Monday, November 01, 2004

The Morning After

Our favorite female correspondent J Ho sounds in with her election eve thoughts:

I have been pacing my apartment all day, filled with a weird frantic energy. For the last four years, this country has been cursed with a radical, right wing presidency and a lethargic, cowed opposition. And now, after months of rhetoric that would have shocked George Orwell, we are finally at the moment of reckoning.
Democrats need to realize that even a Kerry win in tomorrow’s election will not restore us to a safe, responsible course. There is even an argument to be made that a Bush victory would be a blessing for a Democratic party that has been hampered by misguided notions of appeasement and centrism.
The contemporary Republican agenda has taken too strong a hold on the country to be eradicated with one electoral victory. Kerry in office will not guarantee peace in Iraq, the defeat of terrorism, or health care reform.
What this country needs to wake up to is the fact the current Republican party is- to borrow a refrain from the Bush songbook- a danger to freedom. How else can you view a movement with a radical agenda of destroying the public sphere that shrouds itself in upsidedown ideological propaganda?
The GOP’s growing popularity with lower middle-class and blue collar voters, who are clearly going to be rendered further disenfranchised by Bush’s policies but support him anyway, has frightening implications. Any totalitarian movement worth its salt is built upon harnessing the fears and anger of the ordinary man. Those who think this is alarmist need only look at the way the Bush camp has portrayed itself; the military posturing, the smearing of opponents, the preying on feelings of vulnerability and fear and the embracing of an ugly machismo. Does anyone remember the Brownshirts?
Yes, yes, previous presidential elections were conducted under the specter of mass-rape and race baiting. Ugly behavior is part and parcel of democracy. But presidents in the 19th and 20th centuries did not have anywhere near the kind of power that is now in George Bush’s hands.
The fact that so many new voters, many of them Democrats, have registered in the last few months is a comforting sign that thousands of people in this country are alarmed by the Bush administration. But removing him from office would only topple the top of the iceberg. If the Democrats lose tomorrow, they should take heart. They can sit back and watch as Iraq, and who knows where else, burns. They can reap mid-term electoral gains as the impact of the Bush tax cuts really start to be felt among the middle-class. They can fine-tune their own message as the Republican Party, split by Bush’s radical agenda, really starts to eat itself once his second term is won. They can use the time in opposition to come up with a strategy to emasculate the extreme Republican agenda once and for all.
It’s the rest of us that should worry.


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