Editorial: It’s the end of the world as we know it

By 4 p.m. or so, Election Day, I was starting to feel uneasy. The highway toward Pennsylvania, and my voting district in Yardley, was crowded and there were ribbons of gray cloud in the sky – the air was steely.

I had, until that point, managed to divorce myself from the grave realities of Nov. 2, the consequences that hung in the balance, but by the time I crossed the state line, the whole thing was beginning to wear at me – apparently I had good reason.

The polls at Afton Elementary were packed, lines trailed out the doors and cars were parked in the grass. Campaign workers lined the pathway, thrusting pamphlets at people – some last ditch-effort to sway whoever may have been left undecided.

That seems impossible to me.

Standing in the blue checked voting booth, I pulled the lever for President last. I pulled it several times, up and down, in what could, I suppose, have been considered either an attempt to cast my vote more than once, or just making sure I’d pulled it all the way. I’m not entirely sure myself.

It felt strange, the whole thing being over with just the pull of a red switch and the mechanical thrusting open of a curtain. I walked to my car. There was nothing more I could do now except tool once more around the parking lot, scream “The President is a megalomaniac!” at the line of people, and then hit the road. It was due to be a long night.

Politics was everywhere that afternoon, I saw every lawn sign, every sticker on every jacket, honked at the people waving Kerry placards on Main Street in Yardley, sneered at every Bush/Cheney sign – I simply do not understand the impetus for supporting this administration; it seems to rely, much like his own guiding religious convictions, on blind faith.

We see him grinning and shrugging at audiences, chuckling and gesturing like an imp – this Boy Prince. He defines his own reality, spinning webs of rhetoric and lies, losing himself in them, bringing the American people with him. He makes us fear ghosts; he makes us feel idiotically secure standing behind his rich cowboy swagger.

His denial of fact, of reality, was apparent from the earliest days of his administration. With an election so close in 2000, Bush himself losing the popular vote, having the Presidency handed to him by the Supreme Court, and now almost as equally tight in 2004, one would think he would realize the deep division in this nation – that this would temper his leadership, but no. We have seen nothing but a hard line emanating from the White House.

And now we are left with him.

It’s frightening to imagine the consequences of four more years of Bush and his cronies, completely let loose, completely unchecked by the body politics, not accountable to any future voters.

Several appointments to the Supreme Court seem inevitable – I point to Chief Justice Rhenquist’s recent diagnosis with thyroid cancer. Bush appointees could very easily and very drastically alter the basic moral stance of the nation – abortion rights being the chief casualty to George W. Bush’s much vaunted, prettily worded ‘culture of life.’

Meanwhile, the quest to spread patented Bush-brand Freedom will continue unabated. We will continue to see the Middle East crushed under the boot heels of marching Democracy, our allies snubbed in favor of a phantom new world order as dictated by the President – a blind and foolish country, smashing and grabbing its way through the world.

Fine, America. If you want him, this fascist megalomaniac, picking and choosing the facts he chooses to look at, taking his orders from God, spitting on one half of America, jerking off the other half, you can have him – you deserve him.