Well the 2004 presidential election is over, and like 48% of the country, I’m disappointed. It seems a lot of folks are disillusioned as well, and some are looking to flee the dreaded Bush Regime before he closes the borders and has all the liberals, and liberal supporters rounded up and tossed in detainment camps for their own protection.
I, for one, am not leaving. Sure, for a brief moment on that Tuesday evening of November 2nd, when the hopelessness of a Kerry win finally sunk in around 5 in the morning, I considered the trek north. It was a fleeting thought because I absolutely hate any temperatures below 72 degrees and struggle through a New Jersey winter each year promising myself I will move to a warmer climate soon. However, in light of the Bush win, and the obvious event of Hell freezing over, I’m planning on staying put for the moment.
Running away from a situation isn’t going to solve the problem. And while I don’t feel much like a revolutionary standing with a group of other disappointed Americans who feel as though they were beaten down by ignorance and bigotry, with my tattered rainbow flag flapping in the breeze above my head, much like a scene from Les Misérables, that may be exactly what we need to be in the future if America is to be a truly united country.
Currently the division of the United States, or rather the people of the United States, runs very deep. It is more than just political. It goes right to the core of every individuals personal belief system. This is more than just a division of religious right and the rest of the country. After all, many of us who now feel left out by the election results, wandering the emotional wasteland of a dream for a truly free and united country where peace and love of our fellow man thrived and acceptance and tolerance of all races, religions and sexual orientations abound, realize that at least half the country does not share our vision of the United States.
In spite of that lack of solidarity, the United States of America is still one of the best countries in the world in which to live. It is still one of the few countries where people of alternative life styles have some relative safety and are not facing execution or deportation or prison simple because of our DNA. Granted Canada, among a few European countries, offers actual same-sex marriage, but that alone isn’t incentive for abandoning America.
We, the disenfranchised liberal thinking peoples of America have a responsibility to ourselves and to the world to stay right where we are in America and unite to prevent the religious right and the republican party from manipulating the country into a deeper hole of blind self-righteousness. We are the real future of America, and we can’t help America if we run off to Europe or Canada.
Currently the republican party took a small lead in the congress, and may have some control over the policy making in the U.S. for the next couple of years, but in 2006 the 48% of us who felt and hopefully will still feel that the United States can be a better world leading country with more open minded policies, have a chance at changing the direction of the country yet again by reversing that hold the republican party has over our government through the election process.
George W. Bush is currently tying up American troops and huge amounts of our taxpayer money in an ever-changing war with the new goal of a democratic election process in January of 2005. If offering a voice to the people of Iraq is good enough for Bush, than the freedom to elect officials who voice concerns and are more in line with our liberal thinking is good enough for me. That is why I intend to do all I can to support liberal minded politicians campaigning for congressional seats in our nation’s capital.
I’m not ready to give up on America and how great a country it can be, if we approach the worldview with an open mind. I’m not throwing in the towel just yet and learning to speak Canadian (yeah, I know, they speak English in parts of Canada. Did I mention I flunked French in high school?). I’m not ready to turn my back on the country in which I was born and raised just because the controlling party stands for everything I oppose.
I’m a modern American revolutionary, with an agenda of tolerance and acceptance for the GLBTI community, a mindful eye on terrorism, the economy, and how strong America comes across to the rest of the world. I don’t want to rush head first into war without a plan for peace, nor do I want to stifle the segments of our own population from expressing themselves. All I want is a fair and balanced approach to the governing of America.
We have to unite in order to bridge the gaps left by the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, but uniting does not mean we have to change our goals to shape this country into a land of opportunity for all and not just the rich homophobic and blind followers of George W. Bush. Now is the time we have to remind the president that he is a leader of all the people, and that by ignoring 48% of the population he will not be able to carry on with any semblance of respect from the rest of the world leaders.
We have to force George W. Bush to see individuals where he once saw political groups. He has to be made to realize that not everyone in the country is behind him, and that having a 3% lead over the rest of us is not enough to give him the autonomy he would prefer. The republicans targeted Bill Clinton from the day he entered office, and if need be, it is time the democrats stood up to George W. Bush, and scrutinized his every movement if for no other reason that to make it harder for him to lie and misdirect the country before he takes the U.S. into another war in another country, and costs our troops many more thousands of lives in an attempt to demonstrate how he won’t ask permission from the world to defend what he feels is his God given right to dominate anyone who opposes his beliefs.
So if you are planning on fleeing the terror that is George W. Bush remember, the world is only so big. Eventually you’ll run out of places to hide. And unlike Osama Bin-Laden, you won’t be as lucky or have a family tie to George W. that will be your “get out of the caves before the U.S. bombs them free card.”
Instead of fleeing, stand up now and be counted as part of a peaceful revolution to help the president see that by serving all of the people of the U.S., and not just a small segment he calls his base, he will be a much better leader and go down in history as a uniter instead of a divider. Give him the chance to embrace all views. If he doesn’t there is always time for passports and fleeing later.
