Friday, October 08, 2004

Making History

Maybe it is the wine, but watching this debate I felt touched by the profound feeling that I am part of one of the most important moments in recent American history. I am on the front lines of a fight that is too important for all of us to lose. It is a bit surreal to be actually working for a candidate rather than just wanting him to win. But maybe that is the wine.

I’m writing as we’re listening to David Brooks, for whom I have now lost all respect, state that the President “regained his composure” and “won the debate.” Are you kidding? This time we thought that Kerry absolutely routed the president. Am I just so biased that all the spin seems like absolute lies to me? I personally believe that because I am so invested in this thing that I would be less likely to lie to myself about how we are doing. When you are a volunteer, the cause and the candidate are your figurative salary, your inspiration. I thought Kerry did absolutely fabulously. I simply cannot understand why Bush can run for reelection on the platform that you can’t believe what Kerry says he will do. Do we believe Bush when he’s mislead us into war and has not fulfilled promises he made four years ago? How can this country be even debating whether or not this idiot warmonger should have another term? Is Kerry that hard of a sell? I guess I’m just too much of a liberal to even get why there is any contest.

That thought leads me to wonder whether winning will even be good enough. Of course I don’t want four more years of this, but I also don’t like the thought that America is so evenly divided. And what about these people who are undecided? Where have they been? The more comments and spin we listen to here, whether from pundits or “ordinary people,” the more perplexed we are, and the more convinced we are that the press is a bunch of wimps worried about being mean to the President who got pummeled in the first debate, and that most Americans are honestly not very good critical thinkers. Even if we win, it won’t assuage my distaste for the fact that this country doesn’t overwhelming reject Bush’s doctrines of preemptive war, legislating evangelicalism, and tax breaks for the rich (Supply-side Jesus!). Is it that most people don’t mind that Bush could lead us into a nuclear holocaust with his “drive-into-the-brick-wall-and-don’t-blink” policies? Do they really believe that you can fight war for freedom, as Bush has said? Is it just me, or are we not living in a 1984 universe?

I’m perplexed, and I’m mad. But at last, after struggling to deal with the shock of the campaign environment, it feels exactly as good as I always hoped it would to be getting out there and helping Kerry win. It beats being perplexed and mad and just sitting still.

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