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November 07, 2004

It's Only Politics, Guys

Terrible, terrible story of man so despondant over the re-election of George W. Bush that he committed suicide-- at Ground Zero.

There's been savage partisanship -- and real partisan insanity -- starting around 1996 or so. I can't claim I wasn't a part of that. I grew to believe Clinton was a pretty sleazy character sometime around 1996, and then I grew to hate him the thirtieth time he and his minions lied about Monica Lewinsky and trashed the reputations of any man telling the truth.

Hate's a strong emotion, and not generally a productive one. It can be productive -- there's no acceptable response to Al Qaeda savagery except hatred directed by intellect. But as to domestic politics-- liberals should bear in mind what I should have borne in mind from 1996-2000:

This country is pretty nicely set-up. It takes more than a man you loathe in the Oval Office to destroy it. Clinton set back government integrity, but he did not undo our constitutional republic.

And, liberals, neither will George Bush, even if all the fairly nutty things you believe about him are actually true.

There's no need to flee to Canada, no need to stock canned food and water in your basement for the time when Bush declares a fascist theorcacy.

And, Paul Krugman-- no reason to fear that Bush is going to cancel elections and rule this country as the head of a military/oil-industry junta.

Bush thought he was losing, as most of us did, from 1pm to 8pm on November 2nd. I don't remember hearing tanks rolling through Manhattan, and if they rolled in the streets of DC, I think I'd've heard something about it.

Relax. It's only politics. Your lives go on. Just as it really makes little concrete difference in your life whether or not your home team wins the championship, so too does it make very little difference who, in particular, is running the country.

At the margins? Sure. Different policies from those you might prefer? To some extent, yes.

The death of freedom and the creation of a theocratic tyranny under Emperor George W. Bush, El Jefe Maximo por vida? Ummm... not so much.

It didn't happen under Clinton, though a lot of otherwise lucid Americans thought it might. And it won't happen under Bush.

You have lives, and presumably there is more to your lives than passion about which particular incompetent/criminal/huckster/liar/chimp is running the executive branch at any moment. Concentrate more on the former.

Just a friendly word of honest, non-sarcastic advice. I've been there. It wasn't pleasant and it didn't do me much good in the end.

Plus, you know, there's always another election four years away. And when you finally win -- as, alas, you probably will -- it's all the sweeter for the waiting.

Thanks to Michael Williams/Master of None.


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posted by Ace at 06:36 AM

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