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livredor
It is but for a season
Wednesday, 03 November 2004 at 04:51 pm
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I wasn't going to talk about the US elections. I'm not sufficiently informed about the US situation, and I do very much believe that if the genuine majority of the population want Bush for President and the Republicans in power, then that's democracy. The most a foreigner can do is to act in ways that favour both the democratic process and the sovereignty of another country. (Besides that, with the information I have (and were I an American citizen, I would have made more effort to inform myself properly and not just go by vague impressions), I find myself with few strong reasons to favour Kerry over Bush.)

But then, most of my American friends are Democrats and / or strongly anti-Bush. There are a lot of people I care about who believe (rightly or wrongly) that they are going to be significantly worse off, or even that their lives will be intolerable, under a Bush second term. I very, very much hope this pessimism is unwarranted, but the fact remains that knowing their fears, I'm not well able to remain objective and hold to my purely rational pro-democracy stance. Democracy is an abstract concept; I don't love democracy.

And with these two conflicting tendencies in my mind, this post and the comment on it made me cry. I wasn't expecting to cry over the election result, whichever way it went. I've written some comments today, mostly on completely unrelated or only tangentially related topics, which probably came across as more forceful than appropriate, and if I've offended anyone I apologize. I didn't realize until I started crying how emtionally worked up I was.

In all seriousness, if it's as bad as some of you seem to think, and you decide (or are forced) to leave your country, what resources I have both materially and socially are at your disposal to make it easier to settle here. I'm not saying that the UK is the best possible country in the world, and I'm not claiming to have magic powers to help people who do want to come here. But if - God forbid - you find yourself in that situation, I will do what I can.


Moooood: distresseddistressed
Tuuuuune: JS Bach: Concerto for 2 violins in D minor
Discussion: 14 contributions | Contribute something

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rysmiel: default
From:rysmiel
Date:November 3rd, 2004 05:22 pm (UTC)
3 minutes after journal entry, 01:22 pm (rysmiel's time)
(Link)
I do very much believe that if the genuine majority of the population want Bush for President and the Republicans in power, then that's democracy.

By that definition, sixty per cent of the population opting to deny the other forty per cent basic civil rights would also be democracy, no ? Such cases are why I do not consider myself at heart a democrat.
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livredor: likeness
From:livredor
Date:November 3rd, 2004 05:49 pm (UTC)
30 minutes after journal entry, 06:49 pm (livredor's time)
(Link)
You know, right now I don't really feel like engaging in a theoretical debate about forms of government and national sovereignty.

You could say that part of my grief is the possibility that your hypothetical is actually an apt analogy for the current situation. I don't have much right to that grief, since I am after all of everybody in the world one of the least affected by this election result.

For me the relevant question is: if the Bush second term does lead to a general degradation of human rights, what is the most effective thing I can do about it? My answer to that at the moment is to do what I can to make this country into a refuge for those who need it. I have at least some influence on the political direction of my own country, and as I said in my post, there are probably local, small-scale practical things I can do for individuals.

If you have a better suggestion I'm extremely open to hearing it. For various reasons I don't think ranting and railing about how Bush is the incarnation of all evil is it. And even if I decided that it was morally appropriate to try to overturn this election result, I don't know what the hell I could usefully do to further that goal. It does not seem to me that the UK has sufficient economic, political or military clout to enforce our political choices on the USA, even assuming I could persuade everybody to this view.
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rysmiel: default
From:rysmiel
Date:November 3rd, 2004 06:40 pm (UTC)
1 hours after journal entry, 02:40 pm (rysmiel's time)
(Link)
You know, right now I don't really feel like engaging in a theoretical debate about forms of government and national sovereignty.

*hug* I can only ask you to forgive, dear heart; I am not feeling at my strongest right now, and to worsen your grief was not my intent.

You could say that part of my grief is the possibility that your hypothetical is actually an apt analogy for the current situation.

I believe it is, and has been for the past four years. Had kind of hoped more people would see that, and recognise it as a bad thing, this time.

I don't have much right to that grief, since I am after all of everybody in the world one of the least affected by this election result.

In a one-superpower world, we're all affected. *sigh*
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livredor: pensive
From:livredor
Date:November 3rd, 2004 10:02 pm (UTC)
4 hours after journal entry, 11:02 pm (livredor's time)

Let's try this again

(Link)
OK, so I've walked a couple of miles through a cold and rather pretty night, and I'm feeling quite a lot more human as a result.

*hug* I can only ask you to forgive, dear heart
It's not appropriate for you to ask forgiveness because I was in a really horrible mood and forgot how to communicate. I didn't mean: I don't want to talk to you because I'm upset at your criticizing my political beliefs. I meant: I don't want to talk to you because everything I try to say right now is coming out sarcastic at best and probably downright bitchy.

And I really, really didn't want to pick a fight with you just because I happened to be in that sort of extremely unproductive emotional state. I didn't particularly want to be unkind to random internet acquaintances either; I think I mostly avoided that, but in either case taking out general undirected nastiness on someone dear to me would be exceptionally stupid. And it might well be that the people I love would understand and the random acquaintances would not care enough about my opinion to be bothered, but it's still better not to follow through such destructive reflexes, I think.

