Like many, I have long dreamed of the day when the American people would rise up and take back our country. Like Bastille Day. Like many, I am a wee bit afraid to believe it’s actually happening now. After all, we dared to become hopeful in 2000 (at last! a president who cares about the environment!), only to see our dreams stolen from us. But this time seems different, feels different. It feels like it really might happen this time.
Politics aside, there is a powerful message in the fact that record numbers of people are registering to vote, are voting early, are volunteering to help others vote. The message: the people are finally sick and tired enough of watching our country being run into the ground. It’s kind of sad that things had to get this bad — economic crisis, increasing foreclosures, spiraling debt, neverending war — to inspire people to pay attention, but I guess better late than never.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I have been disgusted with the Democrats these last few years as well. Talk about voting with Bush the majority of the time — they’ve been no better. They didn’t make any real attempt to stand up to Bush and Regime. Frankly, I can’t stand the lot of them – with a few exceptions like Dennis Kucinich, Chris Dodd, and Joe Biden, who actually have some balls.
So it warms my heart to see us as a nation getting involved. Yes, even if you’re voting for McCain. For a country that prides itself on being a democracy, we have one of the lowest voter turnout records in the world. Pretty sad that we take that democracy for granted. So, kudos to everyone who’s getting out there and voting!
This hope-wave has also inspired me to take something else back: our language. The Republicans commandeered certain words and ruined them. Like patriot. Post 9/11, “patriotism” came to mean blind obedience to the Bush Regime and flag waving. Dissent of any kind — nay, even acknowledging that there might be some validity to the idea that Osama might have some kind of point — meant you were in league with the terrorists. It got so bad, I felt nauseous at the word “patriot.” So many of us felt the same — that we could no longer use those words to identify or describe ourselves. I hate the fact that 9/11 is now “Patriot Day.” WTF does that mean?
So this year, I’m taking it back. F**k Karl Rove. I deserve to fly my red, white, and blues just as much as some doofus redneck drivin’ his 4-by. So in addition to my Obama stickers, I’ve tricked out my bike (which I ride to work on every day) with red/white/blue ribbons, as well as a nifty little Obama flag. From a distance, I’m sure many people assume I’m some sort of neocon Repubbie. Well HA! I am a TRUE patriot: someone who believes in her country’s principles more than politician’s bullsh*t.
Sorry, I got a little empassioned there. On to the next point. The second law of thermodynamics: for every action there is an equal reaction. The counterpart to the hope wave is the desertion wave going on in the Republican party. Every day, more and more respectable, notable Republicans are saying “Enough!” and endorsing Obama. At last! They are having their own Bastille Day! For too long true conservatives have watched their party be hijacked by the neocons. I am glad that they are finally standing up for their beliefs and saying publicly that the neocon party line isn’t their party line. Andrew Sullivan and George Will are two of my favorites — because though they may be conservatives and therefore diametrically opposed to me on many ideologies, they have principles and they stick to them. They have honor, and they won’t have it usurped any longer. So, good for you, True Conservatives! Time to break away and form your own party! If Republican = Neocon, then it’s time for y’all to call youreselves something else!
At long last, the Rovian era is coming to an end. Let’s ride this wave for all its worth.