That’s right… triple hyphenated, bitchez. This one is super-duper long.
Imagine the longest post I’ve ever made… then multiply it by 23… then sprinkle a bit of politically-charged verbosity… then multiply that by 43.
Is that enough hype for you? Go get a beer and a sandwich. I swear, you’ll need them if you’re going headlong into this one.
My boy, Sean, recently had an opinion poll on his LiveJournal about which cities are the most likely to be struck by the next terrorist attack. I posted my thoughts, and after a little back-and-forth, it came down to his having a theory that people in most big cities (read: targets) voted for Kerry for security reasons. Skipping his obvious theoretical fallacy (urbanites are blue, by default, sorry bro):
Me: I don’t buy into that whole idea of them attacking “iconic” cities/monuments any more. They already did that to amazing effect. To think they would pigeon-hole their choices of targets serves only to underestimate them. We already did that to amazing effect. Besides, “morality” decided this election… not safety.
Him: I agree all around.
Meanwhile, in Florida, my sugarbaby (Betty Castor) lost the U.S. Senate election to Mel-fuck by 78,221 votes in a state where 7,332,445 votes were cast in that race. For those of you playing along at home: That’s a 1.067% margin with, strangely, 99% of precincts in… still… at 1:21am on Friday, Nov. 5, 2004. Sorry, Betty-Baby. Maybe next year? Or today?
Okay… now to the previously-promised hardcore shit.
Gregg and I shared a bit of correspondence today in re: my posted reaction to his latest comment. The following is paraphrased.
Gregg: I don’t consider the hippies (and other counter-cultural movements) a shift at all. They have always had some effect on society but the numbers have shown an implacable march towards the Right.
Me: Granted, they were counter-cultural movements… but they were generally tolerated, except by the conservative faction. That’s always going to happen… yet they *did* affect the opinions of the general populace. And that’s the audience, bro.
Centralism and liberalism are not dead… despite what staunch Kerry voters are crying into their coffee about.
Clinton made shit seem “okay” for America for four years, and that’s why he got re-elected. Bush lied a lot and said things were “okay” for America for four years, and loves the baby jesus, and that’s why he got re-elected, too.
It goes back to my own long-held theory: A person’s piety is directly proportional to their personal need for external validation and reassurance. That’s especially true in times of desperation. “I can’t fix this shit on my own, so there must be a God to take care of me,” as an extreme example.
Given that we’re all fucked right now, people will either fall back on something that makes them comfortable (read: Bush wins) or accept their fate (of sorts) and get pissed and chin up.
Gregg: Bush clearly won all the battlegrounds, except maybe Pennsylvania. Sullivan said “You can’t force California to be like Mississippi”, and he’s right, but we’re talking “mandate” and “clear moral authority”, here.
Me: That’s not what *we’re* talking about… that’s what he (the (w)) is talking about. Yes, it’s completely misguided… and, yes, it’s what America hears. But it doesn’t change what Americans believe, really. We’re either with him or against him… and we all bared our asses on Tuesday.
Gregg: The Bush people consider it (the election) a mandate, and if there’s something the neocons (and some traditional conservatives) don’t give a fuck about, is a minority.
Me: Absolutely. And I’m not arguing that those still in power give a fuck about the minority as it stands right now. My argument is that the minority needs to quit bitching and fucking around and sobbing themselves woefully to sleep.
Kerry losing the election is kind of like looking directly at the sun: It hurts a lot, so you don’t focus on it and move on to something that actually matters.
Gregg: Look at how they tried to get Spector knocked out in the primary process, because he’ll screw up their judicial appointments.
Me: Apparently not. “I expect to work well with President Bush in the judicial confirmation process in the years ahead.” Might be lip-service, but only time will tell.
Gregg: (in re: the Dems’ need for better “machinery”) They would have to abandon the left, adopt a centrist position, give in to the idea of a “clear moral authority”, appear strong on defense, and most of all, show a relentless disdain for anything except power.
Me: I agree. There is no such thing as a “centrist” party in America right now… at least not a viable one. That’s the fault of both parties and their 1) focused initiatives to divide and force people to choose which extreme side of the spectrum they’re going to play for, or 2) fear of losing a certain segment of the population forced both candidates to abandon their true political beliefs: Kerry was center, moved left. Bush was right, moved a bit more center, or 3) the politically uneducated majority of Americans get confused and defer to their easiest choice.
Gregg: I have my own “Godwin” for this stuff; the “clear moral mandate” almost exactly matches the rise of popular rebellion/insurgencies in Islamic states, specifically the Islamic Revolution in Iran and Wahhabism in Arabia.
Me: You know more about that shit than I do, but given the limited knowledge I have, I agree.
Fundamentalism in any form is unreasonable and bad.
Gregg: Both were populist movements with broad support of the majority; both were resisted by intellectuals and by political ideas; both usurped power in a short span of time and became the ruling power of the state.
Me: Major difference in one sense: The Islamic states aren’t as “democratic” as America. You could kinda’ call them mini-caliphates. Usurping power there doesn’t have a backlash b/c you’ve proven yourselves the strongest and less “fuck-with-able”… unless someone else (the intellectuals and politicos?) gets more guns. Un-fucking-likely. So, it pretty much goes back to a status-quo situation until the population boils over again, and there’s another coup.
