It does not gladden the heart to say it, truly, but our American friends are, it turns out, fucking idiots.
What did the guy have to do to lose their confidence: break into their house, kill their wives and kids and steal all their silver?
He'll keep us safe, they bleated. Those nasty turrists must be fought over there so they don't kill us over here. Well yes, but America has only been attacked by turrists once in the last ten years, and guess who was preznit then? His method of "keeping us safe" is to invade nations with no connection to turrism and blow the shit out of the natives. To the rubes this counts at least as doing something, and they very much approve of preznits who do something rather than sit around jawing with those cheese-eating bastids, the Germans (hey, if they knew a goddamned thing about the world and the people in it in places like Iowa, they'd have voted Kerry without hesitation).
It's depressing to learn that in exit polls the top-ranking concern was "moral values". Why depressing? Surely an upstanding citizen such as Dr Zen would welcome a concern for morality. Well yes, but if your idea of "morality" is that a guy in a trousseau is more immoral than carpet-bombing innocents then you and I are not just working with a different code, we're on a different planet.
I find it hard to hate anybody. It's a big word for what is most usually simply a grudge, a nagging dislike, an emptiness. But I do seriously feel a deep and abiding contempt for those who voted for Bush. You voted for hatred. You voted for bigotry. You voted for a liar who in turn has contempt for the rest of the world. You voted to be hated by us, to be hated by all of us who want justice to prevail in this world.
I know they lied to you. I know how difficult it can be to separate the truth from the tons of bullshit you are fed. But the truth was there, it was knowable. You simply hid away from it.
The legacy of Bush will be a long night for the American people. It will be, I fear, a recognition that you are bigots, that you hate gays sufficiently much actually to constitute your nation to exclude them; it will be a supreme court that will no longer feel obliged to look for balance, to protect your rights, to defend the traditions of your nation (it chills me to the marrow to hear that one of Bush's favourite justices has opined that he does not believe the constitution necessarily forbids the establishment of religion by the states); it will be a nation that has turned its back on science as an explanatory framework for the world, with those who wish fairy stories to be taught in classrooms emboldened, with an administration who wish to ignore global warming and continue to rape the planet without restraint, but sees that same science merely as a tool in its continued repression of dissent and control of resources by force; it will be a nation afraid, hating the world around it, utterly unable to understand why the world hates it back.
Worse, instead of a beacon of liberty, of justice, of the good things that we wish to see in our world, it will empower and strengthen vicious, extreme right demagogues the world over. The John Howards, the David Blunketts of this world will no longer feel there is any restraint on them.
What is worse is the possibility that hangs over the election that it was stolen yet again. Exit polls in every state came fairly close to matching the on-paper outcome, except for two. One has its election run by Republicans who tried to disenfranchise many voters, using machines made by a man who said he would make every effort to deliver his state's votes to Bush. The other has largely used electronic voting machines that leave no paper record (are you fucking kidding!?) and bizarrely saw the close race of four years ago turned into a wipeout. Ho hum.
Maybe it's just sour grapes (with a huge lead in the popular vote, it's hard to feel that America didn't get the preznit it wanted -- but there were only 111 million votes, not the forecast 120 million...). Maybe they did steal it (do I seriously believe that the electronic machines burned hundreds of thousands of votes by showing "You voted Kerry" but recording "You voted Bush"? Yes, actually, I do. Why not? The Republicans were willing to go to any lengths to win. They stole it in 2000 and they were responsible for many dirty tricks this time. I think Bush might well have won the popular vote but stolen at least Florida and probably Ohio too. Fuck it, I'll go one further. I think that if you control the voting machine, you control the election). We'll never know. In a couple of weeks Senator Kerry will call on his supporters to get behind the Bush administration and work to unite the nation. But that cannot happen. There are far too many Americans who, like me, are horrified by where America is being led, what sort of nation is being built.
The world will be sorely disappointed by this election because we believed in you. We believed that enough of America would turn away from the selfishness, the insularity, the xenophobia, the greed of the Bushistas and would show itself to be part of us still. We were wrong. You're fucking idiots after all.