Don't forgive my anger. All this needs to be said. And I know that as soon as that stiff-faced to-the-manure-born right-wing lackey in the White House tries to appoint a 21st-century counterpart to Roy Bean to the Supreme Court in a few weeks, more people are going to wish they'd said it sooner. John Kerry fucked up. More important, America fucked up. And the people who fucked up the most--you infamous red-staters--are going to suffer along with the rest of us. To put it in lingo a NASCAR devotee would understand, "Y'all deserve a good talkin'-to." John F. Kerry, you're first.
In your befuddling concession speech, you actually called for unity and healing. Sounds good, clown, but can't you even imagine for a second that the people who supported you so zealously for the past five months might just see that insincere gesture of good sportsmanship as a betrayal? See, unlike you pols, we voters actually believe in shit. We believe that George W. Bush and his henchpeople are a real threat to the survival of democracy. We believe that they're killing people for profit. And we believe that they don't have a goddamn clue about forfending terrorism on U.S. soil.
That's not a position gap; that's an ideological gash. And it's not going to heal, because, unlike you expedient professional truth-manipulators, I'm not prepared to meet the enemies of freedom halfway just because you lost the election. Your speechwriters might see the Bush administration's failings as nothing more than convenient fodder for your campaign blather, but the GOP junta's sins don't go away just because decrying them no longer serves your ambitions. Last week they were the imperialist pigs who misled us into war and you were the savior. Now we're the goddamn Getalong Gang?! Screw that. Fight back or shut up.
Now, the rest of you. ...
A lot of us effete Easterners want to know: What the fuck is wrong with you?! You voted against your self-interest at every turn (you dumb-asses in South Dakota deserve special credit for voting out one of the most powerful Democrats in the Senate) and re-elected an ignorant cowboy who can't be trusted to remember a lunch order, never mind run a country. What in the name of God...?! Wait, it was in the name of God, wasn't it? Rendered weak and ignorant by a spoon-fed climate of fear, you slack-jawed inbred flatlanders have sought refuge in the traditional twin towers of mindlessness--jingoistic patriotism and fundamentalist religion. God's on your side. Like hell. Jesus loves us, dammit.
Okay, you want God? Let's talk about God. Your religion is bogus. Fundamentalism, the facile belief in the unexplained and un-researched, is something you born-agains (couldn't get it right the first time, huh?) share with Al Qaeda, whose ideologues doggedly adhere to religious misinterpretations every bit as silly and dangerous as yours. Just like you, Muslim fundamentalists long to impose an unrealistic and intolerant pseudo-Calvinist morality on the world. In fact, America's religious right has so much in common with the Shiah, it's a wonder you guys don't invite them to join the Rotary. Born-againsters look for the face of Christ in the wallpaper; fundamentalist Muslims hallucinate the voice of the 12th Imam; but aside from that (and extremely divergent attitudes toward pork), you both hate the same stuff--homosexuality, pacifism, Jews, education, uppity women, enlightenment, short skirts, gangsta rap, tattoos, infidels. ... (They also share your love of super-lethal weaponry.)
Well, sorry to burst your holy bubble, Jesus freaks, but God did not create the world in seven days; that's just ignorant. Like a lot of stuff in the Bible, it didn't happen. And Moses looked more like Jeff Goldblum than like Charlton Heston. Jesus didn't hunt; he fished. Jesus wouldn't want you (or anyone else) to have an assault rifle. What would Jesus do if he met you? He'd ask you to stop ruining his hard-won good reputation. (Y'know the guy died to redeem your sorry ass; you might at least show a little respect for what he was really about.)
What else is bothering you self-destructive morons? What other overwhelmingly urgent issue caused you to vote yourselves into the retirement poorhouse and sacrifice the four freedoms? Gay marriage? Dig it. Right at this moment in your little picturesque insular East Silage-for-Brains, U.S.A., there are gay and lesbian couples walking around--possibly even copulating. Really. It's been going on around you all your lives, and you've never been hurt by it. Now, if these same couples were "married" in any legal sense, they'd still walk and copulate as usual and it still wouldn't make any difference to you. You don't like or understand homosexuality? Fine. Nobody's asking your permission. But it's not your problem. And hiding it won't make it go away. Nor will persecuting gays change anybody's sexual preference. So, to put it aptly, go fuck yourselves and leave other people alone.
