Well done Dilly!
Thanks for that heart wrenching examination of the mind of the conservative voter. It has always been a mystery to me how so many intelligent people can support a party that resists making the changes necessary to improve this wonderful, but still deeply flawed, country but now I understand a little better.
Your pain matches that of many democrat supporters over the last 8 years who have seen their dreams go south (not "liberals" because I agree with anonymous that the Democrats are a conservative party by international standards).
I feel for you doubly because you are in for more pain in future presidential contests since your praise of Ms Palin shows you still don’t get it. ‘It’ is basically this:
We need to elect not people who reflect our own ignorance and prejudice, but people who can see far beyond those petty things and do what is right for the nation. Primarily, that requires personal intelligence and worldliness. The democrats have a selection process that is so tough – beating Hilliary was harder than beating McCain. Criticism in the DEM world is informed by academia – the arts, science, history and social sciences world, and it is rigorous. The GOP selection process is informed by business, protestant fundamentalism, personal greed, and some dark, deep seated American prejudices left over from the era of poor education and racial hatred. They have come a long way, and studiously avoid the old rhetoric, but they struggle even now with the idea that the poor and colored folk are not still scheming to take away their wealth and waste it.
By the final race, the Dem candidate has been through a Darwinian selection process that has tested his intelligence, eloquence and integrity far more than that of the rival republican candidate. The GOP voters seem to want a candidate who is just like them, but who also espouses 19th century economics and social policy.
Sarah Palin is a wonderful person who I would like to get to know as a friend and neighbor. But as a friend I would excuse her narrow outlook as merely being the product of growing up and living, even governing, in a remote, backward, and introverted part of the USA. I certainly would not want someone like her in the chief’s role because she would simply not have what it takes to lift me, or those like you, beyond the kind of hateful prejudices that you have articulated indirectly above.
I agree totally with you that Republicans will rule again before very long because this is truly a deeply conservative country and it takes a really shocking experience to shake it out of voting in that mode. There were so many very serious mistakes made by the Bush administration that a reaction like this was inevitable and necessary. No doubt this will lead to many more bad governance terms in the future, each followed by an electoral backlash. The USA will be trapped in a vicious cycle having a declining average level of performance leading to mediocrity, and oblivion on the international stage.
This is very sad. We are a smart , brave, and resourceful people who could still make this the great nation that it deserves to be. If only we could throw off this cringing conservatism and historical baggage and find a way to allow each of us to reach his or her full potential. Perhaps we have started that with Obama. I hope so.
I think we will know quite soon whether America has made the right choice. There are so many things that need to be done immediately to get this country back on the road to greatness. Hopefully, the new Administration will quickly repeal the Patriot act and replace it with the Constitution. Since it will happen anyway, if W Bush really was smart he would do that himself now to show the historians that it was only a temporary measure forced on him by terrorists, but he is not, so that won’t happen and he will be judged more harshly.
I believe that by the middle of this century the first decade with its middle eastern phoney war will be largely forgotten by ordinary folk. The historians will debate among themselves who was the worst president, and W will always be a candidate, however, with the insight into the conservative mind set that you have provided here, I truly fear that he won’t be the worst by then.
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