A note: I've been toying with this for an hour or so because I wasn't sure whether I should post it or not. It might be a little combatative and argumentative and emotional. But hey, that's what blogs are for, so I've decided to post it. Try to enjoy:
I feel both chastened and riled by Vis Major's latest post. She is annoyed by the pushy, "in your face" attitude of both sides during this election, and more specifically by the shrill, arrogant, elitist tone of much of the left's commentary on the whole thing. I can understand that. She is certainly right that one doesn't have to be stupid to be a Bush supporter--the one Bush supporter that I know well is definitely not a stupid man. He is sexist, homophobic, prejudiced, and has some really twisted ideas about ethics and foreign policy, but he's not stupid. And my Dad, who was on the fence but leaning towards Bush last I heard, is definitely a smart guy.
But Bush is a polarizing figure. He fills me with more rage and hate than any other recent public figure that I can think of (excepting perhaps Celine Dion). I am at a loss as to how anyone could possibly support him, and so in my weaker, more emotional moments, I come to the conclusion that his supporters must be stupid and/or insane. This is a mistake. As we have seen, they are merely ignorant.
See, there we go, I'm getting all snarky already. Yes, I am an elitist liberal. I laugh when Bush accuses Kerry of being too liberal--he's nowhere near liberal enough for me! But he's who we have; he's not Bush.
Yes, I want Bush out that badly, and I think you should, too. It's not just because he is a slimy bastard and I disagree with him on every major issue. If it were just a matter of issues, I wouldn't be so confused by people's support of the man. It's because I believe, and the evidence seems to show, that Bush has brought us into a terrible, destructive war on false pretenses, and then failed to follow through. That he has catastrophically blundered on the environment, on education, on foreign policy, on the economy, you name it. And by blundered I don't mean he's done things in a right-wing way instead of a left-wing way--I mean he's done them wrong. Although, of course, if the right-wing way is to attack free speech, attack the separation of church and state, and attack the rights of gay citizens, then I don't really see much difference between it and the wrong way. But the point is, I really sincerely think this guy Bush could destroy not only our country, but the world. He has to be defeated for the good of everyone--conservative and liberal.
I myself am not so pushy with the telling people who to vote for (unless you count this blog, or the two bumper stickers on my car). I don't go up to random people on the street and scream at them, "Vote Kerry, damn it!!!" But I've considered it. And I understand the impulse to do it. Because when someone else has it in her power to affect not only my life, but the lives of everyone else in the world, then yes, I can see wanting to tell that person what to do. In fact, I can understand feeling that it's your duty to, if not tell that person what to do, then at least give her some information that could affect her choice. Because her choice affects us all. Voting has never really been a personal thing, and that is ten times as true in an election as pivotal as this one.
So here we go. Even if you agree with Bush on "the issues," how can you agree with what he's done? If he is not a deliberate liar, then he is at least utterly incompetent. He is as wrong as wrong can be. If you know the facts about him and what he's done, be you right-wing or left-wing, it seems to me that you cannot in good conscience vote for him.
So please, if you haven't yet, go out and vote for Kerry. But if you intend to vote for Bush, stay the hell home.