Anything else? Education deform ... er, reform. Some of you weren't even born the first time when, in 1968, legendary secular-humanist prophet Frank Zappa wrote: "All your children are poor unfortunate victims of lies you believe. A plague upon your ignorance that keeps the young from the truth they deserve." We repeat, creationism is absurd. Yet in the name of protecting this ridiculous and irrelevant belief, you toothless crank-heads are willing to eschew all science and learning this side of Copernicus. (Or do you still think the sun orbits the earth?) The Bushies really are on your side here. Leaders like G.W. and (yes, it's a fair comparison) Hitler rise to power by exploiting the support of the weak and stupid, so it's in their interest to encourage weakness and stupidity. That's where universal education becomes a threat. Education encourages creative thought. Creative thought empowers people. Fascists hate creative thought. So it's incredibly convenient for the GOP that you folks actually want your kids to be dumb. Which is why the No Child Left Behind initiative you endorse has, in fact, done nothing! Happy? Perhaps ignorance really is bliss.
What else is on your hate-laden Limbaugh-laid table? Flag burning? It's just cloth, guys. Sex ed? Heaven forbid your daughters learned the facts of life in time to prevent having to avoid an abortion.
Gun control? We said "control," not confiscation. And there are high-powered automatic weapons most civilians really do not need. Even moose tend to come at you one at a time. "But shooting's fun!" you argue. "It's a sport." Breaking windows and driving 100 miles an hour are fun, but they're legally controlled activities. "But," you object, "how do I defend my family when the nigras and the Jews and the Communists from Harvard come on my property?" Right. Lock the gate; everybody covets your Tupperware and your chard. We'll be right over.
Does it really bother you cornpone chuckleheads that "we" think you're under-educated, culturally limited and ignorant? Well, how about proving us wrong? For starters, get this straight: There were no weapons of mass destruction; the Iraqis did not attack the World Trade Center; lots of children (including many of yours) are left behind every day; the greenhouse effect is for real; and the Dixie Chicks were right. Pin down a few of those basics and then perhaps we'll talk.
Am I being elitist here? Disrespectful of the dignity of the masses? I fuckin' hope so, because 51 percent of the masses have had their say and it doesn't make sense. Besides, when I think about people being tortured while they're held without representation at Guantnamo and Iraqi families crawling out of the rubble of their own homes, I'm not too worried if I insult some Bible-sucking insurance salesman or a possum-breathed saw sharpener.
Too harsh? I know (because I've been so chided) that there are lots of good, right-thinking/left-leaning liberals out there who feel it's my responsibility to "understand" you. These are good people; unlike you assholes, they voted the right way. But this is why in true progressive circles the word liberal attracts adjectives such as "wishy-washy," "self-serving" and "useless."
In its own well-intentioned way, liberalism is, when you think about it, almost as big a problem as fundamentalism is. See, as much as I disagree with you and am disgusted by the shallow and pathetic pawns you've become, I respect your potential. That's why liberal Democrats can't bring themselves to do what the Republicans do so well -- cynically lie to you for selfish gain. (Do you really think Kerry would have banned the Bible?) We nice people actually expected reasoned arguments, logic and incontrovertible evidence to convince you that Kerry was the better candidate. Turns out that the GOP's double whammy of fear and loathing is a more powerful vote-getting tool.
Of course they, not we, laid the groundwork there. And that's the real shocker you fly-over chicken-rubbers are going to realize just before the end (of freedom, that is; I don't mean the Rapture, which is something else you believe in that's not going to happen): You've been duped, and the Bushies are laughing at you behind your spineless backs right now. The Republicans don't care about you; they just wanted your vote so they can stay in power and make their oil-and-blood-soaked cronies even richer. They're going to send your job overseas and destroy Social Security. In the name of catching terrorists, they're going to make sure you don't read any interesting books or travel without permission. They're going to toss you a minuscule tax cut in exchange for under-funding public education and social services, so there will be more poor people around to bother you. Perhaps you will become one of them.
They're going to shower the pharmaceutical companies with excess profits while denying you life-saving medical attention. They're going to let corporate conglomerates fill the air you breathe with carcinogens while they discourage clean-energy research. They're going to insist the ozone layer's OK until y'all bake your little red asses off. They're going to alienate the rest of the Western world and any portion of the Eastern world that isn't willing to supply Wal-Mart with cheap labor. They're going to throw more Saddam-esque bogeymen in your face while tacitly supporting Saudi terrorists and ignoring nuclear-armed Korean dictators. They're going to rig the system so that even you law-abiding yahoos won't be able to get a fair trial. And worst of all, they're going to dehumanize your children and send them off to kill or be killed in the name of oil profits.
And you bought into it all because you're afraid. And you're afraid because they scared you. And it was all so unnecessary. You don't have to be frightened. You (okay, most of you) aren't really stupid or helpless. I know you at your worst and best. I grew up with you; I shared outdoor plumbing with you; I complimented the dead deer hanging on your front porches. You can open your minds and accept or reject things on their merits instead of on their reputations in small-minded circles. You can think for yourselves.
And some day, you might figure that out. Meanwhile, you deserve what we all got thanks to you, you bastards.
Clif Garboden is senior managing editor of The Boston Phoenix and president of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. He can be reached at email@example.com.