Blue State Blues

If they weren’t there then we would have created them.
Maybe it’s true.
But I’m resentful all the same.

Someone’s got to take the blame
I know that this is vitriol, no solution, spleen-venting,
But I feel better having screamed, don’t you?

REM, Ignoreland

I tried to give myself a little cooling-off period before I spoke in depth about the election. I didn’t want to come off as a sore loser. But I’m not sure it was enough. I don’t know how much “enough” would be. But I’ve got a lot of venom to spit, and I may as well start spitting.

Fear

On Tuesday, fear ruled the day. Congratulations, America, you’ve stood up to the terrorists by voting to let them control your lives. That gentleman with the videotape a few days before the election was Osama bin Ladin, who was responsible for the source of your fears, the 9-11 attacks. He’s a free man. Your war president didn’t think it important to go after him, and in fact declared that bin Ladin wasn’t much of a concern of his. (He then lied about this statement.) Abu Masab al-Zaqarwi, responsible for a lot of the current violence in Iraq, was literally in the crosshairs of our military and yet Bush let him go, because destroying him would have weakened his already flimsy arguments about invading Iraq. Now al Zaqarwi attacks our soldiers with munitions that were looted because nobody bothered to secure and guard them. Enjoy your “effective terrorism fighter”, folks. He’s a big ol’ winner.

The other fear was the much more terrifying fear of buttsex. The chilling thought of two adults having sex in the privacy of their own home sent people charging to the polls to stop this overwhelming assault on their way of life. I can certainly understand this. Looking at the economy, the deficit, education, medical costs, and our diminished standing in the world, it’s pretty clear that the homosexual threat trumps all of them. Morons.

Morals

We’re being told that instead of the war or the economy, moral issues ruled the day. Apparently wars and economics have nothing to do with morality. For those keeping score, here’s the current definitions:

MORAL: Torture, lying to the American people and to the world, sending soldiers off to die under deceptive circumstances.

IMMORAL: Two people declaring a lifetime commitment of love to each other.

I sneer at the thought of this regime thinking it can talk about moral issues. I know people who believe that Bush and Cheney are righteous, God-fearing men, and I literally don’t know how they can think that. But then again, maybe I do know.

Evangelical Christians

They came out in droves, apparently, to re-anoint their spiritual leader, the one who attends no church and doesn’t seem overly familiar with his own holy book. I try to keep a live-and-let-live attitude towards Christians, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to do so.

I’m happy here in the twenty-first century, folks, and I absolutely refuse to be governed by a two thousand year old book. You people need to join us here. Hell, if you can just make it up to the eighteenth century, it’ll be a start. Many people merely tolerate your quaint worldview, but if you continue to try and force it upon us, you’re going to find that tolerance dissolving. If you guys are so certain of Jesus’ message, you need to start acting like it, and paying attention to the parts other than the parts that tell you who it’s okay to hate. (I’ve read the Bible and can’t fathom how someone could think that the Republican party best exemplifies Jesus’ teachings.) You want to hear the sound of an actual minority suffering from religious oppression? Keep at it.

The Republicans

Supposedly there are rifts developing in the Republican party. I imagine they’re between the God sect and the Greed sect. I don’t know, I’m no Republican insider, but I’m wondering if the God sect is finding out that the Greed sect doesn’t really give much of a crap about babies, and just says they do to keep the God sect voting for them. If there was a rift along these lines, you can damn sure bet Bush and Cheney would wind up on the Greed side. They might love some babies, but they love money much much more.

Nevertheless, they won, by any means necessary. The party of morals, responsibility, and ethics was fingered in an appalling number of election scams, on top of the last four years of non-stop lying. You guys now control the White House, the Congress, and soon, probably the Supreme Court. I see no reason why, in four years, we shouldn’t have Utopia. (Though, as a liberal atheist, I’ll probably have to look at it from behind razor wire, in some kind of labor camp.)

Hopefully this means they’ll shut up with their incessant whining about how oppressed they are, but that’s unlikely. Whining is the lifeblood of the party for whom It’s Never Enough. Sure, they might have control of the government, unlimited power to pursue their dreams of empire, a cowed population ready to give them whatever they want (god help us if Rove invents gay terrorists…Republicans will be willing to strap bombs on their bodies and run into nightclubs to stop that evil), if Professor Noseblow at Obscuro University says something bad about capitalism then by God, it’s not right and something must be done!

The Democrats

And now I bring my gaze to you. I did my job, I went out and voted for the guy. Yeah, well. Listen, if I wanted to cast a losing vote, I would have preferred to cast it for Kucinich and kept some integrity. I would have preferred to cast it for someone who didn’t vote for the war, the tax cuts, the Patriot Act, and NAFTA. I played your game and I gotta tell you, your game sucks.

If you’re going to insist on milktoast candidates like Kerry, who had to be polished up to make him palatable to his own party, then just go ahead and pack it in. Your fear of alienating voters is killing you. You’re losing because you’re terrified of losing. This election and the primaries should have showed you that there’s a real energetic and motivated base out there for you to tap into, if you’ll just give them something other than a moderate Republican to vote for.

In addition, remember that thing that you’ve been sort of doing for the past few months, where you, like, stand up to Bush and try not to let him get away with his daily armada of lies? Yeah, well, you need to keep that up. You might remember a man named Bill Clinton; I think he held a position of some importance in your organization. While he was President, he endured constant criticism from a group of people who these days claim they’ve never seen so much anger towards a President. This unified their party and gave them a clear, albeit confused and wrongheaded vision to guide them. Maybe there’s something there you could learn from. I’m just sayin’.

The Media

Shortly before the election I got into a little tiff on some blog about, yes, the alleged liberal media. Some brownshirt was going off on the usual tirade about liberal media bias, whatever. And someone replied with this phrase we’ve all heard: “I think the reason why both sides see the media as biased against them is because the media doesn’t serve anyone’s interests but its own.”

We’ve all heard this, and I’ve even said it at times. But I replied with: “No, the reason is because the left is correct and the right are a bunch of spoiled whiners who aren’t happy unless everyone is in 100% lockstep agreement with whatever they think.”

This produced howls of outrage. I’m sorry, folks, but that statement is true. The myth of the media that is hostile to both sides is as dangerous as the liberal media myth. The problem won’t get solved by ignoring it. The thing is, the myth is partially right: the media does serve its own interests. Its interests are corporate power and media monopolies. Folks, that’s the right-wing agenda. So this half-hearted “you’re BOTH right” statement is actually saying EXACTLY what I said, only pretending it isn’t.

Finally, some good news

Yes, there is one note of hope to come out of this, even though I told my friend Nigel that although the good news is that things aren’t as bad as they could be, the bad news is that I think they will be. Sure, we’re in the midst of a Fascist takeover of the country, where 225 years of pretty good government are being cast aside for a medieval feudal theocracy. But there’s one lesson of hope that can be derived from this election.

Sure, we didn’t win. But dammit, we put up a good, strong fight. We motivated people. Raised funds. Fought lies. Raised awareness. We kicked some major ass.

Imagine what we could do with a candidate we actually liked and believed in!

Okay, I got all that off my chest. They say if you don’t vote you can’t bitch, and though I don’t personally believe that, I did vote, so get ready for some serious bitching, people. Keep on keeping on. Keep riding on the almost daily scandals; one of them is bound to stick sooner or later. Keep exposing the lies, the hypocrisy. Until I’m rounded up in the street and shot against a wall by the God’s Lightning Purification League, I’m going to continue to speak out against this regime.

But in the meantime, I’ll probably talk about comic books, legos, video games, and raking leaves.

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