Thursday, November 04, 2004

Justifiable Anger 

As I troll around the blogosphere tonight, I see lots of articles on Kos and MyDD about how the dems can develop a winning strategy the next time by building an organization like the republicans did in the 80s and 90s. "Liberal" won't be an epithet anymore. And yes, this is certainly possible.
If they have time to do it.
I also see one emotion over and over on the blogs tonight -- anger. Pure, simple anger. It's in frogsdong and digby and Americablog and Gadflyer (which I just added to my links) and lots of others. It is anger against the Americans who voted for the Bush administration.
Here is Janet Sullivan in Salon:
"[The media have] dusted off the old theme that the Democrats need to "reach out" more to the "heartland." Reach out? How, exactly? Forget that these folks blindly ignored all objective reality -- and their own best economic and national-security interests -- and voted for Bush. Look what they did at the Senate level. In Kentucky, they refused to use even basic sanity as a litmus test, and reelected a guy with apparent late-stage dementia; in Oklahoma, they tapped a fellow who wants to execute doctors who perform abortions, who was sued for sterilizing a woman against her will, who pled guilty to Medicaid fraud, and who largely opposes federal subsidies, even for his own state; in Louisiana, they embraced a man who has made back-door deals with David Duke and who was revealed to have had a long-running affair with a prostitute; in South Carolina, they went with a guy who thinks all gay teachers should be fired; and in Alaska, they reelected a woman who was appointed by her father to the job after a spectacularly undistinguished career as an obscure state senator. And compared with the rest of the GOP Class of '04, she's the freaking prom queen. These are the stellar elected officials that the "heartland" has foisted on the rest of us. "Reach out" to these voters? Yeah. Then boil your hand till it's sterilized. "
Because this actually was the most important election America has ever had - this democratic meme was true. The progressives are going to try to get back to business, but with faith-based Bush and his administration remaining in the White House plus these regressive idiots in the Senate and the House, the future of America is grim.
Here's my point: America has lots of natural advantages which were the basis of its 20th century empire -- moderate climates for substantial food production, sufficient water and rainfall in most of the country, broad industrial and economic development, relatively cheap sources of energy and power, lots of universities for scientific advancement, stable governance, protection from war by its geography. All this has produced a generally happy and productive and proud citizenry. (And we Canadians have benefited right along side you, too -- our climate not as good, our industry not as big, nor our population, but we've done pretty well being next to you.)
But - one could have said much the same about the natural advantages of the Egyptians in 1000 BC, or the Romans in 40 AD, or even the British in 1900. They were all the Kings of the World at that time.
They lost their empires by their own bad choices -- fighting wars, amassing unsustainable debt, leading to unemployment and poverty and economic decline.
By voting for ignorant, intolerant, mean-spirited, regressive politicians, Americans have taken a path which may ruin their beloved country. By the time the dems get organized again, wars and debt and pollution and unemployment may have so destroyed the economy that the downward spiral is irreversible. Historians of the late 21st century may well mark 2004 as the beginning of the end of the American Empire.
So the anger is, I think, justified.

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