[I wrote this in July 2004 (just days before I found the Crowther essay below).]
I do but I don't understand how anyone can vote for Bush. It's so damn frustrating. I don't even know how to begin.
When I heard on the way home last night that Bush said he wants to be a “peace President”, I wanted to write a letter to the L.A. Times, but every time I began drafting one in my head, there were too many outrages to address. Also, I’m torn between just venting and actually trying to persuade, to make a difference, to change someone’s mind.
Here's a sampling of thoughts that kept me tossing and turning in bed early this morning….
Bush voters claim:
- It's his character. He lies every time he opens his mouth. Not just about personal pecadillos but major earth-shaking, world-changing shit. And there are self-dealing conflicts of interest everywhere in his administration. Not to mention his draft-dodging, drunken youth and incompetent business management.
- He stands by his convictions. Even when they're proved wrong. His arrogance is breath-taking. Worse, his spoken convictions are almost meaningless. He’s a liar. You have to watch his actions, which no one does, dammit! Every initiative is given a great-sounding name, even if it accomplishes the opposite. (He’s a liar.)
- He cut my taxes. That's easy if you agree to so much debt that your children will lead worse lives than you. He cut your taxes and raised your children’s and grandchildren’s taxes. Plus, he gave you a few hundred dollars and he gave his corporate and plutocrat friends millions upon millions. And this while the country is at war. Why is it illegal to buy votes with cash, but not with tax cuts that make no fiscal sense?
- He's down-to-earth. Good old American anti-intellectualism. And how the hell do people who say this manage to ignore his platinum-spoon upbringing?
- He's a believer. He’s sanctimonious, alright, but tell me something he's done as Jesus would.
- He’s one of us. If you’re Republican, white, upper-class, Christian, heterosexual, and stupid (closed-minded).
- He's fighting our enemies. No, he evaded military service. He's sending your children to die fighting the wrong enemies, while spying on everyone’s every action and keeping the public off-balance with empty threats and Richard Reid shoe dances in airports.
- He's good for the economy. If you’re in the right tax bracket. How secure is your job? How much are you saving? And just look at the deficit and the projected deficits!
I think sometimes it's just like sports. One team (political party) versus another. Never mind what the teams mean or stand for or accomplish. Once you pick a team, you turn off your mind, shout the slogans, and root. What makes a diehard fan? How do you convince a diehard fan to switch sides? Is it even possible? I gave up such fan behavior in high school, when I realized how stupid and even embarrassing it was. Is the fan mentality just perpetually juvenile? How do you make someone like that grow up?
I'm so furious at the way this game is played. Bush and team are almost as good as Reagan was at the Big Lie. And when they lie, the mainstream media won't say so. They won’t even express skepticism. That would be disrespectful, unpatriotic, and against the rules of serious journalism. Some pundits will point out the lies, but no Bush believers pay attention to them, because all those liberal pundits hate Bush and they're expected to say he's lying. The opposing candidates won't call Bush a liar because they're too polite, and “people don't like negative politics”.
The diehard Bush fans won't be swayed by anything, and the relative handful of thoughtful swayable voters probably would be turned off by a candidate constantly saying, “He's lying.” (Although “There he goes again.” might work!)
There is no objective watchdog people listen to and believe in. No one who can point out the lies, make people listen, and change their minds.
Where's a true investigative journalist when you need one? Why won't someone list all Bush's promises during the last campaign and evaluate them?
I think a lot of it is plain stupidity. Honestly, it's people who don't have open minds. They're stupid.
What can I do? I said at the top that I don’t even know how to begin, and that’s part of the problem. (When I’m in the mood to believe in vast right-wing conspiracies, I think this may even be by design. [See Is Obama Trying to Do Too Much? in this blog!]) He’s so terribly wrong about so many things, where and how do I begin to argue or fight? If we all feel this way, we can’t fight!