Tomorrow is the big day. It seems like a lifetime since the Supreme Court selected the smirking chimp as our country’s Chief Executive. It’s hard to believe that in a little over 24 hours he could be handed his pink slip. (Or a bit more than 24 hours if the Onion’s “Countdown to the Recount 2004” scenario materializes. Considering the tales of dirty tricks in Ohio in Florida that have already begun to surface, I wouldn’t be surprised if it did happen again.)
After all this time, the Bush presidency remains inexplicable to me. The fraud, the screw-ups at the polls, and the naked partisanship of the Supreme Court are not what baffles me. What I truly cannot fathom is why so many people would vote for George W. Bush even one time, let alone twice. Apparently millions of people consider him to be “decisive”, “trustworthy”, even “compassionate”. Who are these people? Some part of me is convinced they must be Stepford wives or pod people.
Why is it so hard for me to reconcile myself to reality? I think it’s because I live in “Blue America”. I’ve been looking at a lot of electoral maps in the last couple of weeks. (Two examples are here and here.) It is truly striking how distinct the regions of Democratic and Republican sway are. Vermont is nestled in the midst of Kerryland, just south of those borderline commies, the Canadians. (New Hampshire leans a bit more to the right, but there’s the width of an entire state between me and it.)
We have had our liberal vs. conservative battles — the civil unions bill and the subsequent vengeful effort to “Take Back Vermont” being the best example — but for the most part Vermont is a pretty comfortable home for a lefty like me. A sizable chunk of Burlington’s voters are considerably further left than the Democrats. (The “Electoral Vote Predictor” reports that even after the debacle of 2000, 3% of Vermont poll respondents say they are going to vote for Nader!) I can’t think of anyone I personally know who is going to vote for Bush tomorrow.
If I hadn’t already concluded on my own that the Bush presidency is a travesty, my environment would lead me to believe it anyway. That’s the trend around here. So when I look at the vast, solid stretches of red on these electoral maps, I can’t help but think, Those people might as well be living in another country. A thought soon followed by, That country wants to control us for another four years.
These are not pleasant or helpful thoughts to have. I hope for happy news tomorrow.