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Fallout
by NeuveauKat

The fallout of Election 2000 has indeed left many of us very concerned. We have a man in the White House whose victory at best is highly dubious and utterly without mandate. The best defense for us is to treat him as such and continue the efforts of the inauguration protesters and make it known his place is undeserved.

However raising our voices isn't the same thing as getting into a shouting match with rancorous conservatives. Conservatives are by nature very selfish people who believe in an ethic that can be summed up by saying "Every man for himself and let people cast themselves before the whims of fate." It is quite a secular and even immoral argument that is simply used to excuse themselves from any real responsibility and guilt — and quite contradictory for people claiming to be so pious. So the typical tactic is never to consider a different argument (or, by the way, understand their own) but rather attack one's emotions — often to their own disgrace. Al Gore himself summed it up once by saying that if a person can't win an argument by reason, then he goes for volume.

We have to distinguish ourselves as we always have through means of peaceful disobedience. Liberals as a whole are quite passionate about their beliefs and exercise the logic and adherence to principle that guide moral reasoning and responsibility instead of blindly attacking a person for their views. American society has persevered thanks to people who exercised this like Henry David Thoreau, through his essays on the environment; Andrew Jackson, who worked within the political system to reform it; or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose non-violent methods of protest made sweeping progress for civil rights. Distinguishing ourselves means dignifying ourselves in a way that fosters the individuality and diversity that enriches and preserves the American character.

And speaking of which, W. is very much a character atypical of the country. Just exactly who George W. Bush is now is more certain than it ever was. He is the President Quayle that never was. A guy who looks like a chimp, a snapping turtle, a deer caught in the headlights. A compassionate conservative with a record number of executions under his belt. A law-and-order candidate suspected of drug abuse and convicted of DUI. A candidate for the Armed Forces he draft-dodged. A man who will only bring dignity back to the White House after he leaves. He is not a Jefferson, a Roosevelt, a Kennedy, a Carter, or Clinton. He isn't even a Bush, Sr. — at least he won a rightful term in office!

Bush just isn't at all presidential — something he got from his father. Neither of them have the capacity to understand that the true power of the Presidency is symbolic. Clinton understood this well and had to, in part, because he understood that such power has to be handled with a firm intellect. W. is a figurehead for the GOP and is going to be an increasingly unpopular one because of this. If we liberals stay true to our hearts and minds, then it will be easier to let the conservative movement be derailed by the Election 2000 fallout.

 

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