L E M O N W O R L D      R A N T


By Jonathan Lemon
4 November 2004

Despite the “not as bad as it seems” spin most liberal and progressive commentators are putting on the election results I fail to share their optimism. The world is in deep doo doo.

Sure you can read some good news into the statistics. The election was close. In Ohio, the difference in votes (136, 221) between Bush and Kerry wouldn’t even fill Mexico City’s Azteca stadium. Those people decided the election. Had just over half of that number swung for Kerry we would have a new president swearing in January 20th.

And here’s another piece of good news… a much larger number 156, 612, 313 of US adult citizens eligible to vote (that’s more than three out of every four) didn’t vote for Bush at all, either because they voted for someone else or because for one reason or another they didn’t vote at all. Just 40% of the population participated in this debacle of democracy. If you can take some comfort in that good luck to you.

Eighty–eight percent of people who voted for Bush are white. Most don’t read a newspaper or watch any kind of daily news show on TV. While polls show that 1 in 3 Americans think politics is "too hard to understand" one cannot assume that these are the people who don't vote. The ignorance of Bush voters is reflected in surveys that show seventy-two percent still believe that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and seventy-five percent still believe that there is a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda. These are the people who now govern our lives.

I don’t know what’s more scary; that Bush cheated again and didn’t get caught this time or that he won without cheating at all. Something was screwy. Lines at Ohio polls were extremely long; one was estimated at 22 hours. Some voting machines in Broward County, Florida, started counting backward once they reached 32,000. An electronic voting machine in Ohio added 3,893 votes to President Bush's tally in a district that had only 800 voters. Four thousand five hundred and thirty early electronic votes in Carteret County, North Carolina, were lost. Votes were also lost in Palm Beach County, Florida, and in Tampa. Journalists were still trying to figure out why exit polls—which projected that John Kerry would win in Florida, Ohio, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, and Iowa—turned out to be completely wrong. "Exit polls are almost never wrong," wrote Dick Morris, the infamous political consultant.

Conspiracy theories aside, it certainly seems like a clear “majority” of people in the US voted for four more years of Bush. It’s no longer a case of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Bush and his cronies have just blown a hole in the side of the ship and we’re all going to drown before we even hit the iceberg.

Now victorious Republicans want us to “shut up” and stop whining. “America has spoken” they say. On Fox News Charles Krauthammer cheerfully claimed that it was time for all Democrats to go to church and learn what the rest of America already knows…. “true American values”. We’re not talking tolerance, compassion and peace either, the very opposite of the Bush administration policies of the last four years.

I don’t have much of a relationship with Jesus but I do know that he probably wouldn’t have invaded Iraq and killed a hundred thousands innocent citizens (including women and children) based on false intelligence and a deluded war president legacy complex. Columnist Ann Coulter says we need oil so why shouldn’t we go to war for it? Yup, a Conservative thinks it’s okay to invade another country and kill innocent civilians (100,000 at last count, half of which are women and children) to take something that’s not ours. That’s because, let’s face it, if these people aren’t insane so much as they are selfish. There’s not an altruistic thought in their minds. They probably don’t even know what altruistic means. They don’t *care* what’s going on outside their own cozy little world as long as it’s not going to change anything. Hell, most of them don’t even *know* what’s going on outside their cozy little worlds.

So it’s four more years of “Dubya” and his terrorist “alert levels” and his sneering face and his pathetic simplistic warnings of “evildoers” and “freedom haters”. He uses terror to scare people. He uses threats of US terror to keep rogue states in line. He uses fear to keep black people from voting and threats to keep immigrants from gaining working rights. He uses scare tactics to make people think they will wake up with bin Laden in their closets and UN inspectors checking their underwear. But George W. Bush is the biggest terrorist of them all. He scares the shit out of me.

They tell us this election wasn’t about Iraq or Afghanistan. Nor was it about foreign policy or the economy. It was the three G’s…. guns, gays and God (the white Chrtistian one obviously). A new poll shows that nearly one half of the U.S. population believes that human beings did not evolve, but instead were created by God within the last 10,000 years. Wow. I’m afraid to say we are basically we are being ruled by crazed homophobic heavily armed religious fundamentalists led by a reckless cowboy Christian fanatic who has started a new Vietnam war. Who knows how far he’ll go in the next four years.

The US has been dumping on the rest of the world for decades and now it’s going to dumping on itself. Be very afraid.

Jonathan Lemon

By the way, any conspiracy theorists out there might want to check out the following links:

Kerry Won. Greg Palast, Tompaine.com

Did Kerry Concede Too Soon? Bob Fitrakis, The Free Press

Was the Ohio Election Honest and Fair? Institute for Public Accuracy

Worse Than 2000: Tuesday's Electoral Disaster, William Rivers Pitt, Truthout

None Dare Call it Voter Suppression and Fraud, Bob Fitrakis, Free Press

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