My parents--two born-and-bread white southerners--morphed into liberals during the Civil Rights Movement. They raised me to value equality and justice. They raised me to believe that to whom much is given, much is required. They raised me to be a left-wing Democrat.
* * *
For all the elections of my voting life, I've said that I might move to Canada if the party I was not supporting (ie, the Republicans) won the election.
Ok, Ok: I know Canada doesn't want to make new citizens of disaffected American voters just on a whim.
Well, I pretty much knew I wasn't even going to try, too. The United States is my home and I honestly cannot imagine just throwing in the towel out of anger that democracy isn't going my way at the moment. That is not what DEMOCRACY is even about. But the idea of turning my back on the whole country sometimes got me through some difficult moments.
* * *
Dukakis, the Democratic candidate when I was in college, lost the presidential election--to my absolute surprise. I was living in a lefty neighborhood in Massachusetts and could not imagine anyone voting for George H.W. Bush.
I did not actually move after the election, of course, and I survived those four years in the United States. I got involved in pacifist organizations and the feminist movement and the queer movement--and my anger turned into motivation for change even if it had to take place outside national politics.
I lived in a lovely lefty-hippie neighborhood in North Carolina when Harvey Gantt ran against *Jesse Helms in 1990. I did not know a single person who supported Helms--and absolutely could not imagine anyone actually voting for Helms. Gantt was smart and progressive and clearly a leader on a path the state should take.
Again, I was wrong. And hey, I did leave North Carolina (albeit for different reasons).
* * *
I didn't move after George W. Bush was appointed president, or even after the second fiasco four years later.
Nevertheless, I have never fully accepted that Bush is actually my president.
(I know that statement will rule out my chances to ever run for office...as if they were not already ruined by my dangerously evil pacifist commitments or my belief in non-chromosome-defined love.)
* * *
I said after McCain was chosen in the Republican primary that even if Obama did not win this election, I could honestly say I would not leave the country and would acknowledge that the guy was actually my president. I mean, I disagree with him an awful lot of the time, but hey...he's not Bush.
Well, I guess things have changed.
As I said to my partner David last night, the neo-Con flat-world globalism is troubling. But the paleo-Con flat earth beliefs of right-wing evangelicals are far more disturbing to me.
Palin is a radical conservative of the evangelical stripe.
I have enough trouble dealing with Obama when he starts talking about his beliefs. I honestly don't like the idea that people who feel their religious beliefs are relevant to presidency could become our leaders. I don't like the idea that any core political decisions, from who we define as "enemies" to issues of abortion rights or creationism in the schools, might be made within the framework of an individual's individual beliefs. The lens I want my leaders to look through when making decisions that affect all of us is the lens of humanism: what is best for the people of this country and world, not what the politician says God wants him or her to do.
God gets used an awful lot to justify evil--too often for me to trust God language in politics. Maybe too much for me to trust God language in other places, too.
* * *
I think I've changed my mind. Maybe I will move to Canada.
* * *
I haven't slept enough in nights. I felt like this during the end of both of the previous elections. Is it normal to feel so ill about something as...intangible(?) ...as who wins the presidential election?
I think I need to turn off the radio, turn off the internet, just to preserve my own sanity. I won't be posting for a few days as I take this Luddite holiday.
*When creating the link for Gantt, I discovered that one of Helm's advisors in that awful race-baiting Senate campaign is now, frighteningly, McCain's chief campaign adviser. (Check out the horrifying ideas presented in that last link.)