In 26 years of citizenship, I have always railed against those who lived in this country and disdained it. I have always been annoyed with anti-establishment sentiment and anti-American rhetoric coming from Americans. I have always been proud to be an American.
Today, I'm not so sure about that.
I am so very sad. I am so very angry. I am so very shocked and heartbroken that the majority of people in this country do not see the encroaching doom of the world. I am amazed that the electorate is so mired in ignorance and apathy that it has re-elected a man who champions war over diplomacy, who sacrifices the lives of soldiers and civilians for undoubtedly questionable motives, who preaches fire and brimstone from a pulpit that shouldn't be a pulpit, who will no doubt continue taking this country down a path where our freedom will be in danger, and who will do all of this with a Congress and a Supreme Court stacked in his favor.
It is very difficult for me to see any hope in this situation.
I find myself perosnally angry with the people I know who espoused not voting, or voted for Bush (including one friend in Ohio). I find myself wondering if I can carry on any kind of civil dialogue. I find myself wondering if I'm as close-minded as those whose doctrine I do not share, and I think I have come up with the reason I am so terrified of the next four years.
Four years of Bush will, without question, mean further inroads against abortion rights, against stem cell research, against gay marriage, against women's rights and racial justice, against the separation of church and state, against the disappearing middle class, against union labor and workers' rights, against the environment, against fair treatment for those "arrested" under the "Patriot" Act, and countless other freedoms so many Americans take for granted....so, basically, my freedom (and yours and everyone else's in this country) will be restricted by the laws Bush enacts according to his beliefs. To bring that down to real-world terms, if Bush has his way (and it looks like he will), I won't be able to get an abortion, I won't be able to marry a woman, my father (a union electrician) could wind up with even less work than he's had over the past four years, if I shoot my mouth off or engage in non-violent civil disobedience I could be in danger of arrest without benefit of attorney or due process....the list goes on.
Conversely, if a Democrat was elected, does it mean that Republicans would all *have* to get abortions? Would Republicans be *required* to marry someone of the same gender? Would they be forced to join unions or restricted from attending church or persecuted for not recycling? I don't think so.
That's the fundamental difference I see in the two parties that (let's face it) run our country. Republicans are lobbying to restrict freedom (ironically while alleging to champion it for Iraq....and whatever other country is next on the list) and Democrats are just trying to keep the options open.
There is and always has been roomin this country for everyone....but with this election, the message I'm getting is that there may, in fact, not be room enough for everyone, especially if you're not on board with the majority. It's like the rich kids in high school all over again, but on a terrifyingly larger scale....this time they've got control of the country, and instead of relegating those of us who don't have the right family or clothes or country-club membership (or church or bank account or summer house or political views) to the crappy table in the lunch room...well, I'm not going to prognosticate, but it's a helluva lot scarier than that.
And you know, it's not just that I've got family that has been, is, and will be sent to war in Iraq....it's not just that my idealogy is so different....but there are tangible, real-world changes in my life for the worse that are pretty much directly attributable to the policies of this administration. I can only assume that four more years of it will mean a continuation of the ass-fucking.
It's hard to find a ray of sunshine in that skyfull of shit.
Loud-mouthed liberal feminist. Anarchist knitter. Tequila-drinking artsy-smartsy fat chick. Bluesy folk-rock singer-songwriter. Rebel with too many causes. Quirky eclectic pagan poet. Paradoxical intuitive smartass. Sarcastic brainiac insomniac. You know, for starters.