06 November 2008

I...we...are faced with an interesting dilemma. Already historical revisionists are beginning the rehabilitation of Bush's legacy. I see it in articles in various publications...columnists saying that Bush had a lot of bad luck, luck of the draw, etc. I say that's nonsense. Sure, there were things that happened which were beyond his control, but the choices he made (and which were made in his name) and the policies established under the Bush presidency ARE Bush's responsibility. Remember where the buck stops? That's supposed to be a metaphor for taking responsibility, but in this case it's been quite literal that Bush has allowed himself and enabled his friends to abscond with hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars, from criminally negligent contract fulfillment in the war, to the disastrous bailout. In fact the list of bad choices, and the list of out and out corrupt deeds, is too long to even list here. Bush is a christofascist, seeking to impose his religion on others, while marrying government to corporations whose only motive is profit. Personally I would like to see Bush reviled by history. I'd really like to see him and other members of his administration prosecuted, some of them internationally.

The dilemma is that in the interest of accountability, it is too easy to be vindictive and hateful. "You become what you hate" seems to be a truism, so there is great risk in pursuing justice in this case because there IS so much anger. Of course we all have a right to feel angry, and that energy can be used in a constructive way, but it could easily energize vendetta, which is not what we need as a country or as a world.

The election did issue a mandate, and it did move the country in terms of racism, but it did not heal all the wounds and divisions that exist. There is still an ideological chasm between the so-called left and right. Within the Republican party there is still a will to enforce the christofascist agenda. Just because they lost this election doesn't mean they have given up, or will do so. It could mean just the opposite; an energized christofascist coalition of forces.

It behooves us to NOT polarize, and at the same time to be vigilant in watching and exposing those who would foist theocracy and even more extreme classism on this country.

It is also clear that the radical right is continuing their war against people who do not fit into the heterosexual mold. We saw a number of anti-gay initiatives approved at state levels by voters in this election. It's safe to hate and oppress queer people. After Prop 8 (the anti gay/lesbian constitutional amendment in California) passed in California, the very next day at a rally against Prop 8 a cop beat up someone at the rally. When an initiative legalizes discrimination, legalized scapegoating (a la the third reich) it grants tacit permission to violate the scapegoated class in other ways. We will see an increase in hate crimes against sexual minorities as a result of these initiatives. In fact there has been an increase in hate crimes against sexual minorities steadily throughout the Bush presidency, because his administration silently sanctions such hatred and oppression. Bush stands for violence, for domination, so the implied message to his followers is "It's ok to beat up and kill queers."

There is a lot of healing needed for our species.

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