Why Bush deserved to win, and why that's a good result.
For the first time ever I saw the results of an election and felt sickened. I grew up in Canada and live in Canada, but due to a complicated set of circumstances I have dual citizenship with the US. It's never really bothered me, I've always looked at the border as an artificial line across the Rocky Mountains; I have lived in the US Rockies and the Canadian Rockies, that mountain range is my true home. But when I watched the results of the US election I felt a stake go through the heart of North America--nothing in the US since 911 has affected me as much. Now I'm angry, and I'm strangely enthused that Kerry lost the election. Here's why:
1. Iraq is a mess. The idea of "winning" there is a waste of time, but nobody wants to admit the reality. Everybody says, "we can't just pull out." But that's exactly what's going to happen eventually, Kerry or Bush in office, it doesn't matter. For reference, look up Afghanistan with the soviets, Vietnam with the US, India with the British, etc., this isn't exactly an original movie, pay attention to some basic history. Better to have it happen under the same evil prick that started it. The military overwhelmingly voted for Bush; to be as cold as ice, they can die for him. Because they're sure as hell not dying for the security of the United States or anything one can call ethical. 100,000 dead is a conservative estimate of what the invasion of Iraq cost the Iraqi people. How pissed off would we be if someone killed 100,000 people in North America? This situation is not going to improve anytime soon, better to let it run its course under Bush. By the way, I look at this as a best-case scenario. Worst-case we end up with a relatively united Arab world vs. Christian fundamentalism, which is the next point.
2. This result is a lit match for a country-wide self-immolation, and I hope something good can rise out of the ashes. The US is headed down some twisted conservative religious-right rabbit hole, a la Alice in Wonderland but with religious fervor replacing drugs. This process needs to get weird and twisted enough to wake people the hell up, and to remind the population that the law of separation between church and state is there for a reason (have a look toward Afghanistan for the end result of NOT keeping the two separate). The ideals of progressive income tax, corporate responsibility and anything else that's kept the US from turning into a complete profit mill for the uber-rich just took a dying gasp. I predict that by 2007 we will have riots, mass protests and shootings, etc., same stuff as the sixties. And, like the sixties, the noise and fire will be about basic human rights and basic civil liberties. Cheney is just getting started with the Patriot Act. But, unlike the 60s, these protesters are going to be armed, pissed off and channeling more Eminem and Che than Joplin and Gandhi. This won't be pretty; a "Bush" fire never is, but there's just too much dead wood littering the landscape for any other outcome.
3. Maybe Kerry had to toe the "I'm a Conservative liberal, not a Liberal" line to get 48 percent of the popular vote, but that's a line I want nothing to do with. The reality is that many supported him solely because he wasn't Bush; big deal, Kerry was honestly maybe 20 percent different if that. To hell with that, he might have won if he had of stood up and run on a real platform of strength and belief, not this watered-down left-of-conservative-sort-of-not-exactly-but-like-something-good maybe-spew. Kerry had a trial lawyer, a frigging ambulance chaser, on the ticket with him. That's not who I want to see in power anywhere. I want someone who can stand up and say, "Yeah, I'm a LIBERAL, A STRAIGHT UP CAPITAL "L" LIBERAL, wanna make something of it you corporate fuck!?" The left cowered before Bush, and Bush won because he could look people in the eye and say, "Hey, I'm a right-wing religious Texan out to win your vote." I honestly can't figure out who was lying more, but Bush didn't have to pretend to be something other than Bush. Kerry did, and it showed. Only through abject failure can the left reinvent itself. That moment of crystal-clear failure is now. Four more years of slightly less pandering to Jesus and Greed from Kerry wasn't really what I wanted, it's what I was willing to settle for.
4. Feel defeated today? Me too, at first. But now I've had some time to think and a digest a huge amount of organic espresso followed by a run and some more silver and red canned stimulant. I've seen the light: it's time to do things differently, 'cause the old way is obviously criminally ineffective. I'm going to get my pathetic ass off the political couch where I've been lying for the last four years and start really writing to newspapers, putting bumper stickers on cars and speaking up LOUD. Some of you have already done this, and you've got my respect. But for me it's now personal: Let's start tithing five percent of our money and five percent of our time to saving the world. Let's stop fighting the evil empire using their framework of sterile corporate smiles and indexed stock gambling, and start jamming the culture with spray paint, organic produce, server take-downs, media manipulation, rude T-Shirts, facial piercings, voodoo dolls, whatever it takes. Let's start living our beliefs instead of asking politicians to live them, because the old way is obviously as ineffective as the "Coalition of the damned." Lets make governments try to get control of us instead of just controlling us like the sheep we have been.
If you're a non-neo con American reading this then stand up and know that now, more than ever, the world has your protesting back. If you're a Canadian then let's support America by doing the above, not wishy-washing about how we need to support unjust wars and insane domestic policies. And let's go hard to make sure that we can continue to show our passports proudly around the world.
I originally sent this out to a select few of my Canadian and American friends, but that was cowardly. This is how I feel about this bullshit, time to stand up. We have always had the power, we've just given it away. Time to kick some ass. Thank you Mr. Kerry.
WG, pissed off, wired, and looking to stay that way.
Here are some useful web addresses, thanks to all of those who sent 'em in.