Sunday, October 10, 2004

Americans

"Clearly, the US has had its credibility diminished. The real issue is going to be on November the 2nd when, if this country re-elects George Bush, animosity towards the Bush administration will become a questioning of America's judgement. I think that will shift if George Bush gets re-elected."
-James Harding, Financial Times appearing on The McLaughlin Group

On Saturday afternoon, I was feeling rather uneasy. I think it was the results of some non-scientific, online polls about Friday's debate. One poll had clearly been tampered with in George Bush's favor. That's not really surprising. After all, the Democrats have staged an organized and successful campaign to skew these polls in Kerry's favor.

Although, the importance of that poll was not very high, it had an emotional effect on me. I realized I had not given enough thought to the consequences of four more years of Republican governance (or lack thereof). I also hadn't thought about what it would mean that we would elect someone so clearly incompetent to a second term.

James Harding's quote sums up one of my major concerns. As long as America was strong, thoughtful, just and benevolent, my pride in our nation was indomitable. Now that Bush has made America weak, thoughtless, unjust and uncaring, my pride is wearing thin. George W. Bush's re-election would say a lot about Americans. When the world turns its hatred of the Bush administration into criticism America's citizenry, I won't flee to Canada. I'll just have to give the excuse that I campaigned for John Kerry.

I would like to think that we Americans always come through when we have to, but we have to be realistic. America's golden age may soon fade with its people's intellects. Americans are too lazy to face up to their civic duty and study the American political system. They are too lazy to study history, geography, mathematics and science. We've all heard the statistics about kids who can't locate their country on a map, or name the Chief Justics of the Supreme Court. What about the adults?

Almost 50% of Americans believe in creationism. Many Americans believe that a single fertilized egg cell is equivalent in value to a thinking, feeling, sentient woman. Many Americans think that gigantic tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans are okay as long as they get a little $300 refund from Uncle Sam (never mind the increased property taxes that will more than offset their refund check).

I think that, emotionally, I have the predisposition to say that a Republican victory in November would prove something is wrong with Americans. That's silly. It's obvious that there's something wrong even before the election. Despite the fact that the Republicans are openly anti-intellectual, they still seem to have the support of about 45% of voting Americans. Ergo, a large segment of the American people think that thinking is bad. If that's not a problem, I don't know what is.




I don't want to give the impression that John Kerry is losing. He isn't. The debates make him seem more presidential. Even when the press calls a debate a draw, the American people get to know Kerry and feel more comfortable with him. On this basis, Bush has lost both debates so far.

As things stand, Kerry will win in November. Democratic turnout will be very high. Only a big October surprise can save Bush (though Karl Rove says he has surprises planned).

If Kerry wins, our work really begins. We have to open people's eyes and show them the folly of the Bush administration. In 2008, people (liberals and conservatives) must say "never again."

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