Friday, March 11, 2005

Ok, so he had me up until the last three paragraphs or so--commentary on the Chomsky post below

Actually, let me start with what I agree with: both (major) candidates stood for basically the same thing, i.e., the status quo. They both took pro-war stances, said what they (or their corporate backers, more to the point) felt would get people riled up. Bush appealed to the ultra-conservatives while Kerry tried to appeal to the middle-of-the-road conservatives (while taking his "base" for granted)--Bush was more convincing in his role, as I don't feel it was much of a stretch for him. I was amazed at how Bush "flip-flopped" (see, compassionate conservative minus the compassion, the uniter that took the unifying 9-11 attacks and drove a wedge into the country that left left-leaning people willing to vote for Kerry despite his words, and I could go on--and will), and was able to make that label stick to Kerry. I mean, the ultimate flip-flop by Bush seems to be his (handlers') semantic game in labelling bills the opposite of what they stand for, No Child Left Behind and the Clear Sky Initiative to name a couple.

Okay! So here's where I part company with the good professor. Google the PIPA report from before the election and it's clear that more people voting for Bush had glaring misconceptions about their candidate's views--they were also much more likely to believe in an Osama/Saddam tie, that WMD were found in Iraq, and that Bush wouldn't have gone into Iraq if he knew that no WMD would be found, all false and based on assumptions that their candidate agreed with them on national security issues. Kerry supporters, by and large, knew where he stood on issues ranging from health care to the war, and though his feelings about Iraq were more in-tune with Bush's than their own, they were willing to engage in the lesser-of-two-evilism in order to rid us of Bush. So I disagree with Chomsky's assertion (or was it just an implication?) that both sides were equally ignorant.
Also, I can't help but disagree that the election results, and the allegations of fraud, were only of concern to a handful of intellectuals. Of course, maybe that's because I don't consider myself that much of an intellectual but felt really bothered by the mainstream (lefty!!!!) media's lack of coverage of the debaucle in Ohio... until, of course, it was too late. But I may be splitting hairs here.
Chomsky says, "Why don’t people care if the election is stolen? The reason is that they don’t take the election seriously in the first place." If that were truly the case then why did so many more people register and vote in this election than in 2000. I'm sure they weren't the small group of intellectuals angry about Florida's fraud in 2000, or the so-called "values voters." I'm sure there were some dumb left-wingers and intelligent right-wingers that voted for the first time in this last election. They care. Voting may be the least they could do, especially when it's pretty much for what they consider the lesser of two evils, and even though the war would still be going on even if Kerry had invigorated the left-wing base of the Democrats and actually eeked out a victory.
I guess it's pointless to care, but I do care. And I understand that we have 4 more years of Bush, like it or not. I would be critical of a Kerry administration, too, so please don't give me the "Kerry lost, get over it" shpeel. I'm over the election, but I still care about what comes next.

alright, I'm done here. comment away, stupid!