I'm glad to see Scott and Andy are pissed off about the joke our country has become.

I can't decide how much I want to even write about politics at this point. The American people have had the right to vote for many years, a right for which many people have died, a right people in East Timor walked days to exercise, but they can't even be bothered to vote or pay attention to what's going on beyond the crap they see for 5 minutes on the 6 o'clock news. The last election's turnout was 40% or less.

I'm not going to have children, so I'm not going to have to worry what the world looks like in 50 years. I'm in my mid-30s but I doubt I'll live another fifty years. I don't understand how people can vote for a party that stands only for 10,000 or so rich people, environmental degradation, and fundamentalist religion. As I said, people have the ability to vote or pay attention if they want, and they have relinquished that privilege. They would rather choose a president based on which one to have over for a visit than on self-interest. Were people really voting for those things? Half of the voters were, plus right-wing control of the courts for a generation.

A lot of my friends don't seem to understand why I'm such a Europhile. They look at what happened during World War II and immediately decide that Europe isn't for them, particularly Jewish friends. Grab a clue, people. We are gradually marching towards a fascism that combines religious fundamentalists (including those who advocate "conversion" of Jews) with corporate power, and with no significant protest from any quarter. The fascists of Italy, Spain and Germany had political prisoners -- Dachau was built as soon as the Nazis came to power for political prisoners. Our leaders don't have to bother. They don't even have to suspend voting. They win anyway, and the fact that about 20% of the possible voters put them into power seems to convey some legitimacy. Why shouldn't they act like they have a mandate? It's obvious that not enough Americans are opposed to them to even bother voting.

My other argument regarding the USA vs. Europe is that the USA is giving up all of the things that are in its favor -- our constitutional protections and our Bill of Rights. The right to privacy and freedom of speech have not always been priorities in the democracies of post-war Europe. Those restrictions, however, are combined with a social compact with the government to provide a welfare state that has made Europe one of the best places to live in the world, with good public services, nearly universal access to healthcare, and much lower levels of violence. The regime we have now is preparing to revoke one end of our country's understanding of its citizens' relationship to their government without giving us anything in return. They are proposing a police state -- we should not be seeing the phrase "secret court" in headlines -- combined with a Darwinian capitalism that cares nothing for anyone but those who are rich and powerful. We are rolling back the New Deal while shredding the Bill of Rights. Who will protect us from corporations that knowingly create defective products, or lie about the drugs they sell us, or abuse their employees? No one.

If New York didn't exist, I would have left the USA long ago. It's one of the few redeeming features of America at this point, and the fact that it's the likely target for future terrorist attacks is depressing, when we represent what is good and diverse and pluralist in our society. I don't think I can really turn off my desire for reading newspapers and watching what's happening in politics, but a certain amount of inner emigration is attractive.


See James for his take on this too.

About this Entry

Published on November 24, 2002 6:15 PM.

previous entry: But he is a moron

next entry: Let's talk about art instead



3 latest

3 random