November 3, 2004
It could be serendipity, or just the really cruel irony of an equally cruel deity, but hearing T.R. Reid discussing his new book The United States of Europe on Fresh Air yesterday got me thinking about the state of this country and the election that seems caught in a dead heat this morning. Apparently, the members of the EU look at the US as a somewhat naive, God-fearing, and backwards bully run by an equally childish and jingoistic fool that, like the schoolyard bully, has to arrogantly rule the playground with a tyrannical force, taking what he wants and leaving at others battered and whimpering in the swingset. Since it was election day, I believed that much of this country would wake up and see the state of things and do what needed to be done, yet this morning seems as if most of the US is still caught in a cloud of ethnocentrism and paranoia about the rest of the world and their position in the universe. Fear, uncertainty, and doubt are at it again. Seems du rigeur in American politics and business.
With a backwards looking agenda—looking to a medieval morality that uses superstition to justify a completely hypocritical foreign and domestic policy to maintain a God-fearing city state, Bush and the US remain cloistered away from technological progress and intellectual evolution. This is not a Faust in his tower, but a tyrant who feels he must do anything to maintain his power over the world. Let's revive that twentieth century cold war feelings; when the rest of the world looks forward, we seem to long for the past: when our morality and values made us feel superior to those who are different and threatening. Who needs understanding in a fight against evil? Isn't evil enough? I appear to be losing faith, my friends. Will this team of fascists—Bush, Cheney, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and all their Godly minions—really be threatening us for another four years? The New York Times states “President Bush did best among whites, men, voters with high incomes and evangelical Christians.” Surprise. Haven’t we had enough of that?
In order to plunge the knife in a bit further, I think I’ll order Reid’s book.
DailyKOS has an interesting take on this as well: “in eceonomic [sic] terms, and in notions of freedom, the welfare of its citizens, and in human rights, we’ve been lapped.” It continues: “European children are consistently better educated; the United States would rank ninth in the EU in reading, ninth in scientific literacy, and 13th in math. Twenty-two percent of American children grow up in poverty, which means that our country ranks 22nd out of the 23 industrialized nations, ahead of only Mexico and behind all 15 of the pre-2004 EU countries. What's more horrifying: the statistic itself or the fact that no American politician to the right of Dennis Kucinich would ever address it?”