Not much posting as, aside from ongoing things in the real world, I find the election has me depressed. (Although not to this extent). Thus, this is a conglomeration of a couple posts I was preparing that followed up on my prior post. Hopefully, the delay in posting doesn’t mean the links are outdated.
I’m not a big Thomas Friedman fan, but he made an extremely valid point in his NY Times column Thursday:
But what troubled me yesterday was my feeling that this election was tipped because of an outpouring of support for George Bush by people who don’t just favor different policies than I do – they favor a whole different kind of America. We don’t just disagree on what America should be doing; we disagree on what America is.
And that same day, Maureen Dowd was bluntly honest:
The president got re-elected by dividing the country along fault lines of fear, intolerance, ignorance and religious rule. He doesn’t want to heal rifts; he wants to bring any riffraff who disagree to heel.
W. ran a jihad in America so he can fight one in Iraq – drawing a devoted flock of evangelicals, or “values voters,” as they call themselves, to the polls by opposing abortion, suffocating stem cell research and supporting a constitutional amendment against gay marriage.
Mr. Bush, whose administration drummed up fake evidence to trick us into war with Iraq, sticking our troops in an immoral position with no exit strategy, won on “moral issues.”
The president says he’s “humbled” and wants to reach out to the whole country. What humbug. The Bushes are always gracious until they don’t get their way. If W. didn’t reach out after the last election, which he barely grabbed, why would he reach out now that he has what Dick Cheney calls a “broad, nationwide victory”?
Getting much more attention, though, was Garry Wills in yet another NY Times op-ed piece that same day. He said in a better fashion part of what I’ve been thinking since hearing “moral issues” were a dominating factor in the election and that the religious right may have been the deciding vote:
Where else do we find fundamentalist zeal, a rage at secularity, religious intolerance, fear of and hatred for modernity? Not in France or Britain or Germany or Italy or Spain. We find it in the Muslim world, in Al Qaeda, in Saddam Hussein’s Sunni loyalists. Americans wonder that the rest of the world thinks us so dangerous, so single-minded, so impervious to international appeals. They fear jihad, no matter whose zeal is being expressed.
Tim Johnson got blasted earlier this year for a comment about the Taliban wing of the Republican Party. But I think there is some underlying truth there. Since when did the dominant Christian or moral values mean no gay marriage and no abortion? I would think Christ would have been more motivated by concern for those in poverty, working families who cannot afford healthcare for themselves or their children, and loss of life in a purposeless war.
Any post-election talk of conciliation or finding unity is hokum. The Bushies and the “moral issues” crew — including Thune — have no desire to unify this country. They desire only to impose their views regardless of the cost to democratic principles or the Constitution. Unfortunately, they think they have some God-given mandate to do so.
Why I am depressed? I foresee four years of hatred, intolerance and persecution. And the only silver lining I can find, an undoubtedly slim one, is that Bush will be the office-holder reaping the rewards of Iraq.