You put me to shame, and I'm really, really sorry I didn't explain myself more clearly.

I am not feeling at my strongest right now
I know. I only wish I were the sort of person to offer you comfort rather than pushing you away because I didn't even trust myself to speak politely, let alone comfortingly.

to worsen your grief was not my intent
Only in the sense that you're one of the people I'm concerned about, because you're upset by the election result, and you might be affected if all the dire predictions come about. I take your point that everybody is affected by what happens in the US, but I really doubt I personally would notice much material difference in my existence, whichever way the election had gone. So I'm only vicariously upset, really.
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rysmiel: default
From:rysmiel
Date:November 4th, 2004 07:27 pm (UTC)
1 days after journal entry, 03:27 pm (rysmiel's time)

Re: Let's try this again

(Link)
It's not appropriate for you to ask forgiveness because I was in a really horrible mood and forgot how to communicate. I didn't mean: I don't want to talk to you because I'm upset at your criticizing my political beliefs. I meant: I don't want to talk to you because everything I try to say right now is coming out sarcastic at best and probably downright bitchy.

*hug* I was not making assumptions on how you meant that. I just saw a hurt reaction I'd rather not have caused. If you were in a bad mood, I see it as my responsibility to be appropriately careful of that; doing otherwise would seem to suggest passing judgement on your reasons for so being.

And I really, really didn't want to pick a fight with you just because I happened to be in that sort of extremely unproductive emotional state. I didn't particularly want to be unkind to random internet acquaintances either; I think I mostly avoided that, but in either case taking out general undirected nastiness on someone dear to me would be exceptionally stupid. And it might well be that the people I love would understand and the random acquaintances would not care enough about my opinion to be bothered, but it's still better not to follow through such destructive reflexes, I think.

Understood and accepted, love. And thank you for your consideration.

You put me to shame, and I'm really, really sorry I didn't explain myself more clearly.

You have nothing to be ashamed of from my perspective. *hug*

I know. I only wish I were the sort of person to offer you comfort rather than pushing you away because I didn't even trust myself to speak politely, let alone comfortingly.

There's no lack of wisdom or compassion in not trying to force yourself to give comfort when you're not in a space where you can.

Only in the sense that you're one of the people I'm concerned about, because you're upset by the election result, and you might be affected if all the dire predictions come about. I take your point that everybody is affected by what happens in the US, but I really doubt I personally would notice much material difference in my existence

I'd be much happier if I could believe that global recession/depression were not an entirely plausible consequence of another four years of Shrub-Niggurath.

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darcydodo: default
From:darcydodo
Date:November 3rd, 2004 05:53 pm (UTC)
34 minutes after journal entry, 12:53 pm (darcydodo's time)
(Link)
Dearest, can you explain the context behind daegaer's post? I'm sorry you cried. I'll only start crying once the constitution gets amended to deprive me of my basic rights: namely life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
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livredor: words
From:livredor
Date:November 3rd, 2004 06:13 pm (UTC)
55 minutes after journal entry, 07:13 pm (livredor's time)
(Link)
daegaer explains what she was doing with that Bible quote elsewhere in the thread. She's a professional Bible scholar and teacher and expounds Amos a lot better than I can.

It wasn't really the Amos stuff that made me cry; I'm sorry to say I'm kind of blasé about Amos; those verses get quoted all the time in the religious context I come from. But naomichana's comment doesn't make entire sense without the context.

I guess it's that... she comes across as a person rather than just an abstraction, someone who cared deeply about an election that went the wrong way. And she's not venting and cursing either the stupid Americans who voted for Bush, or God for letting it happen, not that I would despise such a reaction. She's accepting the badness of the situation and preparing to carry on faithfully. We're talking about Amos here; Amos isn't being warm and fuzzy and telling you that if you pray God will make the nasty booboo go 'way. Amos says you have to take action yourself to establish justice and the things you believe in, but that God will support you in doing that.

If you're unhappy with the theistic imagery, can you relate more to a reaction that says, well, reality didn't work out the way I wanted. But I'm not going to despair, I'm going to keep on fighting for what I believe in. And I'm going to hope with all my heart that eventually the big causes that I don't really have control of will start to be more favourable. I don't think it matters very much whether you think reality happens this way because God made it so, or whether it just happened by chance or whatever else you believe. The situation and the reaction to it are still pretty much the same.

