Thursday, November 11, 2004


Look Away!

political capital
Originally uploaded by jonnybutter.

There's this little piece of apocrypha floating around the 'net. You may have seen it. It's a mock Kerry concession speech (thanks NS). It's harsh, and not completely fair, but much more fact-based than the hateful, bizzare, ignorant spew coming from the 'wingers, including mainstream, elected ones. And this wasn't written by a crazed lefty. Some of you red state people have pissed off some very moderate, even conservative, blue state folks. None of us really knows yet what you've sewn, both by re-electing an incompetent, obviously poor president, and by indulging your ignorance, superstition and savage Pride - by voting for national division and personal vanity writ large. All Americans will pay for both mistakes, but you a little more. You will reap a withering scorn much greater than you imagine yourselves to be the target of now, fair or not. BTW, I see 'moral values' (strictly speaking) as less central to this election than our annoymous writer might. But that doesn't really matter. You've pissed off a lot of non-Hollywood, non-elite, non-smug, non-decadent moderates and true conservatives this time. Not marching-in-the-street pissed-off. Less obvious, but also less ephemeral than that. It will come back to you in one form and/or another. I'll feel sorry for you when you're safely marginalized, politically. You are radicals in a very conservative country, and it will be, ironically, America's true, hard-nosed, practical conservatism which will put the kabosh on you in the end.

Again, the following piece is a little over the top, but also again, it's worlds away from the frothing 'freeper' type stuff, or even some of our new US Senators' raps. And it does express a core political emotion a lot of us feel - namely, that you're dangerous and have gone too far, whether you meant to do or not. When the next Bush disasters come - whether you are slow or fast to admit to them - a lot of us will be thinking about you, politically. You choose to be 'divided'? Careful what you wish for.

I don't see anything wrong with 'publishing' stuff I would never write myself (eg this folk-explication of the religious right.) We don't have a script or talking points. We have to make our own, and the only way to start is to start. Not only the nuanced, researched, meticulously accurate political positions matter: the ferment matters, too.

Anyhow, here's how this person wishes Kerry had conceded (an exerpt):

I concede that I put too much faith in America's youth. With 8 out of 10 of  you opposing the President, with your friends and classmates dying daily in a war you disapprove of, with your future being mortgaged to pay for rich old peoples' tax breaks, you somehow managed to sit on your asses and watch the Cartoon Network while aging homophobic hillbillies carried the day. You voted with the exact same anemic percentage that you did in 2000. You suck. Seriously, y'do. Thank you. Thank you very much.

There are some who would say that I sound bitter, that now is the time for healing, to bring the nation together. Let me tell you a little story. Last night, I watched the returns come in with some friends here in Los Angeles. As the night progressed, people began to talk half-seriously about secession, a red state / blue state split. The reasoning was this: We in blue states produce the vast majority of the wealth in this country and pay the most taxes, and you in the red states receive the majority of the money from those taxes while complaining about 'em. We in the blue states are the only ones who've been attacked by foreign terrorists, yet you in the red states are gung ho to fight a war in our name. We in the blue states produce the entertainment that you consume so greedily each day, while you in the
red states show open disdain for us and our values. Blue state civilians are the actual victims and targets of the war on terror, while red state civilians are the ones standing behind us and yelling "Oh, yeah!? Bring it on!"

More than 40% of you Bush voters still believe that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11. I'm impressed by that, truly I am. Your sons and daughters who might die in this war know it's not true, the people in the urban centers where al Qaeda wants to attack know it's not true, but those of you who are at practically no risk believe this easy lie because you can. As part of my concession speech, let me say that I really envy that luxury. I concede that.

Healing? We, the people at risk from terrorists, the people who subsidize you, the people who speak in glowing and respectful terms about the heartland of America while that heartland insults and excoriates us... we wanted some healing. We spoke loud and clear. And you refused to give it to us, largely because of your high moral values. You knew better: America doesn't need its allies, doesn't need to share the burden, doesn't need to unite the world, doesn't need to provide for its future. Hell no. Not when it's got a human shield of pointy-headed, atheistic, unconfrontational breadwinners who are willing to pay the bills and play nice in the vain hope of winning a vote that we can never have. Because we're "morally inferior," I suppose, we are supposed to respect your values while you insult ours. And the big joke here is that for 20 years, we've done just that.

It's not a "ha-ha" funny joke, I realize, but it's a joke all the same.

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