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breeden
ursulav

(no subject)

Well. Enough moping, back to work. Art waits for no angst.

So, my final statement. Since most of us are sick of politics, go ahead and skip it. It's harsh and not at all conciliatory, and keeps the partisan rift nicely bloody. You've been warned.

If you voted for Bush, I'm holding you personally responsible for every single lousy, stupid, unethical thing his administration does. The first time, sure--that came out of left field. Coulda been blindsided. No hard feelings. But you all know exactly who he is now, and you voted for him anyway. That makes you entirely morally culpable. It's your fault from here on out.

He pushes for anti-abortion laws? Your fault. He pushes for an anti-gay amendment? Your fault. He wrecks the environment by pandering to industry? Guess who's fault! He fucks up the war in Iraq even more? You get half credit for that, we need to save some for insurgencies, but I'm sure there'll be plenty of blood for everbody's hands to get a nice speckling.

Somebody at this point will doubtless say "But I'm pro-choice, too!" or something like that. Tough shit. You voted for him. People should know by now that what you believe means nothing compared to what you've DONE. If I stole something, and then tried to claim that I knew stealing was wrong, so I shouldn't be held accountable, what kind of defense is that? It may even be worse! If you believed differently, you should have acted differently.* You made your choice. Beliefs are great, but actions are real.

Now, if you're a mature adult, I imagine this really shouldn't be a problem. You'll be willing to be held accountable for your actions. I certainly am. I'll be held responsible if the people I voted for get in office and do bad things. If the governor here tries to secede from the union or ban religion or something, I'll take my lumps. I voted for him. I share the blame. That's the way it works. I voted for Nader in 2000, and he turned out to be a crazy jackass, and I share a moral culpability for having supported him. I accept that. You want to go off about what an idiot Nader is, I'll sit here and take it. I deserve every word. Hell, I'll chime in during the slow bits. I know all kinds of synonyms for "barking moonbat" and I'm willing to use 'em.

We are responsible for the actions of administrations we support. If you don't want to be responsible, don't support them.

But there's a silver lining! If Bush does something really great, I'm happy to dispense credit to y'all too. Fair is fair. He cures cancer or negotiates a working Palestinian peace accord, it's all yours. I'm bitter and angry and petty, but if he turns out to be Rushmore material, accolades will be forthcoming for all who supported him, and I'll freely admit that I was wrong.

And come on. Surely you must believe that Bush will do great things rather than stupid or dangerous things. After all, if you thought he was an idiot who'd screw things up, you surely wouldn't have voted for him in the first place! So really, you shouldn't have anything to worry about at all. As long as Bush is good for this country, you have absolutely nothing to fear at all.

And that, gang, is my last word on the subject until Bush does something stupid. Tune in next time for nothing to do with politics whatsoever.



*Not neccessarily voting Kerry, mind you, there are lots of moral issues there that I can easily see people disagreeing with, but there's a handy write-in slot too. The options were limitless. What you chose binds you.


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I really am a liberal, to the point, as I said, of actually being a socialist. And I can live with people being anti-abortion, but only in so far as they practice that stance on themselves and not me. I don't know beans about you other than the two posts of yours I've just read on Ursula's journal, but you don't seem to me to be one of the people who is so far across the line on the other side that I couldn't *talk* to you without both of our heads spinning around in the whole Exorcism way.

Our system, for good or for ill, is set up as a two party system. I think it would take as much of a fundamental change in our way of thinking and acting to create a viable third (or fourth) party as it would to have everybody come over to my way of thinking, or to have everybody go over to Bush's way of thinking. I honestly and truly believed that this last election would be revolutionary. The fact that it has not proven to be so is...sort of revolutionary to me. It's...

...see, I don't believe the country is going to tear itself apart, because generally people who are fat and happy do not revolt. The fact that Bush won this election suggests to me that there are more people still fat and happy than not; I think had they not been, they'd have come out for Kerry. Because they didn't, the only thing I can deduce is that for more than a hundred million Americans, their lives are good enough to keep living the way they're doing. That is not the attitude of a people who are going to revolt. If a quarter of the potential U.S. voting population is all that feels strongly enough about the administration to cast a vote about it, that's just not the number needed to change the world, as it were.

On the other hand, revolutions are led by the few. They are not massive organizations. So I don't know. I don't know if the country can survive the divide, but I suspect that we've been surviving it for a little more than two centuries, at this point. I think my real question is, can *I* survive the divide, and if not, how am I going to choose to deal with that?

(On a completely different note, I love your icon.)

Actually, I think this country is ripe for a change in the two party system, and this election is case in point--virtually *no one* was happy with either of the two candidates, but they voted one or the other only because those were the only two viable options. If there had been Libertarian, Green, and other party canidates running alongside Bush and Kerry who actually had a real shot at winning, large numbers of people would have voted for one of them instead of Bush or Kerry. We might have a President now who was neither republican nor Democrat.

