No Regrets

No, I'm certainly not happy that George Bush has won this election. While Kerry wasn't my original choice, for me, at least, he represented a significant improvement over Bush and his cohorts.

No, what I won't regret are my efforts to do everything I could to try to get Kerry elected. While visiting some regular haunts the other day I was shocked to discover that a number of bloggers who I personally admire refuse to participate in politics, considering it a waste of their time and effort.

Though, I, too, consider politics rather distasteful, I also consider it one of those necessary evils in life, like taking out the garbage or vacuuming the house. Our world would be a much worse place if some people, some very able and very special people, weren't willing to get involved in politics.

While I managed to avoid doing much more than voting while I was teaching high school, I was disturbed enough by recent trends to get much more personally involved. I wrote political articles regularly for nearly a year even when I would have preferred to write poetry articles, or at least articles on more philosophical topics. I also contributed more money to Kerry and the DNC than I have contributed throughout the rest of my life. I probably should have gone door to door urging people to vote, but I was sure I lived in a city and state that heavily favored Kerry, not Bush, and that knocking on doors wasn't necessary.

At least by doing what I could to defeat the Bush administration, I won't have to feel guilty for all the mistakes that this administration will continue to make in the next four years. No, those will be the responsibility of those who chose to vote for this administration and those who did nothing to oppose it . At least every time another group of soldiers dies in Iraq, I won't have to feel that I'm responsible for them still being there.

Most importantly, working for the Democratic candidate allows me to feel free to continue to criticize Republican foreign policy, economics, and, most of all, environmental policy. If I'd sat back and simply accepted what was happening without actively opposing it, I don't think I could feel comfortable attacking thier policies regularly.

Of course, that doesn't mean I won't have to give more money to the ACLU and increase my contributions to the many environmental causes I already support. In fact, I'm sure that many of them, like Bin Laden and El Qaeda, will be secretly happy that Bush won because more and more people who are concerned with American freedoms and the environment will end up joining such organizations. Bush is just as much the Sierra Club's greatest assest as he is El Qaeda's greatest recruiter.

9 thoughts on “No Regrets

  1. I too, Loren, was surprised at how many bloggers have considered politics as something that might soil their hands … or the integrity of their blogs, somehow.

    I think that, in spite of everything, the fact that in America we can chose to vote or not, to speak out or not, is an incredible privilege, and one which, if we turn away from politics, we may well lose….

  2. But if you deny the freedom not to write about politics, what makes your choice any better, or any different, than the side you so deplore?

    This election has destroyed weblogging. Whatever remains afterwards, if forever tainted.

    Take care Loren. I wish you joy in your rightousness in the next four years.

  3. The title of your blog talks of “dark times” you’re entering your element! Seriously, I’m a foreigner it has nothing to do with me.. but I wish the result was overwise. You commented on the election because it mattered to you. What more can anyone ask. I’ve loved your blog for the poetry AND the politics! You are what you are. Take care.

  4. Sorry, Shelley I don’t see anywhere in this entry where I argue that writers must include politics in their blog.

    Historically, I did just the opposite, moving all my political statements to another site and barely mentioning them here. For awhile I debated starting a separate blog where I would state my political beliefs, but, as I remember it, you, among others argued against that approach.

    Most of the sites I link to don’t write about politics at all, and I certainly don’t have a problem with that. What I do have a problem with is those who somehow hold themselves superior to politics or feel politics are beneath them.

    If you refuse to get involved in the process at some level, I don’t think that you really have much right complaining about how your country ends up.

  5. What is involved in the process?

    Is voting enough? I’ve had people tell me today that if didn’t spend at least eight hours a day these last few months working to get Kerry elected, I’m partially responsible for Bush being elected.

    How much involvement is enough?

    Joi Ito wrote that Bush is now all our fault — we didn’t work hard enough.

    How much is enough?

    Several people have accused those who have voted Republican of being criminal, murderers, idiots, anti-gay, and everything else you can think of — and then they wonder why they couldn’t convince more to think about voting for Kerry.

    If we don’t vote, then we are negligent, I agree with this. But I’ve seen people running around comparing their amount of sevice for Kerry with others and sneering at those who have done less.

    Is this the seeds of the party that we hope to run against the Republican candidate in four years?

    When is enough? And while we’re on measures, exactly what is the measure of hate we have to feel right now to be considered proper Democrats? And if any of us try to work with the Republicans to do things like preserve ANWR, will we have our heads shaved to remind others of what happens to collaborators?

  6. Yours truly ain’t making no judgements about how much time you SHOULD devote. I didn’t do no 8 hours a day and wouldn’t have given that many, period. If my daughter put in that many hours, I’d threaten to take my grandchildren away because she’d be neglecting them.

    My main point is simply that if you participated as much as you felt you could, money, time, etc. then you’re part of the process and have a right complain about it, or congratulate yourself for your wisdom and insight if you happened to vote for Bush.

    People sure as hell have a right to disagree with me. Hell, I’ve been known to change my mind in mid-stream when the tactic isn’t working. I link to people who link to me but offer diametrically opposed ideas.

    Who’d want a universe without opposing viewpoints to choose from?

  7. “Who’d want a universe without opposing viewpoints to choose from?”

    After today? I would say most of the webloggers I know, or thought I knew — present company excepted.

  8. Just wanted to add, as a veteran of OIF and somebody who recently got out of the Army (perhaps earlier than I might have), Bush will do just as much to hurt recruitment and retention in our own Armed Forces as he will help the organizations you mentioned.

    This is just one reason I’ve been a little depressed today: as people leave the Army and Bush’s need for troops rises, the probability of my return to his silly war also rises.

    If the eye begins to see in a dark time, when will it be dark enough for Americans to regain their sight?

  9. Sorry, Greg, that’s just the title of a Roethke poem and my irrational hope that some good can come out of a bad situation.

    At the moment, this country seems even more torn apart than it was during Vietnam, and this time the divisions are about a lot more than just war, they are about the very way we see (or don’t see) the word.

    Still, here’s hoping that you don’t get recalled. I know that even a short tour in Vietnam was enough for me.

What do you think?