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Celebrate Life, Not Politics

Thursday, November 4th, 2004 · 3 Comments

The instant messages from fellow blue state friends in both coasts began to flow in shortly after 10am Eastern Time yesterday morning, around the time Kerry announced that the math in Ohio just wouldn’t work and he was going to concede the election to Bush. We were all depressed. There wasn’t much we could say or do.

I went through the whole range of emotions yesterday from “He cheated!” to “Fuck this! I’m moving to Canada!” to “I’m tired of thinking about and debating politics so much” to “Maybe ignorance really is bliss.”

And that’s when it hit me.

What if I were to sell my Subaru and buy an H2? Forgo the locally-owned Mexican and Indian restaurants in favor of McDonald’s and Applebee’s? Stop supporting my local hardware store because Home Depot has a bigger selection and lower prices? Cheer when our health insurance costs rise next year because hey, at least we’re paying less in taxes and screw the homeless and the underpaid and the uninsured because that’s more money in my pocket to spend at Wal-Mart, right? Start attending church every Sunday and praise God almighty and Jerry Falwell and thank the Lord that he wants Bush to be in the White House four more years to keep fighting the war against those evil Middle Easterners who hate us for our freedom and want to shove the nukes right up our asses? And speaking of asses: Damn the homosexuals! Those devil-worshipping sinners who are tearing apart the very fabric of God and country and marriage and everything it stands for! Off with their heads! They’re ruining the fabric of the homeland and decaying our moral values!

On second thought, I think I’ll keep fighting for my values and those of 55.4 million fellow Americans who believe that the foundation of our great country was built on freedom and equality for every human being, gay or straight, black or white. I’ll fight for the continued separation of church and state and will yell and scream when I hear that southern churches are encouraging its worshippers to vote for Bush. I’ll fight for freedom of speech and against the Patriot Act. I’ll criticize Bush when he repeals the next clean air act, making the air more polluted for me and you and future generations.

Despite what Bush thinks, we may live in one country, but we are a divided nation. We may share the same basic principles and have the same basic desires — food, shelter, economic security, safety for us and our children — but no one can argue that we see the world through the same eyes. This does not look like a country that shares the same values.

The road ahead will not be easy, Mr. Bush, but it begins with acknowledging, as John Kerry urged you to do in his phone call to you yesterday morning, that we are a divided nation. Let’s start there, and maybe we can learn to understand each other’s differences and work for bettering this country before we continue to force our beliefs and way of life on the rest of the world. I don’t hate my fellow Americans who live in red states. I just know that our lives are very different and we see the world differently. And that’s OK.

One thing we can all do, regardless of political or sexual preference, is “Celebrate life today, not politics!” Poignant words from my Dad.

Tags: politics

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Aaron // Nov 4, 2004 at 9:34 am

    Nice post, I encourage you to always be true to your values. One note however as I live in the South. It is incorrect to say that Southern churches encourage their members to vote Republican. You should qualify that and sya that “white” churches may do that. One thing that is well known here is tha tthe “black” churches unabashedly tell their members to vote straight Democrat and even go so far as passing out voting literature (undbiased I am sure) with their church programs and busing in as many as they can to make sure they vote the way “god would want them to”.

    It happens everywhere. What killed the Dems this year was that they got too wrapped up in hype and picked someone who was probably the weakest choice. The dems need a few more moderate voices in the forefront if they even hpe to have a chance to pick up some seats next election cycle.

  • 2 Phil // Nov 4, 2004 at 4:34 pm

    I agree! Except for the not eating McDonalds and Applebees part.

  • 3 jen a. // Nov 4, 2004 at 5:42 pm

    i would love to see tax-free status taken away from every church (of any color or creed) that seeks to influence the votes of their congregation. i realize that’s a pipe dream, but anyone who isn’t worried about the blurring of the line between church and state in this country isn’t paying attention.
    i disagree with the sweeping generalization re: black churches siding only with democrats… talk of the nation on npr opened yesterday with an african american caller talking about his decision to vote republican, based solely on his opposition to gay marriage, abortion, and the whole perception that the right is for “moral values”– citing the number of sermons in his church urging congregants to vote this way… story.php?storyId=4142569