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Waking in a Red America: The Prognosis

Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
Coast News
November 14, 2004


It is vital to mourn for the victims of this government but not at the expense of losing our sense of humor. Our ability to laugh coincides directly with our ability to fight. — Margaret Cho

Oops! We did it again. Red America has re-ordained King George. On November 3rd I had to peel a few friends off the walls of desperation. They needed to talk, share, and vent about the coming darkness. The waking nightmare of a second Bush term had filled them with dread. They needed to be consoled.

Personally, I knew Bush would take a second term. Instead of despair, my state of mind was more like the shock associated with sobering reality. A plane crash or tornado comes to mind. Four more years of Bush will not be pretty; knowing this it is time to make plans. Counseling against surrender and despair, I suggested the battle was just beginning, and it was time to decide what they were going to wear to the revolution.

Of course I'll be wearing Green.

There is a civil war in the making, due to the evangelical fervor of the right of wrong. Within minutes of John Kerry's concession, Jerry Falwell and the mullahs of morality, had taken to the airwaves to claim victory and stake claim to the second term of GWB. Anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-science, anti-secular, anti-tax, anti-anything that can't be explained away by faith, the values police showed their hand before Kerry could get back in his limo. Dick Cheney referred to it as the "mandate" in his acceptance speech

Of the people who voted in 2004, 56 million voted against the Bush/Halliburton Administration. And then there are the millions who choose not to vote, the anti-vote, which is a vote against the government of George W. Bush as well. Combined these no votes represent the majority of Americans who don't support the agenda of George W. Bush. The image of a red America is only half true.

Although my friends have every reason to despair over the re-election of George W. Bush, I have purposely rejected the luxury of such drama. As a proponent of California succession, I see hope in the chaos soon to be created by the Bush jihad. Silver linings can also be coaxed from understanding pendulums swing only so far. Yes, the mayhem done by the third Bush administration will be far reaching and economically crippling, not to mention environmentally damaging and culturally corrosive, but this is what the people of Red America want.

The citizens of Blue and Green America can only batten down the hatches and prepare for the coming conflict. At this point a journalist can only speculate on what's in store for the majority of Americans unable to bear the weight of Bush style democracy. Ecologically speaking the next four years will be a sidewalk sale for mineral extraction interests. We can expect another assault on the environmental protections guarding the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and the continued pillaging of irreplaceable natural resources.

To hear the talking heads tell it, the election of George W. Bush was due to his oft-proclaimed "values." In Red America family values include clear cutting forests, polluting the air, denying others the right of biological expression and choice, domestic spying, the rape of nature, and dropping bombs in the name of freedom. In Red America, judgment comes easy, terrorists are everywhere, and no one is safe from the hordes of godless infidels. Red America is a very scary place.

By my definition, morality is a matter of honest integrity, doing no harm, helping the less fortunate, preserving the bounty of nature, serving community, and striving for balance. Using the womb as a battleground state is not my ideal of morality. Promoting ignorance and over population is of questionable value. Greed, fueled by the faith of entitlement, should not be seen as moral fiber. Preaching hate and nationalism is hardly faith based. Suicide bombers, Apache helicopters, and Patriot missiles are tools of an immorality far deeper than lesbian sex and unwed mothers.

War is the ultimate failure of moral restraint.

U.S. culture is at a turning point. The growing vision of America as an evangelical rogue nation is cause for alarm. If history is a teacher we can soon expect a rise in global intolerance and domestic unrest. Fueled by the mainstream media, the "us against them" mindset will continue to warp public discourse to the point of bloodshed. Kent State comes to mind, as does Little Big Horn, and the Salem witch trials.

It's going to be a bumpy four years.

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