Luke Melia


November 3, 2004


Last night was pretty disappointing. It’s hard to reconcile my patriotism and confidence in democracy with the message a majority of America sent yesterday.

It appears that Americans are okay with an administration which puts our citizens in harm’s way across the ocean for a variety of disintegrating reasons. We are okay with a leader who does not hold himself or his team responsible for mistakes, indeed does not acknowledge mistakes when they are plain to see. We are anti-gay, or at least against equal rights for gay Americans. We would like to see the law of the land move toward the interpretations of Scalia and Thomas. We’re fine with spending money we don’t have; into handing over retirement benefits to the private sector; we don’t mind much when our government mandates programs but doesn’t fund them. We’re fine with an erosion of our civil liberties; with our sisters, mothers and daughters being told what they can and can’t do to their own bodies.

Is there another way to look at this? I’m depressed and angry enough that it’s hard to see it. I know there is, though. It’s this: the american people are really scared. We’re scared of violence taking us by surprise. We’re scared of men who want to get in on with men and are comfortable enough with the idea to hold hands in public and want to fall in love and express that love in marriage. We’re scared of swarthy bearded people who call their god “Allah.” We’re scared that the answers to our problems might not be simple, or that there might not even be answers.

So what now…? Take up arms and violently demand our country stop acting irrationally? Gird up our political loins and keep fighting in this system that has failed us in hope that the failure is temporary? Move up to beautiful Vancouver? Across to rainy London? Turn inward to the gritty tolerant land of New York, make some money and have some drinks with our friends?

I don’t know. For now, we wait for all the votes to be counted, and we fight like hell to make sure they are.

After that, even if Kerry manages to pull out a victory in this election, we have some serious issues in this nation. We’ll have to accept them, change them, ignore them, or run from them.

2 Responses to “Fight/Flight/Wait”

  1. Esekla chimed in:

    I’d be willing to grumble and continue to push persistently and indefinitely for the social changes, but the economic situation may become completely irretrievable over the next four years. Economies, like all dynamic systems (including ecological environments, while we’re on the subject of things of things that have been managed with stunning ignorance), react in some proportion to their input variables within certain ranges. When the factors that affect them are pushed beyond those ranges, however, the system jumps catastrophically off the charts into completely new patterns with no way to return to what came before. I don’t know where the edges of our relatively prosperous economic system are, but I do know that we’re already completely out of charted territory.

    Like Luke, I’m depressed and angry, and I want to wait for some of that to pass before making any decisions. However, I just saw a headline that Kerry plans to announce at 1:30 that he is conceding the election. For the reasons given above, I fear that another four years of Bush management makes this a fight or flight situation. I still respect people’s rights to their own opinions and decisions. I am not willing to oppose ignorance with violence, so I am renewing my investigation into options that will allow me to live and work elsewhere. I hope I won’t need to, but preparation is called for.

  2. mike melia chimed in:

    There is a lot reminiscient about this election. In 1972 I was a happily disenfranchised hippie who spent the fall picking apples while Nixon took 49 states from McGovern.
    One big problem still existing – There are only 2 choices both put up by parties that leave a tremendous amount to be desired. Let’s face it – if Kerry wasn’t rich he wouldn’t have been the democratic candidate.
    When we rallied and marched against the war in Viet Nam we marched not as republicans or democrats but as people fiercely opposed to “The System” itself with its built in classism, rascism, sexism and anti-environmentalism.
    Einstein said something like ‘a problem cannot be solved at the level at which it was created.’
    Hopefully Bush will follow in Nixon’s footsteps and justice will somehow catch up with him and his cronies.
    It is a dark day. Let’s make some light.

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