Wednesday, November 03, 2004

reflection

Where do I go from here?


I've been trying to post since last night!

It’s hard to find much to feel positive about much in the election results from yesterday (stem cell research, maybe). Americans value values, is the big takeaway. They no longer value choice, unless that choice is restricted to what kind of toilet paper they use. For “moral values” to be the deciding factor for so many people, and for those “moral values” to supercede consideration of everything else at stake in this election sends a dangerous signal. With the rise of religion, I can only assume will follow the increased curtailing of freedom of speech and expression. I fear for my civil liberties and I fear for the state. The government is more opaque than ever with the continued consolidation of republican power in congress. How does one counteract that with ever-dwindling oppositional power? It may seem great for the party in control, but one faction in this country has a vise-like grip on the entirety of the federal government. These same people who laud “local control” and “states rights” will now use their legislative power to implement federal policies that flout exactly those things. An energy policy that overrides concerns of constituent states, an environmental policy that flouts state environmental regulations, a health care system that increases the burden on individuals, a retirement system that will create more losers than the current while creating yet another new windfall for the wealthy, a commitment to an education policy that’s already breaking down in its test bed; it seems the long view has won for now, and in the long run, we’re all dead.

Do I think the Republican plan will work in the end? No. I don’t think we will have fixed the fundamental problems with our energy dependence, our health care cost structure and delivery systems, our retirement system, or our educational system. I voted for Kerry in this election because long-term, I didn’t think that this country could come out on the other side of another four years of Bush with much hope, not really because I saw a lot of promise in Kerry—as he would have been handed a mountain of shit and told to make gold from it. Bush’s foreign policy, his utter lack of diplomacy and outward disdain for the process—whether real or perceived—is seriously problematic. I think as long as the stubbornly religionist, imperialist bent of the US in general and Bush in particular is left unchecked, the worse will be our standing in the world.

Andrew Sullivan has some interesting thoughts on our political system and it’s changing parameters. Check it out.

For the last year and half I’ve spent a lot of time kvetching about Republicans. While that's not the stated purpose of this blog, it is the de facto outcome. I was really hoping I wouldn’t have to do it for another four years. I’ve been trying to understand the Republican psyche, and to find common ground between it and myself. I know it’s possible, because I feel like I’m much more moderate than I used to be. I’ve learned a lot about the world through blogging and interacting with others with varying views on issues. I don’t want to be another whiny blogger. Going forward, I think this blog will change, because I don’t want to catalog crappy Bush behavior for the rest of my life. Instead, I will seek to understand motivations, issues, and to really learn what I need to learn in my grad program, so that I might be able to help steer the boat if ever we decide to move off this glacial collision course.

Yes, I’m being dramatic. So sue me!

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