I found myself agreeing so much with these articles (summarized here), in which several pundits ponder the consequences of a Bush victory.
I left this post in draft mode for about four days. I’ve found it difficult to finish, because frankly, the prospect of a Bush win, and the implications of such, are so upsetting.
The root cause of a Bush win, I think, would have to be the profound dissonance that has taken hold in America. There are, for example, the SUV-loving suburbanites who can’t connect their choices to our continued dependence on the Middle East, and taxcut-mongering Republicans who eagerly gobble up government rebates despite the snowballing future financial burden on their own children. There are other issues, but overall, a Bush win would be nothing other than a stunning confirmation of the national disconnect between action and effect, decision and consequence.
It would also, I think, be an affirmation of “Anything Goes.” The transition from talking points to triangulation to outright disinformation will be complete. Rather than changing positions to fit the facts, future administrations will be counted on to change the facts to fit their positions. And our great watchdog, the press, will roll over, having accepted the election results to mean the rules have changed.
Regrettably, but understandably, many people tuned out of the political process in 2000. But this time we know. We were told. We saw. And an affirmation that our standards have, in fact, been lowered so much that we think Dubya is an apt successor to those who led this nation and served with character, intellect and integrity — George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan — is unthinkable.
At home, a Bush win means that the Nixonian veil would settle across the highest levels of the United States government. Transparency and honesty loses to Orwellian spin and up-is-downism. Abroad, The world would look to “lessor” powers to encircle and contain American arrogance and militarism.
Simply: The re-election of George W. Bush would signal the beginning of the end of American greatness.
I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. I’m too shocked and depressed to write a coherent and thoughtful analysis right now.