I had a bad feeling this would happen — several weeks ago, I had a very distinct premonition that Teresa Heinz Kerry would never be First Lady — so I'm not really surprised. But I didn't think it would happen so suddenly... I was sure Hope had a few more weeks to live as the lawyers picked over the ballots. But what the hell, it saves us some time and energy.
Remember this, friends: we did not lose. We have suffered a setback, the Stupids have not won but only taken a step forward; that just means we have to fight harder now.
I can see the country becoming increasingly polarized in the next few years. I wouldn't even be surprised if we find ourselves with another Mason Dixon Line... but instead of North v South, it will be Edges v Middle; instead of the Blues and the Grays, it will be the Blues and the Reds. This election was so divisive, so rabid in its differences, the tone was very much like the tone of the Civil War, friend against friend and brother against brother. This was an election characterized more by hatred than by preference... we hate Bush, they hate Kerry; we hate Recidivism, they hate Progress. We see what's wrong in the status quo and seek to change it, they fear change and seek to entrench themselves in their traditions.
And BushCo knows how to manipulate the fear of the recidivists, how to strike that fear into the hearts of the moderates; the Right has not sought to placate the Center, as the Left has been doing these last two elections, the Right has re-educated the Center, taught it to fear the Left. And fear, as we know, is a much stronger motivator than fuzzy and lofty ideals of fairness and civil rights. And BushCo has taught this fear not out of their own ideals but as a distraction... which in the eyes of the Left makes them much worse. Idealism we can understand, but demagogy we can't.
But progress always wins, eventually, despite the best efforts of the corrupt powerbrokers who have always exploited ignorance and fear to their own ends. We just have to be patient and keep fighting. We have to keep teaching, keep reaching out, keep living our lives as examples to others. Those fearful recidivists who voted for Bush and all those marriage amendments aren't bad people, they are simply being manipulated by bad people; it is our duty to lovingly show them the truth, to show them that they lose nothing by giving us our rights, that everyone wins when everyone is equal under the law.
Still, it would have been nice to have won the election... all this fighting and teaching and suffering is such hard work. And it would have stopped this terrible polarization, at least for a little while. But maybe that's what's needed, maybe we need for Bush to destroy the economy and our relationships with the global community and our domestic peace in order for people to see the truth. Sometimes you have to have destruction before you can have growth, sometimes you have to let the mob run wild and destroy things before it sees the terrible price of its destruction.
I don't know. It's all so depressing. But let's not let it get us down, and wait to see what happens, yes?