The Geek Icon
Retrospective on the election nonsense.
Reflective, but Still Angry
Someone commented on my last post (not in the comments box, but via another medium), saying that they disagreed with my opinion and thought the post was "immature." I'm not particularly angry or bothered that someone disagrees with me, but I did think that my post begged clarification.
I don't think George W. Bush is very much like Hitler at all. I don't think he's racist or is looking to start some new type of Holocaust. I'm undecided about whether or not he is going to cause another war on the scale of WWII, but I certainly don't think he is out for conquest the way that the government of 1930s Germany was.
I do, however, compare the two men because of the parallels of their language, their demagoguery. George Bush uses nationalistic language (he's a "uniter"). I do find that really terrifying. I think that is a bad road to go down, and so I compared him to a truly terrifying historical figure.
I've been thinking a lot about my political participation lately. I've been reading a lot of stuff on the web and finding things that really resonated. Here are a few snippets of things that have been running through my brain lately:
- Jeneane Sessum writes, "Unite this, you sack of hypocrites." Jeneane does righteous anger so well. I love her for it. She is giving me a big adrenaline rush to go out and express my own anger constructively. I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do yet, but there will be lots of talking and sharing of ideas and ideals. I want to be aware and involved.
Which leads to Dorothea Salo's recent writing on citizenship. She states:
I don't want to be told I'm okay just because I dream of social justice. I don't want to be coddled any more. I would like (and if it takes the rest of my life, so be it; just now it hardly seems enough) to redeem myself. Just a little. If I can.
The summer before my junior year of high school, I experienced two really life-changing events. One was a three week trip to St Petersburg, Russia. The other was participation in a JSA summer symposium in our state capital (California). I came home from that all fired up about our political process and started a JSA chapter at my high school the next year.
When I was feeling the worst of my malaise in the leadup to this year's election, I thought back to that summer and how my involvement in the political process had completely fallen off, except for signing some MoveOn petitions online. Even though I'm overseas I still want to find a way to involve myself more.
- Aaron Swartz writes, "Think money doesn't decide who wins elections?" Something that really stood out for me after watching the Australian election close up and after avoiding exposure to the campaigning for the US election was the quality of the debates, and the difference in political advertising. I don't know of a solid solution to the issue of campaign funding but I'd really love to see corporate influence lessen in politics & campaigning.
Yule Heibel points out that changing the world doesn't start with what stuff you buy (or don't buy).
On the left, we're so busy arguing about individual piety (giving up this or that, making our footprint tinier, being [competitively] more radically chic than the next guy, etc.), eschewing consumerism (evil, evil) and mass society (bad, bad) that we've left the terrain of political action -- legislation, small acts of democratic intervention (when was the last time you called your Member of the Legislative Assembly or your Congressman?), and all sorts of other systems-work to the rightwingers.
I think that pretty much speaks for itself.
Jessa Crispin of Bookslut writes:
Liberals are never going to win with a F*ck the Red States attitude. The Midwest is not evil, just neglected. When liberals start letting the Right frame the debate and in four years time we run to the Midwest and say, "We didn't mean it, what we said after the last election? Vote for our guy, even though he won't do one god damn thing for you," we're going to get our asses handed to us yet again.
I think that's a good thing for me to remember. I'm having a hard time understanding what would drive people to vote for Bush, and I think that does reflect, in part, my own ignorance. I lived for one year in Oklahoma when I was a little girl. I have no idea what it's like to be in a Red State.
More musings to follow.