Robert is the author of the novels Cool Mint Blue, Melba Ridge, and the recently released The Adventures of Homosexual Man and Lesbian Lad; and the creator of the on-line comix Impure Thoughts found at his web site Inside R.A. Melos, as well as having been an on-line staff writer for QBliss where he had a monthly humor column, Maybe A Yip, Maybe A Yap. In his non-writing time, when he's not studying the metaphysical or creating a tarot deck, he sells real estate in Middlesex County New Jersey, hangs out with his dog Zeus, and spends time at the Pride Center of New Jersey in Highland Park, NJ, where he is on the Board of Trustees.
ABOUT ROBERT A. MELOS
more about robert a. melos
IF YOU LIKED THIS COLUMN...
11.6.04 @ 11:10p
No matter how anyone voted, this piece of fiercely insightful eloquence should make us all proud to be Americans.
Rock on, my brother!
11.7.04 @ 5:39p
George Bush's shot at going down in history as a uniter was fired a long long aeon ago.
11.7.04 @ 10:13p
I agree, but I'll give him the chance to maybe change. Everyone, even repulbican presidents, can change. If our system is to work, we have to give it a chance. However, I have heard more and more anger and disappointment over the election. I read an AP story today on a suicide the victim's family and friends believe was induced by the election.
Neither candidate was worth someone taking their own life. Part of this is also a reaction from society. I think people want too many instant results. Even if Kerry had won, nothing would've changed until the end of January at the earliest when the president is sworn in. The "I want it now" attitude isn't going to make change happen any faster.
11.7.04 @ 10:34p
Well, the bigoted Mr. Bush already blew his chance at uniting the country. ABC news reported Bush will push for his hate filled amendment to ban same-sex marriage nationally.
Of course instead of being down about this, I see it as just more proof of how devisive George W. Bush is, and this is not something that the homosexual community will overlook, or let lie. This will become the next civil rights issue. I personally don't care in the least about marriage, for any sexuality, however by trying so hard to ban something like same-sex marriage he is only making it more of an issue. Homosexuals won't just quietly go back in the closet so the Christian Right can feel as if their version of God has won.
The next four years promises to become extremely ugly.
11.8.04 @ 9:51a
This was well-written, Robert.
11.8.04 @ 6:33p
Did you ever wonder why the Christian right supports the Republicans? Why are they not for social and economic justice? If this question could be answered, perhaps we could figure out how to get them with the program. Without the religious right the Republicans would not have a chance of winning.
11.8.04 @ 9:14p
I am now wondering how people of religions other than Christian feel about the religious right having so much power over Bush. After all, it is religion that has led to most of the world's current major problems.
It's nice to know a leader has faith, no matter what he worships, but when he tries to impose the teaching of that particular faith upon all the people then he goes from being a leader to a tyrant, and isn't that exactly why Bush went after Saddam Hussein?
11.8.04 @ 10:11p
As I mentioned in another thread, Clinton prayed more than once with Jesse Jackson, and talked publicly about it, and the good Reverend Jackson himself ran for president once or twice. No one, particularly the ACLU and co., seemed too worried about that.
Also, if the religious right thinks Bush is in the bag for them, they should prepare to be disappointed. He's more politically practical than that and pays attention to how broadly things are supported. He opposes gay marriage, but many people who are not in the religious right unfortunately agree. In fact, something 65-70% of the voting populace did. Bush has said he will not back any legistlation which attempts to ban civil unions. He has said he will not attampt to challenge Roe. V. Wade, and will not use that as any type of litmus test for nominating a SC justice.
The guy talks about 'God' a lot and all, which is annoying but nowhere near unprecedented. I'm not ready to call him a tyrant yet, there's no comparison to real tyrants in any case, and I want to see how these things play out.
11.9.04 @ 10:40a
I think people of faith are being fooled by both the church and our government. Both of these institutions are interested in only one thing, POWER.
11.9.04 @ 12:50p
Leonard Pitts, a syndicated columnist who writes for the Miami Herald, has an interesting take on the whole religion in politics thing. In a nutshell, he's asking where the Christian Left is hiding, and why so many principles of humility, service, and tolerance seem to be lacking when people talk of Christians in general, when in fact, it's just the opposite. He points to Jimmy Carter as an example of the Christian Left.
11.9.04 @ 6:46p
Bush is a compassionate conservative tyrant. He's the new breed of tryant, who just acts as though he has a mandate from the people because he squeaked by with a less than 3% lead.
I didn't even have to give him the benefit of the doubt for one day before his trainer/keeper/manager Karl Rove began pontificating on Bush's behalf.
So God speaks to Bush, Bush speaks to Rove, and Rove delivers the commandments according to Bush on CNN. Granted it's not as impressive as De Mille's version, and Rove is no Charlton Heston, but it still comes across reeking of religious right.
For those who are not Christian, every word Bush utters is suspect. For those who have a differing Christian view point, Bush is still suspect.