I'll only start crying once the constitution gets amended to deprive me of my basic rights
See, I'm glad that some Americans at least are optimistic! Some people, including some Americans, seem to be much more gloomy. I really hope that you're right, and I think it's likely that you are, but I don't know enough to be sure. redbird and her friends are politically savvy and well informed, and I've seen similar views in lots of other places. So I can't just dismiss these fears as paranoid nonsense. I'm not sure, and being unsure makes me worry for my friends.
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shreena: default
From:shreena
Date:November 3rd, 2004 06:32 pm (UTC)
1 hours after journal entry, 07:32 pm (shreena's time)
(Link)
I think it's partly sheer panic that's producing these gloomy predictions. I'd feel the same way, I think, if Britain ever elected someone like Bush. I think that there is a real danger of the U.S. becoming something akin to a theocracy - if Bush makes gay marriage illegal, why would he not also go after abortion, divorce, adultery? I know it sounds farfetched but Bush's social agenda is farfetched and frightening. I think the only reassuring thing is the fact that he can't stand again after 2008. I have faith that the American public, after watching Bush grapple with his budget deficit and military failures, will vote him out. Republicans may be socially conservative, but they will also not vote for someone who messes up the economy.
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rysmiel: default
From:rysmiel
Date:November 3rd, 2004 06:35 pm (UTC)
1 hours after journal entry, 02:35 pm (rysmiel's time)
(Link)
I know it sounds farfetched but Bush's social agenda is farfetched and frightening. I think the only reassuring thing is the fact that he can't stand again after 2008.

I do not know why so many people find the concept of a change of figurehead for this particular regime in 2008 reassuring.

I can but hope that the apparent signs of fissure between the traditionally-conservative and the fundamentalist-wingnut sides of the Republican Party are real and act to slow the Bush regime's agenda for the next while.
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shreena: default
From:shreena
Date:November 3rd, 2004 06:38 pm (UTC)
1 hours after journal entry, 07:38 pm (shreena's time)
(Link)
That's why I'm reassured by Bush's economic incompetance. I really think that, if there's an even larger national deficit by 2008, we'll either see a more economic (as opposed to social) conservative stand for the Republicans or the Democrats will win comfortably. The alliance between economic and social conservatives is not (it seems to me, anyway) to be particularly strong.
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darcydodo: ghost
From:darcydodo
Date:November 4th, 2004 05:20 pm (UTC)
1 days after journal entry, 12:20 pm (darcydodo's time)
(Link)
See, I'm glad that some Americans at least are optimistic!

Given what constitutes a deprivation of my rights to pursuit of happiness, I wouldn't tend to call that optimistic! However, I tend to be in the camp that thinks of Bush merely as incredibly stupid and incredibly religious-conservative. These two in combination are a dreadful thing but are not what, I believe, would lead to things such as redbird et al. fear. However, if those people are correct who say that Bush is not stupid, but canny, then I agree things look rather more frightening.

What tends to frighten me is not Bush himself, but how people in this country evidently react to his words, actions, etc. And what makes me unhappiest, for now, is that eleven states voted to ban gay marriage, and some of them even banned civil unions.

I keep reminding myself that we do, officially, have the right to revolt. I just don't know what it will take before we implement that right, nor really how we would go about doing it. I don't think that marching to White House waving torches and pitchforks is really going to cut it in this day and age, despite how absolutely beautiful that would be.
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livredor: portrait
From:livredor
Date:November 5th, 2004 09:09 pm (UTC)
2 days after journal entry, 10:09 pm (livredor's time)

*hug*

(Link)
I wouldn't tend to call that optimistic!
OK, I misunderstood you, I thought you were saying it wasn't all that bad.

I remember how you wouldn't go to sleep in 2000 until the election was decided, until you eventually realized it was going to be weeks, not hours. So I figured you were going to be quite disappointed by this election result too.

And then I've seen some analysis of the election which suggests that, like, fifty million people deliberately voted for a leader who is at best totally incompetent because they just hate gay people that much. I don't think that's likely, that people would deliberately vote against their own interests like that, and I'm sure most of the people who voted for Bush had reasons that seemed good to them, not just extreme homophobia. But it still makes me worry a bit about my gay American friends.

I agree the SSM votes are really sucky, but I don't think that they put you in danger. Apart from the fact that they're not in your state, you weren't officially allowed to marry another woman anyway, so not much has changed.

I also remember seeing you in 2001 and being all upset because I thought lots of horrible terrorists were going to try to kill you. And of course I was being entirely ridiculous and you were in no more danger from terrorists than I was. So, really, what I need now, as then, is a good dose of your being sensibler than I am, as always!

I don't think that marching to White House waving torches and pitchforks is really going to cut it in this day and age, despite how absolutely beautiful that would be.
I have to say I do like that image. Though be careful if you do end up with a pitchfork, they're kind of pointy.
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rysmiel: default
From:rysmiel
Date:November 4th, 2004 07:21 pm (UTC)
1 days after journal entry, 03:21 pm (rysmiel's time)
(Link)
I'll only start crying once the constitution gets amended to deprive me of my basic rights: namely life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

You don't see the various states passing anti-same-sex marriage amendments as a deprivation of a basic right ?
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darcydodo: default
From:darcydodo
Date:November 4th, 2004 10:24 pm (UTC)
1 days after journal entry, 05:24 pm (darcydodo's time)
(Link)
Oh, I entirely do; see my response to livredor above. Currently I don't live in any of those states. (California already has "laws" regarding such things.) But so far there's no federal laws that have been successfully passed.
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