Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Highly Annoyed, Slightly Devastated

There are scenarios I can imagine given the results of the election that could lead to our country being in shambles or possibly not even existing in four years. That is certainly extreme, I know that, but the fact that my I'm thinking such things are possible worries me. This is the first time in my life I've ever even given much thought to purchasing a gun. But now that Jason has mentioned it, it seems like a good idea for a number of reasons. I don't trust our government to protect us. I trust our government to get us into deeper and more dangerous trouble. I am certain we will be attacked. Soon. Because Osama has said his goal is to bankrupt the U.S., my guess is sometime during the holiday season, possibly the day after Thanksgiving. I'm not going to the mall that day.

Paraphrasing Machiavelli, he wrote, "it is better to be feared than loved, but never hated." I fear our president. I imagine a lot of people are in the same boat and if he continues as he has (which he will), I'm sure many, many people will come to hate him. Personally, I don't trust him to make good decisions. And it surprises me that nearly 54% of the nation does. Given the failures and screwups of the last four years I can't understand how he was re-elected.

The thing is, I'm sure there are people out there who can't see things from my perspective, who think I'm crazy. I really wish I could see things from their perspective because it might help me to understand, but mostly it would make me feel better because I'd be completely oblivious to the danger that we're all in now. I wish I could understand how we made this decision.

You may have noticed that Glenn has been added to the links on the right. Check out his thoughts on the election. They're very interesting. He draws some interesting conclusions about some of the information coming out of the exit polls.

I'd try to be glib or funny or say something like we need to keep up the fight for what we know is right, but I don't feel any of that at the moment. Really, I just feel worried.

The one good thing about yesterday was that I had some fruit for the first time in about eight months. So, I'm on to phase 2 of the South Beach diet. Hopefully I'll get some good results. Mostly I'm just happy to eat an apple again.


At November 04, 2004 7:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

[using Mayor Quimby voice]
On behalf of the Washington State Apple Commission, we wish to thank you for your decision to eat an apple.

More seriously, the election results aren't the end of the world. It was only 51% of 60% of the electorate (or 31% of the total) who voted for Bush--it implies that there's a much larger total (40%) who couldn't be bothered to vote. [Kyle voice: "You bastards!"] The U.S. has been through worse and survived it, so I remain optimistic.

Dr John

At November 04, 2004 7:46 AM, Blogger Glenn said...

Heh, that's interesting. I thought about buying a gun too. Not particularly seriously, but still...

That said, if you do buy a gun, make it a long gun. A handgun is essentially a criminal's or military officer's weapon. (Easy to carry while doing other things, Easily concealed, easy to threaten people close to you, hard to aim.) Almost any legitimate use of a gun (target sport, hunting, defense of one's home, guerrilla resistance against military forces) can be carried out better with a rifle or shotgun, and they are really more in keeping with the intent of the second amendment. Harder to f___ up and shoot yourself accidentally, too.

Oh, and my polling place was giving out free trigger locks, which I though was kind of cool, if of no particular use to me.

At November 07, 2004 5:26 PM, Blogger Anonymous said...


Not to put too fine a point on it; relax.

The world is not going to end. Republicans in general and Bush administration appointees in particular are not going to drive the nation over a cliff.

Election rhetoric to the contrary, Republicans don't want to create a vicious dictatorship and squash personal liberty. They are, in my experience, even more concerned with over-powerful government than Democrats.

Every single member of this administration that I have met are dedicated, honest professionals who truly want to do their best for this country. I have met and known more than my share.

Even if that was not the case, there is no filibuster-proof Senate. Thus nothing outside the mainstream is likely to ever see the light of day in federal legislation.

To further ease your mind I direct you to consider that there are few political appointees. In HHS, for example, there are roughly 60 political appointees amid 65,000 career civil servants (who can not be fired). Some are incompetent, most are not. Most are ordinary men and women trying to do their jobs as best they can.

There is not a single person in the Bush administration that I have met who I believe you would not come to like or respect given even a brief personal interaction. I am convinced of that. You may not agree with them on individual issues, but you would trust them with the keys to your car and safety of your family.

