All of you who are citizens of other countries, it’s officially OK to start hating Americans now.
Four years ago, perhaps you were feeling charitable and realized that we didn’t exactly elect Bush. He lost the popular vote, and only won the electoral vote through a process that was dubious at best. He went on to govern as if he had a clear mandate, and with a friendly Congress, has run the country with a free hand, not vetoing any legislation, and getting away with winners like the USA PATRIOT act and the Iraq war. Senate Democrats have managed to stonewall a handful of judicial appointees, which Republicans laughably refer to as “gridlock.” Corruption and contempt for reality in the executive has become the order of the day, and the friendly Congress has not been inclined to make much of a fuss over it.
Things are different this time. Bush clearly won the popular vote, and Kerry has conceded the race. Not only that, but the GOP’s hold on the Senate has strengthened, with the election of a candidate in Oklahoma who has called for the execution of abortionists (even though he himself is one) and another in Kentucky who practically needs a drool bucket. Eleven proposed state amendments to ban gay marriage (and in some cases, any hint of official recognition for gay relationships) all passed easily.
In short, Americans have clearly demonstrated what kind of country they want. It’s not a likable one. While I’ve always identified strongly as an American–my citizenship and my country mean a lot to me–I have to ask myself whether it is worth it to fight for the country I believe in, or cut my losses and concede that it simply doesn’t exist. Today I feel like a stranger in my own country.