Monday, November 08, 2004

Another curve ball whiffed by the DemocratsAll the pundits I listened to during the past week said that the surprising polestar upon which the election turned was "moral values." Moral values?

OK. If they say so it must be true, but I wonder how many people could explain exactly what they meant when they told the pollsters that they decided to vote for Bush based on moral values? I suspect many of them would say it's an indefinable thing that they recognize when they see it, but cannot put into words. And those erudite enough to form a complete sentence might have said they didn't want to return to a White House run by a lascivious president - never mind that Clinton had one of the most successful presidencies in history if one looks only at his government record and not his personal failings.

But oh well. That's America. We're a young, rebellious, slightly intoxicated nation (intoxicated on our seeming limitless military power) that's still feeling its way toward that more perfect union, so I hope we can be forgiven for not taking the long view on most things, and responding with emotion rather than contemplative reason. We're not that far from the time when our nation's forefathers burned people for witchcraft, a heinous crime that stands as a black spot on our collective consciousness.

And Rush Limbaugh aside, (Rush has no collective consciousness - in fact, Rush has little consciousness at all, far as I can tell) we do all share this experiment called Democracy and the wheel, as the song goes, is always turning.

So do not despair my Democratic brothers and sisters; and do not feel too superior my Republican brothers and sisters; none of us did a very good job this election year and we know it (I believe). But we'll learn, eventually, to ask questions and require more than sound-bite answers or blatant obfuscation that has a pleasing ring to it.

And life, in all its glory, ugliness, horror and beauty, will go on.


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