November 09, 2004

Matt Welch has had a run of good posts the past week (here and here, for example) about the gauche, classless manner in which conservative pundits have gloated over last Tuesday's "landslide" victory by the President. One would think that with an election that close, at a time when the economy was not in a recession (so populist attacks would be less effective) and the nation at war (so any criticism of foreign policy is inevitably treated as unpatriotic, even treasonous), a three-point, thirty-six point Electoral College win over a left-liberal Senator from Massachusetts would be somewhat humbling for the victors. With the GOP five Senators short of a filibuster-proof majority, and with the President's goals for his second term more historically ambitious (and I would venture that the changes to the tax code and Social Security he is pursuing are a bit more adventurous and significant than cutting taxes for the wealthy and imposing national standardized tests on 11th graders), some bipartisanship might be in order, or at least some sense of sportsmanship towards the vanquished.

Instead, the reaction from the President's supporters in the media and the blogosphere has been more consistent with what one might expect out of Terrell Owens or Ray Lewis, in the unlikely event either of those gentlemen become politically engaged. It's not like that is ingrained behavior among conservatives; most of the Republicans I know would rather have their wisdom teeth pulled without an anaesthetic than use last week's nailbiter as an excuse to demean those who voted the other way. The people that I know who voted for George Bush did so because they agreed with his taxcutting, or thought that his Mid-East policy was the only appropriate way to take the fight to the terrorists, or because they always vote Republican. It may well be that they are not representative of the Republicans in the rest of the country (I live in a Blue State, after all), but I have yet to meet one who thought that in spite of his disastrous policies at home and abroad, we needed to reelect the President to send a message to Alec Baldwin or Michael Moore.

And frankly, the view that what motivated Bush supporters this year to vote for their candidate was a rejection of anything, whether it be Hollywood or gays, is rather offensive. Those of us who respect the will of the people, and take our opinions seriously, know that "winning" and "losing" are temporary conditions, and that the important thing is take part in the national debate. I guess it has something to do with recognizing that the governing party and the loyal opposition are equally important features of a free society.

It's just sad that there are some who do not know how to be gracious winners, and feel instead that winning an election isn't just about attaining the power to do good for society, but is rather an opportunity to exterminate your opponents. Sometimes the classlessness combines with racism and homophobia to create a truly toxic brew. In this "satirical" piece, the author calls for the "expulsion" of twelve Blue States (but not, for some reason, Michigan, D.C., Wisconsin, Pennslyvania, Minnesota or Hawaii) from the Union, reasoning that those states are
"...ethnically diverse; multi-religious, irreligious or nastily antireligious; more sexually liberated (if not in actual practice, certainly in attitude); awash with condo canyons and other high-end real estate bordered by sprawling, squalid public housing or neglected private homes, decidedly short of middle-class neighborhoods; both high tech and oddly primitive in its commerce; very artsy, and Babelesque, with abnormally loud speakers,"
while the Real America is
"predominantly white; devoutly Christian (mostly Protestant); openly, vigorously heterosexual; an open land of single-family homes and ranches; economically sound (except for a few farms), but not drunk with cyberworld business development, and mainly English-speaking, with a predilection for respectfully uttering 'yes, ma'am' and 'yes, sir.'"
Apparently, the Real America also a predilection for going to funerals and taking a dump on the gravesite, if that is any sample of Red State Wit.

Another pundit, Kathleen Parker, managed to attack both the "Hollywood" elite (including that sinister, decadent leftist, Kirsten Dunst) and gays ("When courting voters in flyover states, one does not say: 'I love you, stupid redneck morons.' Especially not when sporting biking tights and straddling an $8,000 two-wheeler") with this column. Since Parker wrote a column late last year in which she approvingly quoted a man who had called for the summary execution of the Democratic candidates for President, I think we may be forgiven if we take her criticisms with a grain of salt. But then again, when one realizes that the losing candidate received, for all intents and purposes, half the vote in this election, what does it say about the country that such an immoral, depraved political agenda as that put forth by the Democratic Party could appeal to so many?

Karma's a bitch, and the Right in this country is heading for a fall. As an unbiased observer from the paganistic core of Blue State America, Los Angeles, the one thing I can say about whatever limited role "God" chooses to play in the lives of people, with any degree of certainty, is that She does so enjoy punishing hubris. In fact, it's probably the one thing God lives for each day; allowing the self-righteous and arrogant to boast about their virtue and superiority, only to tear them down in the end. I just hope that those of us who live in our decadent enclaves on the Coasts are spared Her mighty wrath.