Thursday, November 04, 2004

I'm finding my patience starting to run thin.


One friend called me to tell me that he was profoundly disturbed at the election results, because it showed that rampant fundamentalism had taken over the country. An acquaintance emailed me to express his disappointment that we were going to continue along the route of empire building, and that he didn't know what it would take to discourage the American People from being so warlike. One girlfriend was hysterical because Bush being in office again meant that we'd be denied abortions and that rape would be legalized.

A neighbor emailed me this.

Yet another acquaintance emailed me to say that what he learned from this election is that there is a large swath of this country that is hopelessly uninformed. I reminded him that I'm from flyover, and that he's on several occasions mentioned that what I was explaining to him was beyond his grasp and knowledge - and the reply was eerily similar to that that I'd heard from my European friends: you're different. You're not like the rest. (How would you know if you've not met any others?) When I mentioned that there was a good part of the left that believed in way blown out of proportion stuff like the girl with the abortion debacle, he countered with, "well, there's a whole part of the population that believes that gay marriage will lead to sanctified sex with dogs."

I don't even know how to process this stuff anymore. It's really, really disheartening.

Oliver Kamm today has a couple of droll posts on a 'sense of proportion' or lack thereof among British Liberals.

Ann Althouse writes on the emotions running high in Madison and Manhattan, with a common theme:

"... a lot of self-flattery that goes into the belief that your side is the sophisticated, savvy side. My view is that all human beings indulge in self-flattery and stoke their own self-esteem by visualizing those on the other side as ignorant and inept. If only you would think straight and get some information, you would agree with me!"

Wretchard has a couple very pointed posts on the election results being more a message to those who would force their agenda on the majority of the population


November 3 Presidential Election

Than a mandate for empire and social conservatism.
He closes the November 3 essay with the following lines:

Thoughtful people within the Liberal establishment must now accept, or at least seriously consider the possibility that:

the world is indeed facing a new fascist threat in the shape of radical Islam. It is not imaginary;

chaos and disorder are threatening to engulf large parts of the Third World and international institutions, like the World Bank and the UN have proved incapable to deal with it; and

the populations of Europe and America, or America at least, retain certain core beliefs -- never mind what these are for the present -- which are absolutely nonnegotiable and which will not be surrendered under any circumstances.

On this basis all men of goodwill can work together to build a 21st century society that will face the new aggressors; use the power of the markets and technology to bring material prosperity to the billions of impoverished people in the Third World; and acknowledge that we, like all our ancestors from the day we first learned to bury our dead under a cairn of stones are still entitled to ask the eternal questions. That we desire, not to be New Soviet or Post-modern Men, but simply Men, as ever we were.

People really would do well to give some thought to this. Because the president is open about his faith in God, that does not make him an equivalent to the Taliban. Under this administration, women were able to vote for the first time (in how long? ever?)in Afghanistan, and schools are being built specifically for them. I think that this evidence flies in the face of the notion that it is anti woman.

It takes a lot to look at one's self and to admit that maybe one's one views may need adjusting. That maybe one does not know better than the rest. Perhaps it is just easier to fall back into thinking, rather than the election being stolen this time around, that one's neighbors are just simply stupid. That "in God we trust" is the basis of a theocracy, that women not playing golf at Augusta drives us back into the middle ages and that the passing of gay marriage bans in different states doesn't mean so much that the people in those states hate gays as that, perhaps there is a problem with a few judges up in Massachusetts are looking to change the fundamental meaning of a word, a tradition that has millenia behind it (right or wrong) and impose their judgement on the populace, rather than looking for a compromise.



"You catch more flies with honey than vinegar."

No comments: