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November 07, 2004

A Partial Explanation

I've heard talking heads say, and I agree, that many Americans have long supported Bush because they simply can't bring themselves to believe that he could have done all the bad things his critics say he's done. And really what we're talking about is this: Many Americans are simply horrified by the thought that their president, the “leader of the free world,” could take them to war and send more than a thousand American soldiers (and counting) to their deaths—on a stack of lies, exaggerations, and intentionally misleading innuendo. For these people, voting Bush out would have been an admission that they were wrong, that their president was a liar, and worse, that he was such an abominable person that would put greater value on oil or global power than he put on the lives of their loved ones and the peace and stability of the world. In this view, voting for Bush was a defense mechanism, a way for people to protect their minds and preserve their basic hope and belief that human beings—Americans, especially, and American presidents even more so—are good, trustworthy, and would never, ever, send thousands of people to their deaths without damn good reasons. Oh, and on a more basic level, voting against Bush would also be potentially admitting that we are not safer since invading Iraq and removing Saddam from power. In fact, it might be an admission that we are less safe because by doing this we have created more terrorists, not fewer, more hatred for America, not less. If you're kind of worried about terrorism to begin with, afraid that there really are shadowy armies of militants around the world who would like to see you or your country suffer, well, wouldn't it just freak you right out to admit that a huge part of what your country had been doing to supposedly make you safer was actually making you more vulnerable to terrorism? The mind recoils, then hand pushes the button for Bush. So yes, this election was about values. People did vote based on their core beliefs of right, wrong, good, bad. But this is not to say that more Americans agree with the republicans or Bush on these things; only that their basic beliefs in the good and the true made them utterly incapable of facing the horrible truth they would have to acknowledge if they decided to vote against Bush. Yes, Bush and Co. are winning the culture war—by bludgeoning the hijacking the basic goodness of Americans and turning it against us. By the way, if you're baffled by the vehemence of the anti-Bush sentiment in the country, look no further than the simple fact that loathing and even hatred are almost unavoidable responses for those who see the Iraq war as a mistake. Many of these people, myself included, really do believe that Bush and Cheney and the whole gang lied, manipulated, and intentionally mislead in order to get the authorization and support they needed to go to war. Exactly why they did this is the subject of some disagreement, but that they actually did it is not in doubt for these people. Can Bush “reach out” to these people who voted for Kerry and “heal the division” in the country? Yeah, sure. But first he'd have to publicly admit he'd lied, apologize for taking us to war on false pretenses, renounce all future interests in Iraq and Iraqi oil beyond a basic desire to see an autonomous and more or less democratic Iraq, invite the U.N. to take over control of all peacekeeping and rebuilding in the country, and maybe revoke every contract given to Halliburton since Bush/Cheney took office and get his Justice Department to bring suit against that company for stealing millions of dollars from the American people. Is any of that going to happen? Ha.

Posted November 7, 2004 01:30 PM | election 2004

Four years of Bush/Cheney has made me more liberal/anti-GOP than twenty something years of living in Massachusetts!!!!

Posted by: musclehead at November 9, 2004 02:14 AM

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