Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Time to Bail?

This morning I wanted to stay in bed and tried to bury my head under my pillow, fearing what I'd learn about our country when I greeted this post-election day. But morbid curiosity got the better of me and I couldn't go back to sleep. I turned on CNN and even before I had my morning coffee I understood in my gut that the America I once knew and believed in is probably gone forever.

Unrestrained by reelection concerns and aided by more allies in Congress, the gloves (such as they were) will be off. Bushco will take away more of the rights we once took for granted, plunder our riches to line the pockets of oil barons and warmongers, and continue killing our children and the children of others. It's hard to see how much further we can go to alienate those who might have been our allies, but I'm sure we'll be unpleasantly surprised. Idiotic foreign policy will sow generations of hatred in the Muslim world that will make the Crusades look like soccer practice. Fat cats will light their cigars with $100 bills from their tax relief, while generations not yet born get stuck with the bill.

Our beloved America has been stolen from us. First it was the Katherine Harris/Supreme Court cabal that inserted our puppet king in power in 2000. This time I suspect it was electronic voting machines rigged to get the results desired by the right wing that delivered Ohio and Florida.

But the brain-dead populace is just as much to blame. People who plunk their asses in front of television sets live a vicarious life fed by video pablum and sound bytes. They are not exactly critical thinkers, and easily fall for sloganeering like "no child left behind" or "clean air act" when those things really mean just the opposite. We're building schools in Baghdad while Philadelphia's schools are ancient hulking prisons. We're subsidizing oily wasteful transportation that fouls the air while public transit systems crumble and high-speed train travel isn't even on the radar.

It's truly scary to share this country with the rabid fundamentalists and corporate overseers calling the shots. My friend Diane sent an email this morning titled, "I send you healing and consolation." In it she said, "the next campaign begins today - how can we help our poor friends who vote against their own self-interest to wake up and see the truth?"

I'm no longer sure they can be helped. Too much may have been lost already. That's why I called Philadelphia's Irish Citizenship Project today. Maybe it's time to bail. I want my 17 year old son in Ireland next year, not in Iraq buying Bushco's oil with his blood.


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