Same thing happens here… except their up-down oscillation has a greater amplitude and people routinely get dead.
We vote instead.
Gregg: In both cases, the rebellions were started by a small group of traditional “thinkers” backed by popular religions, who organized at numerous levels to create a powerful political force. In both cases, they resorted to innumerable violations of their stated beliefs (Republicans regularly employ voter fraud; Wahhabis destroyed Islamic artifacts deemed “too pagan” to remove the connection of the local tribes to their former moderate Islam; the Islamic Revolution “government” adopted both secular and religious elements, which complaining about the Shah on both counts).
Me: See above. The Islamic state vs. America comparison isn’t really a valid one. There are inherently different rules of governmental engagement. I agree with you that what we’ve seen and will see is comparable to radical Islamic ideology, but only in the sense that we’ve got our own religious fucknuts to deal with.
But, really, in an over-arching, sociological view… they’re different animals.
Gregg: In both cases, yes, the thugs who took power were forced to back off some, and even today, there is talk of a counter-revolution in Iran, and there is a popular dislike of the Muttawa of Arabia. That doesn’t change the fact that freedom (as we see it) is non-existent in those places.
Me: But freedom (albeit waning) still exists here.
(interlude by way of editorial power)
Me: Every risk can be mitigated, dude.
Four more years of The Administration might be the best thing to ever happen to America. There was a huge Bush backlash this election year. Despite media (red) reports, the youth vote came out, and they went for Kerry ’round 60%.
It’s just that there wasn’t enough backlash. WTF is the (w) going to do with four more years? Throw his balls to the wall b/c he has no re-election possibility, and try to lay the foundation of a Christian America. Sure, he’s going to try to do that shit… and even if he makes strides in that pursuit, it’s going to comfort some, and inflame others.
My bet is that more and more people will get fed up with the shit and end this neo-con/Republican/Christian legacy before it *really* gets some roots. Four years… even eight… that’s a short time span in the continuing development of our country, bro.
And, in America, there’s nothing that can’t be undone. Thank Steve they repealed Prohibition.
Gregg: If only the Democrats had the balls to run Dean. He’d have still lost but the opposition needs someone willing to speak up, without fear, and say what’s really wrong. Kerry never did that. He never wielded any kind of moral authority, no swagger, no nothing.
Me: I supported Kerry, but only because he wasn’t Bush. If Howard Dean had won the democratic party nomination, I probably would have taken days off to campaign for that motherfucker.
One good thing: Kerry won’t run in 2008. Hillary probably will… but I can’t imagine that she’d get the party nomination (powerful women scare insecure men in red states… plus those hummers she wasn’t giving Bill piss off blue state guys).
Dean, on the other hand… I just hope he’s not so “See? I told ya’ so!” smug about it if he gets the nomination.
In response to Karen’s comment (not paraphrased, but amended to a certain extent for public consumption):
Granted, the majority comprises individuals… as does the minority. Individual opinion factors. But, living in a society whose rules are dictated by the will of the majority group or mindset or meme or concept, you cannot granulate to justify one person’s opinion while forsaking the opposite, much less so if the opposite just so happens to be the majority.
Case in point: I don’t link to any conservative blogger sites from MMH. I agree with people who think the same way as I do, and kinda’ try to perpetuate the mindset/meme/concept that I share. Maybe they’re better at explaining shit than I am… or at least more popular (I’m a much better writer than Atrios). I share it with people… I didn’t come up with the shit on my own, but it makes sense to me… so the opinion I fashion is based on something other than “just what I, as an individual, originally think”. Fucking outside stimuli.
It’s bigger than me, as an individual. It’s a fucking huge-ass society. The role I play is to try to get people who regularly visit MMH–or happen upon it by accident–to buy into the mindset/meme/concept.
In that vein, I am pursuing the propagation of my opinion, but doing so in a somewhat useful way. Of course, you could make the argument that the only people that visit MMH are people who already agree with me, so my pursuit is meaningless. That I concede.
That’s my fault.
I’m not doing enough, as an individual, to construct or propagate a solid group or mindset or meme or concept unto which individuals will place their non-religious faith. Then again, everything else (hockey, car, me, Erin, Murph, news posts) *are* all about me on MMH.
Upshot: If individually pissed off crybaby Democrats would get off their ass and start working to landslide the next election (group/mindset/meme/concept required)… I wouldn’t have to bitch about the individual crybaby Democrats who are just happy commiserating and bitching about the situation. Misery loves company… except when it’s “go time”.
In the face of adversity–or, as you put it, “in the face of the majority”–the weak will bitch and moan and grow soft… and will not fight.
That’s where my problem with all the whining and pussy-aching lies. Pussy-ass whiny bitches can’t handle the hand they’re dealt.
Guess what: Individuals can DO something about it.
It goes back to one of my core beliefs: If you’re in a shitty situation, and do nothing to extricate yourself, then you have NO right to bitch about it. Become an expat or get off your ass and talk some sense into people. Just, fucking CHRIST please… quit fucking whining.
It might make you feel better to just get it out… but it doesn’t help our country.