Adam Rice

My life and the world around me

Message to the world

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.

9 Comments

  1. I can’t remember feeling so disheartened…

  2. When I was growing up in Mesquite, Texas, I always felt like an outsider. It was such a bass-ackwards, conservative hick-haven of a town. My little family of liberals never fit in, and I couldn’t wait to get out of there. Even Dallas seemed progressive by comparison, and that’s saying something.

    Now I feel that way about the entire country. In fact, I’m a little bit ashamed of us. I’m not planning to leave, but I don’t know what the future has in store for moderates and liberals now.

    There was so much emphasis on getting out the vote. Huh… maybe encouraging every eligible yahoo to cast an uninformed ballot wasn’t such a hot idea after all.

    Two weeks ago, my husband’s relatives in Louisiana were still defending the invasion of Iraq based on the “connection” between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein.

    Kool-Aid, anyone?

  3. I’ll take the Kool-Aid, but only if you’re sure it’s poisoned with something very, very deadly.

  4. While double-checking my spelling of Kool Aid, I found this site:

    http://www.hastingsmuseum.org/koolaid/history.html

    turns out, it used to be called Fruit Smack. Seems even more appropriate, eh?

  5. On November 2, 2004 the united states has taken the finial step to the beginning of its end as we know it.

    [ed. note: extremely long comment truncated. view source to see all]

  6. Two points which may soften the pain a bit, and another point which is even more worrisome.

    First, the election outcome was largely the result of clever marketing. The Republicans pushed “values” (an ill-defined, even meaningless abstraction; as Walter Lippmann noted long ago, such abstractions are the most effective means of stitching together a heterogeneous coalition, even while they have virtually no practical meaning). As such, the choice made by the 51% was not a straightforward choice for proto-fascism or whatnot. It’s the kind of mistake we all make when we fall for marketing schemes to buy shoddy overpriced products that we don’t need.

    Second, and as many hard-left commentators such as Alexander Cockburn have been saying, a Bush win, if followed by four years of comical mismanagement and perhaps another quagmire or two, may finally induce a catharsis leading to real change–perhaps even the emergence of a viable third party. …Well, maybe not. But in any case, a correction will follow, possibly as early as ’06.

    However. There is one really frightening scenario to contemplate. Should a mega-9/11 take place, in particular the detonation of a nuclear device in a major American city, then we may look back almost with fondness on the Patriot Act and our color-coded warning system. There will be a very hard turn to the right, and very substantial loss of civil liberties, which may not be fully regained for a generation or longer. THAT will be the time to think about leaving the country.

    Sorry to be Mr. Doom-and-Gloom. I don’t think it will happen soon, but it is not impossible.

  7. I need a drink . . . . for the next four years.

  8. hey fuckface, if you can’t stand the outcome of the election, why don’t you get on the plane and go to some socialist paradise like Vietnam, Cuba, or North Korea?

    you lefty asshats just need to take your heads out of your asses long enough to find your way to a seaport or airport. Gutless as well as dickless…what a combo.

  9. You know, John, thoughtful argumentation like that makes me think there’s hope for the right wing after all.

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