Purchase a gun by all means (I'd recommend a 12 gauge) but put aside your devastation. The next election is only four years away.

Your Republican pal,


At November 08, 2004 1:11 AM, Blogger Jon said...

Phil, I absolutely beleive every word you say in your post, but I still don't like or trust Bush, his beliefs or his policies. He's everything that's bad about Republicans AND everything that's bad about Democrats; narrow-minded, elitist, and fiscally irresponsible.

I don't see why we can't have someone who has solid policies to run the country. Someone who has sane social policy that actually helps the 80% of the people that don't make over $200,000 a year. Someone who understands that excluding people isn't what this country is based on. Someone who understands that was is a last resort and something that you don't declare on a concept. Someone who can do all of this without running the country into record debt.

That's all I want. Too much?

At November 08, 2004 1:11 AM, Blogger Jon said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At November 08, 2004 1:11 AM, Blogger Jon said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At November 08, 2004 2:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


You should absolutely purchase a gun. No person or agency will ever value your security as much as you do.

You wrote, "Personally, I don't trust him to make good decisions. And it surprises me that nearly 54% of the nation does. Given the failures and screwups of the last four years I can't understand how he was re-elected." You are feeling what many people felt when Clinton was re-elected.

As for our country not existing in four years because Bush was re-elected, get a grip, man. Our country survived Andrew Jackson ordering the Army to not enforce decisions (well one in particular) of the US Supreme Court, the Civil War, Warren Harding's corruption, and Wilson's co-opting of the press. Even leaving out more recent examples of incompetent bunglers and criminals in the White House, we as a nation have a rich history of surviving and thriving in spite of our Presidents and the governments they lead. Recent leaders by comparison have been pretty tame.

It is good to fear your government. Our Founders were pretty much terrified of it. This is why they created three branches of it, the Constitution and, of course, the Second Amendment. Most importantly, this is why they felt compelled to specify what power the government could wield, and to reserve the rest for us, as citizens.

It is scary to me that you would apparently not fear a government under Kerry (or anyone else.)


At November 08, 2004 10:22 PM, Blogger Jon said...


You wrote, "You are feeling what many people felt when Clinton was re-elected."

You may know something I don't but we weren't in at war with a formless terrorist organization when Clinton was in office. Sure, that was when bin Laden was planning the attacks, but no attacks had materialized yet. I think that this president will cause us to suffer more attacks with his policies, not fewer.

At November 09, 2004 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not at war under Clinton?

World Trade Center bombing? USS Cole? Two embassies in Africa? Mogidishu? Kosovo? We had combat troops on the ground in three continents!

We continued to ignore that we were at war, and made half-assed attempts to address it. (Recall that after the Lewinsky unapology Clinton murdered a Sudanese national guarding an aspirin factory. He claimed that it was a munitions plant for terrorists and that was why he ordered the bombing.) Clinton was presiding over the no-fly enforcement of Iraq, which was, contrary to popular belief, a hot zone. The Iraqis fired at our jets constantly. Clinon ordered the use of over 1,000 guided missles during his administration. (The same ones he ordered the military to stop buying...)

It was a different war, but war none the less.

As for the current war making people hate us more, it seems unlikely. They have already been training terrorists to murder us for FORTY years. How could they hate us more?

That said, I think your desire for a President that goes to war as a last resort is an admirable one. I happen to think that 14 years of failed sanctions, during which time Saddam directly financed terrorists and openly proclaimed a desire to obtain WMDs so that he could use them against us as appropriate under that standard.

As for being less safe now, I urge you to consider that the worst Osama could do to disrupt our elections was to send a video tape. Given his previous resources, that is amazingly contained. I agree that we will be attacked again, as we have been attacked for the past generation. But with 75% of al quida leadership killed or imprisoned, we are that much safer.

Safest if we could stabilize Iraq, and start seriously rebuilding their infrastructure. Educate and feed should be our post-war motto.



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