But the two party system forces people who are, in themselves, not so extreme to vote in an extreme direction, because there are only two ways to vote that will actually "count" for anything. The two party system doesn't really represent the people of this country anymore because the people of this country are much more diverse than in the past, and there are entire groups--probably the majority of the country--who fall somewhere smack dab in the middle of the party line. But they don't vote for independant candidates because the two party system has become so ingrained that we now assume that a vote not for the Republican or Democrat is wasted because everyone will vote for one of those two. But if enough people started voting for those other parties, those other parties would start to have a real chance in elections, and then the rest of the populace who had been reluctant to vote outside the two parties for fear of a wasted vote will start to join in once they think their vote might actually count. It's just a matter of getting enough people to break away from the two parties and take a chance voting on an independant, and that lies not in getting people to agree with those candidates--huge numbers already do--but in getting people to see those candidates as real options for the Presidency.

I dunno, maybe that kind of change in thought is a major revolution in itself and I'm just oversimplifying it. :-(

And thanks about the icon! :-D

--Jennifer

The problem with your thinking is that the country has been ripe for a change in the two party system for about 50 years, and maybe more. This is far from the first time that no one was really happy with either candidate but still didn't vote for anyone else out of fear of a wasted vote. The fact that more than half the population like neither party enough to say it speaks for them even enough to vote at all tells us that. Of nations that have genuine elections, we have consistently had some of the worst voter turn-out in the world. And the fact that "so many" people voted this time, and it was still less than half the population, says something all by itself.

The above point about revolutions not happening when the people are fat and happy is true. the former part is more important than the latter, though. People don't have to be happy to endure an unpleasant situation. They just have to have the basic necessities, and be afraid that resistence will take those away. Which is why there was no revolt in Iraq until we got there. Because for all his evil policies, most of Saddam's people had food, water, clothes, and a roof over their heads. Now, an ever-increasing number of them have none of those things, so they have nothing left to lose. So they revolt.

The only thing I find remarkable is that we have an enormous nationwide poor and homeless population, and its been that way for a long time, and yet there is no sign of a serious revolt anywhere. I guess we, as a nation, do just enough along the lines of maintaining those people on a bare subsistence level to prevent it. Yay us. As a nation, we've mastered the trick of keeping our social undesirables both downtrodden and unwilling to fight their situation for more than a century. There's something to be proud of, huh?

Which is why there was no revolt in Iraq until we got there. Because for all his evil policies, most of Saddam's people had food, water, clothes, and a roof over their heads. Now, an ever-increasing number of them have none of those things, so they have nothing left to lose. So they revolt.

I think there are at least two other important items that led to the current Iraqi revolts: 1) Saddam had an extensive and feared secret police organization, which had little tolerance for dissenters. 2) Until the US got there, there was no force of foreign invaders and occupiers to be ejected. If the US was forcibly invaded and occupied by a foreign power, I would expect to see a reaction in the US very similar to what we're seeing in Iraq.

Most likely there would be. Percieved enemies on your home ground is another powerful galvanizing force for most people, and that is a perfectly valid point.

Your point of enforcement through fear is well taken as well. However, that kind of tactic only goes so far, historically speaking. If basic necessities are hard to come by, fear tactics like that aren't terribly effective for long.

It is significant to note, however, that the PATRIOT Act, and many of the additions to it currently being proposed, are the first big steps towards having a similar secret police force in this country. When law enforcement is empowered to infiltrate organizations without cause, tap phone lines without judicial oversight, and arrest people without allowing them legal representation or access to any form of public court proceeding, you've got a recipe for totalitarianism in the making. Unless laws like that are repealed, its almost inevitable.

And so long as our standard of living remains relatively constant, there aren't many people that'll be willing to fight that, once its firmly in place.

The above point about revolutions not happening when the people are fat and happy is true. the former part is more important than the latter, though. People don't have to be happy to endure an unpleasant situation. They just have to have the basic necessities, and be afraid that resistence will take those away.

Excellent, excellent point. I hadn't followed it through to 'fear that revolution will take it away', although you're absolutely right.

...we have an enormous nationwide poor and homeless population, and its been that way for a long time, and yet there is no sign of a serious revolt anywhere. ... we've mastered the trick of keeping our social undesirables both downtrodden and unwilling to fight their situation for more than a century.

...I hadn't thought of it that way. How appalling. I mean, again, you're absolutely right, but what an appalling thing that is. Rome would be proud.

Actually, I think this country is ripe for a change in the two party system...I dunno, maybe that kind of change in thought is a major revolution in itself and I'm just oversimplifying it. :-(

That kind of change in thought *is* a major revolution in itself, and it's one that, as taellosse says, has been brewing a long time. But change comes slow and hard if it comes at all, and whether we like it or not, we're set up as a two-party system. Even worse, we're a two party system and a full half of the potential voting population of America doesn't bother to vote. At best, with a two party system, we're getting representation as selected by a quarter of the potential voting population. A viable third party would do one of two things--it'd either bring out those people who don't even register to vote, much less do it, or it'd simply split the popular vote down to ever-smaller portions, and I suspect the latter rather than the former. I'm honestly not sure we can move to a multiple-party system from where we are right now.

Democracy: the worst form of government, except for all the others.

And I can live with people being anti-abortion, but only in so far as they practice that stance on themselves and not me.

I've never understood why Loony Christians want to save the lives of heathen liberal babies anyway...

*laugh* It's the souls that can be saved, I think... :)

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