Concerto for blunt instrument

An irregular heartbeat from d.o. to you. Not like a daily kos, more like a sometime sloth. Fast relief from the symptoms of blogarrhea and predicated on the understanding that the world is not a stage for our actions, rather it is a living organism upon which we depend for our existence.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Are you ________ than you were four years ago?

Speaking as an independent, one who seldom has been found advocating for either a Democrat or a Republican candidate, I’d like to have a word with citizens in the Northeast who are among the reportedly slim margin of undecided voters in the upcoming presidential election. Since you are undecided exactly who you will vote for come November, perhaps that indicates that you have an open mind. This is a good thing, especially in a culture where closed minds are in such abundance nowadays. In any case, I’d like to take this opportunity to submit to your open mind a few questions that are of extreme importance to the situation we now find ourselves in here on the lip of the 21st century in the United States of America.

In order to answer these questions in a manner that acknowledges your opened-mindedness, first I must ask that you forget everything you have ever heard about George W. Bush and his handlers, as well as everything you have ever heard about John Kerry and his handlers. Having done that, please also forget any old campaign slogans about where you were four years ago. OK…….are you ready? Is your mind good and open? Let’s go:

Are you safer than you were four years ago? Honest now! Don’t forget that open mind! If you answered yes to this question we have a problem. For one thing, a yes answer indicates that your capacity for logic has somehow been affected by either the present political climate in the U.S. or perhaps something in your diet. Given that nearly 1,000 of your fellow citizens, many of them residents of the Northeast, are no longer living since the present occupants of the White House invaded Iraq, and that they WOULD be living had that poorly armed nation NOT been invaded; and given that Muslim fundamentalists have increasingly taken up arms against your nation and multiplying their numbers as a result of that invasion, might not that indicate that we are NOT safer than we were four years ago? In addition, given that four years ago no one in these parts ever heard of a yellow, orange, or red alert outside of Hollywood disaster films; much less found any of their neighbors duct taping their doors and windows shut or getting antsy about that dark-skinned Arab-looking guy behind the counter at the Mini-mart, might not THAT indicate that we are not safer than we were four years ago? Come on, let’s be honest now.

Next question (and this one may sound a little familiar, but since you’ve already forgotten old campaign slogans it shouldn’t):

Are you better off than you were four years ago? Putting aside the fact that angry terrorists would like to remove your head (something that is hardly better than having it where it is), and assuming that you’re not actually benefiting financially from the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, are you REALLY enjoying the same economic situation you experienced in the year 2000? If you answered yes to this question, can I have $20,000? Do you have stock in Halliburton or Exxon? Surely you didn’t have stock in Enron! Any student who slept through Economics 101 in the past few years will tell you that we here in the USA are decidedly NOT better off than we were four years ago. In addition, many of the students who remained awake in class may tell you that Republicans are no strangers to deficits, but hey, we’re non-partisan here, right? Keep that mind open.

My final question for the open-minded is this:

Do you even REMEMBER four years ago? We here in the U.S. are forever being accused of possessing the infamous 15-second attention span, right? Those of us with an open mind know that such accusations are not exactly baseless, at least that’s how I remember it. We do have the History Channel on cable, and I believe American and World history is still being taught in the public schools (not sure about those chartered ones). So how is it we can’t recall what things were like four years ago when so many of our terrorist opponents are acting out about stuff that happened 500 years ago?? We beat the Soviets in the arms race and the space race, right? How is it we’re so far behind the terrorists in the memory race? Frankly, I think we need to get on a war-like footing once again. We have our War on Drugs and our War on Terror, once we had a War on Poverty (if memory serves me right). Today we need a War on Oblivion! Maybe those of us with open minds will then be able to fill them with something useful, like facts.


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