-election. Cheney and Rove's only concern is grooming a replacement while keeping enough of George's stink off him to beat the next sacrificial, probably lukewarm Democrat. Pretty depressing.
Yes, in the end, the Democratic Party brought a knife to a Republican gunfight. My heart was never really behind Kerry, always moreso opposed to Bush. That's what fueled me. I wanted so badly to believe that anyone could beat him, just on his record, but was worried enough people weren't paying attention. We came so close, nearly had the right guy, but not one who could unite the independents, middle American undecideds, even the traditional Republicans, the people this administration has left behind. In the end, the old-school conservatives felt better with the status quo, and I can sadly understand. Go with who you know, and all that.
I'm trying to figure out how to move on. How to mentally process this deep disappointment. Maybe I need to have my empathy surgically removed?... to focus on my own little world, my family, my close friends, my work, entertainment, making and listening to music. To not concern myself with the larger fight, our standing in the world, the environment, the people I can't see, the wrongly accused, wrongly attacked, people denied their equal rights, the same-sex couples who want nothing more than the benefits of legally expressing their love (All 11 states?! What the fuck is wrong with you people?!). Am I really better off not caring? Would I be that much happier if I knew less, sticking with the whole ignorance and bliss equation? It might be easier to hope that things are getting better, that Americans are joining together, that a cold civil war isn't really happening... rather than knowing the truth.
Colder weather is blowing into New England this morning, a long winter is looming. I may be hunkering down for awhile, trying 'relatively uninformed' on for size, keeping far away from political websites & blog postings, wrapped in a warm blanket of denial. I don't wanna be that bitter, angry, even paranoid guy, consumed by the injustice, the lost possibilities, the slow erosion of our rights. I feel like I've had more than my fill of frustration. I made a real big mistake getting my hopes up yesterday, and it made the downward drop pretty damn painful.
Time to focus on the good stuff, because there's still an awful lot of it out there. I've got my family and friends around me, the autumn sun shining on still-colored leaves, got an unwatched episode of The Wire on my TiVo, the Daily Show has at least four more solid years o' funny, and the Sox really did win the World Series.
So, yeah, there's all that. And so much more.
live in cambridge, ma
on november 14th, 2008
previously: joy formidable - boston 2011
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