Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
November 4, 2004
A frustrated & exhausted psuedo-political rant
Category: Serious

Rather than combine my political musings with my answers to Val's questions in one long entry, I figured I'd post them separately. So this installment will deal (briefly) with the current sitch.

In the wake of Bush's reelection, amidst the gloomy comments by folks who voted for Kerry and desperately wanted Bush out of office (I feel your pain), I've seen a number of concluding remarks that note the current, divided state of the nation and, after calling for a day or so of mourning, urge us all, as Americans, to unite under and lend our support to President Bush -- because like it or not, we're stuck with the guy for another four years. Which is exactly the problem, and which is why I'm not optimistic about The Great American Divide being healed any time soon.

Call Kerry what you will -- inconsistent; a flip-flopper -- but the very fact that he changed his positions showed, at the very least, that he was willing to change his position. One of Bush's key points throughout his reelection campaign, however, was that a leader must be consistent, resolute, and uncompromising. So I don't expect him to do what a good leader would do, which is look at how close the election was, acknowledge that nearly half of the country is dissatisfied with his leadership, and make some adjustments to his plans in order to truly be "a uniter, not a divider." Instead, I fully expect him to do the same thing that numerous right-wing bloggers have done -- declare that he won by an overwhelming margin and argue that his victory constitutes proof that the American people -- as in, the vast majority of the American people -- support him and his aims and push through with them with more zeal than ever. Whereas I might've trusted Kerry to select Justices from both sides of the political spectrum, I fully expect Bush to pad the bench with people who embrace the same "moral values" that he does. I'm not exactly sure how it will play out, but Roe v. Wade? Kiss that one goodbye.

And speaking of moral values -- I've noticed that a number of bloggers who voted for Kerry (Caren and Phil come to mind) have expressed surprise and/or disappointment at the fact that a number of voters ranked moral values as more important to them than terrorisom or the Iraq situation. And I'll be honest -- I'm among them. I firmly believe that we should be more concerned with what's going on here than what's happening overseas, and -- to a certain extent -- I'm not sure that terrorism is something about which we should worry very much, since it seems like it's something that's unpredictable and, arguably, largely unpreventable. If some guy straps twenty sticks of dynamite to his chest and runs into a bank, it won't matter who you voted for or what you believe -- you're dead. And I don't think Kerry or Bush or all of the military intelligence at our command would make a damned bit of difference. I fear terrorism like I fear being shot to death while walking home from the bookstore at midnight -- it's definitely a possibility, but ultimately there's not a lot I can do. So there's no sense in worrying about it.

But moral values? These affect our lives every day. These will determine the direction and culture of the nation. They'll help to shape the society in which we live -- the society in which your children and your children's children will grow up. Assuming we don't all get blown up -- which is a possibility, sure, but whatcha gonna do? -- that'll have a deeper and more lasting effect on the nation than things happening over in Iraq. At least, that's my belief. I'm sorry; I don't think I'm being very eloquent today. Forgive me. I'm very tired.

But as I was saying, moral values are extremely important to me. As a Philosophy major, the majority of my courses was concerned with ethics. Unlike some right-wing religious conservatives (for instance, our President, though there are others), I didn't spend my youth partying and slutting it up only to suddenly wake up one day, claim to hear the voice of the Lord, and become (or pretend to become) a born-again Christian, believing myself to be cleansed of my sins in the eyes of God. I have always had strong moral convictions, and I had these in the absence of a rigid religious upbringing. I sat in my room alone and thought about these issues constantly, even before I began taking Philosophy courses at Yale. I was, continue to be, and will until death be treated like absolute shit by the majority of the people who cross my path, so perhaps that has something to do with my moral convictions as well. And as you can tell from Scary-Crayon, I played a lot of video games and watched a lot of cartoons -- and Buffy episodes -- but even these I was thinking about and analyzing in terms of right and wrong. Other people did these things for entertainment; I used them as case studies for moral instruction and analysis. (I hated Buffy Season 6 because of the depressing -- though intentional -- moral decay that took place during that season.) I hold a Yale undergraduate degree and am currently working crap jobs -- in large part because I spent four years with assholes like both Bush and Kerry (though I really feel like I personally know Bush, and while I never met his daughter, I was well acquainted with some of the dicks in her circle of friends/associates) and while I don't exactly know what I want to be, I know that I do not want to be like them. (By the way, unlike our esteemed President, I was not a C student. I graduated with a 3.6 GPA and distinction in the major.) I want to be a good person, though I very much doubt that I'll ever be able to pull that off. Still, I endorse a moral code and I try my damnedest to live by it, even when it would probably benefit me (as far as money and "success" are concerned) to compromise my values. And while I may share a lot of moral beliefs with religious persons -- though I believe that they are worthy and good because they are worthy and good, and not because a deity decreed them to be so (while at the same time violating them according to the god's divine whim) -- I didn't have to be scared into embracing moral values through fear of Hell or enticed into believing in them with the promise of Heaven. In fact, I don't believe I'll receive any reward except misery, ridicule, and loneliness.

So I take offense at these right-wing conservative bloggers who insist that only moral degenerates could have voted for Kerry. The ones who claim that the only reason people are pro-choice is because they're sluts and racists. The ones who claim that the only reason people support same-sex marriages is because they want to undermine marriage on the whole and plunge the society into a chaotic orgy of repulsive sexual deviancy.

On the contrary, I a virgin (in my college days, I wrote a couple of articles in support of abstinence for a student publication -- the responses were not kind or civil) and I value love and marriage very highly -- perhaps because these are things that I will never experience. Which is why, insofar as the state deems it its place to recognize the ultimate expression of love -- a lifelong commitment to each other -- for anyone (watch how they twist that one), two consenting adults should not be denied that privilege no matter what their sex or orientation may be. For the state to refuse to recognize their loving union -- the bond between two persons who mean more to each other than anyone else on this earth -- as worthwhile and meaningful is to essentially tell these people that they are worthless and, moreover, reprehensible in the eyes of the state, because the state disgustedly dismisses the thing that matters most to them -- this most worthy of bonds. And I think it is an outrage that anyone would seek to judge the veracity of their love and discount it based on the sex of the lovers -- and, moreover, seek to have this gravest of insults written into the law.

Fuck, I'm half-dead and I don't know what I'm writing anymore. I was going to write something else about abortion, but just read the other bloody post. I voted for Kerry, and yet I am not the immoral ratbastard the right-wingers would have you believe. There are probably others for whom the same could be said. I fear for the direction of the country with the ever-consistent and uncompromising Bush at the reigns. (I've noted that I never compromised my beliefs, but I wouldn't enlist the law to enforce them upon you, etc.) Your personal liberties are belong to Bush.


-posted by Wes | 3:48 pm | Comments (0)
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