Such is the prevailing mournful woe I keep hearing. Oddly enough, I'm inclined to agree with it. I think this eleection has been a landslide victory for an unexpectedly-large group of small-minded and intolerant people.
Take, for example, this article in the Guardian: "Onward Christian Soldiers: Simon Schama on a newly divided America."
He goes on to make the Red vs Blue analogy, pointing out the existence of more-worldly people in the Blue areas, people who understand and appreciate other cultures. Then he points to the small-minded hicks of Red America, noting their small mindedness, etc.
I wonder what Simon Schama would say about me. I'm a Christian, and many I know who are Christians are much more mindful of world cultures/events than my Democrat friends. We don't just look at world events to discredit an administration. We look at world events with an eye on making a difference. After all, I'm of Guatemalan descent.
This political racism is a a false segregation which lies in the arbitrary division, labeling, and stereotyping of large diverse groups of people; it is based on one of the oldest lies in the book.
I would like to think that these more intellectual, more thoughtful people that Schama describes would be intellectually honest not to fall for something as obvious as a false dilemma, but I seem to be sorely mistaken. Schama and all the other lamenters of the stupidity of Red America fall for it like a lead cannonball dropped from the Tower of Pisa.
If you want to lament anything, please lament the plurality voting system that pits us against each other. Red V. Blue is a CONSTRUCT! If there is any conspiracy, then it is being perpetrated by Republicans, Democrats, and anyone who would try to convince you that Red V. Blue means anything significant. It's the Republicans and Democrats who consistently suppress the power of the third parties. It's the Republicans and Democrats who eat their own (see Nader) so they may follow a flawed construct.
Chill, people. If you get angry this time 'round, don't get angry at your fellow Americans. Get angry at the people who are trying to divide and conquer this country for their own political gain.
How sad that communications technology and the blogging world are only giving people more chances to turn the false divisions of a flawed construct into real hate, small-mindedness, and division. Don't let the pundits, the bloggers, or the mass-controlling mass-media take away your individuality and decide your political ideology by coloring your mind.
And don't ever talk to me about the stupid hicks in Red America.
Yes, the smallminded have won the 2004 election by a raging landslide. I see spirits drooped with heavy chains in the heavy eyes of sorrow and disillusionment and anger around me.
These chains are not necessary.
And yet, politics is itself another false dilemma. It is only one way, and harsh one at that, to improve the lives of others.
For many people, politics is a way to be socially responsible without actually caring for others. This is the mindset behind taxing people so we can contribute to programs that promote social justice. If Americans (or the people of any nation) actually wanted to take care of others, they wouldn't need socialism. Socialism is just a means to remain uncaring while easing our conscience.
As a Christian, I have other means by which I can be used to bring the greater good of many. It's a hard road, but a blessed one. This is why Coach Jones is a much greater hero than even the greatest politician.
The following poem is by Laxmi Prasad Devkota, a Nepalese man who was not a Christian, but who in this case truly expresses the reality.
the rich and those who suffer poverty.
Earth has to meet earth.
I saw the world flower,
I saw it wilt
and I have known God.
The seeds we plant here
will grow in heaven.
What you have given, love,
you will get back
when you leave this place."