October 08, 2003
Now that the California recall has been completed, I think I will be making a steering correction on this site to direct myself back into comparatively calm cultural waters, and away from the shoals of politics.
Politics, more than ever, has become a nasty, brutish business, no matter which "side" emerges the victor in any given contest. Republicans and conservatives [not necessarily the same thing] can be crass and chortling in victory, bloodthirsty and vengeful in defeat. Democrats and other self-described progressives [not necessarily the same thing] should not congratulate themselves on possessing one whit of moral superiority on that score, though, judging from some of the morning-after rhetoric that's floating about today. As a randomly selected Exhibit "A" we might consider the vitriolic, bile-laced acid bath that makes up much of the readers' comments to this post at CalPundit, itself essentially rational. There is rending of garments, there is gnashing of teeth -- and those teeth want blood, folks. *Shudder* And that material is mild compared to, say, this expletive-ridden post by John Scalzi, which comes complete with wishes for the violent death of those who don't see things as he does. (After suggesting that anyone who voted yesterday but does not vote in the next gubernatorial election should be "taken out and beaten to death with a pipe," he concludes that any who thought they were voting to recall Gray Davis rather than voting to hand the state of California over to "small inherently undemocratic groups" for all time would be of more help "by hurling yourself off the Golden Gate Bridge and smacking into the bay below with a nice, bone-powdering swack."
Great honk! as they say in River City.
Even relatively respectable liberal sorts like state Senator Sheila Kuehl are announcing, without so much as a single meeting with the man, that the new Governor will have to be actively ignored and thwarted in order to "save the state . . . from ignorance". (I wish I could recall who it was that posted the other day on the new prevalence of the idea that the only reason a person might have to disagree with one's own political views is that the person is a halfwit.)
Have done, good people, have done.
This election was a practical display -- the latest in a very long line -- of the dead end that partisan politics has become, regardless of which of the parties one personally favors. I am more and more persuaded by those such as Michael J.Totten or Roger L. Simon who see the American party system as a problem in itself, a bad dream from which the electorate of California just might have been struggling to wake itself in yesterday's balloting.
As for this Fool, for the time being I resolve for the sake of my own peace of mind to observe more (I can't look away!) and say less when it comes to matters political. We'll see how long that resolve will last, what with a Presidential election a-brewing, etc. For now, it's back to exploring matters of taste, That With Which There is No Arguing and For Which There Is No Accounting.
Nurse! He's fading! A dactylic hexameter, stat!