I had planned on heading to Arkansas yesterday, but the weather worked against me. And I need to finish an article on Adobe’s new DNG format and converter. More on this later.
I wish I had, though, because going through the weblogs yesterday was like attending an Irish wake; with much lamentations mixed in with what must be a record amount of either anger or gloating. I wrote a post about this at the Kitchen saying that if yesterday was the big test of weblogger open communication, well, we bombed badly.
I think what got me most was seeing in comments in more than one weblog, people who have read each other and commented on each other’s posts for a long time, sometimes even years, say such things to each other as to be beyond repair — just because one happened to vote Republican and the other Democrat. And still others pointed a finger of blame at those of us who supported Kerry, telling us we didn’t work hard enough. Well, screw you, boyo.
It was a post in Mike Golby’s weblog — yes, that Mike Golby, known far and wide for his, shall we say, passionate writing against Bush– who put some needed perspective on all of this. He was writing about a South African political cartoonist, Zapiro, and specifically one cartoon that’s causing some heated debate in his country.
As relates to our recent election, Mike wrote:
I do not know Zapiro, but I did come to know his mother, Gaby. She was, without doubt, a great, selfless and humble South African. She was also as feisty as all hell.
Were she an American voter on the receiving end of a sound thrashing, I doubt she’d bat an eyelid, resort to beating her breast, cry foul or feel ‘done out’. She’d take solace in the fact that democracy works and, as a citizen mindful of the legitimate laws of her land, continue her work, bettering the lives of those around her.
With her eyes fixed on future victories, of course…
Yes, democracy works, and did work this week. This election was not stolen, and was not rigged, and from what we now know, 51% of the voters in this country voted to retain President Bush. That’s a fact of life, and either learn to live with it or move to Canada.
(What do you mean, Canada says, thanks but no thanks?)
Also contrary to the assertions voiced by many, the people who voted for Bush are not stupid, blind, selfish, ignorant, violent, and hateful bigots, who allowed religion to determine their votes. Some are, but then, the same can be said of some Democrats, too. Keep making assumptions that the only educated and intelligent voters are those who live in Chicago, Boston, New York, San Francisco and other coastal cities, and you’re going to continue to find yourself on the outside of any power structure, whining into your Starbuck’s lattes. Boo, grande, hoo.
No, there were a lot of reasons why people voted for Bush, and didn’t vote for Kerry, and we either learn more about these reasons and do better in the future when it comes to communicating with these folks; or we can continue spinning our wheels indulging in anger and spite, and ain’t it great that webloggers can be so damn passionate?
(However, if you choose the latter, remember this: we spent the last four years angry, and what we have to show for it is four more years of Bush, and from what I can see, an even stronger foothold in Congress for the Republican Party. )
Right now my concerns are focused on what can I do in the next four years to help minimize negative impact on issues of importance to me: support for gay rights; countering our aggressive behavior both internally and external to the country; promoting global health insurance, and more corporate accountability; and especially the environment, an issue I feel I can have the most impact with. The first move in this direction is to have my broadband internet connection yanked on the 20th. Less time here more time out there.
Now, why do I have the feeling that with this writing I just got off the Cluetrain? But then, it doesn’t run through backwoods states like Missouri, anyway.