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.