Saturday, August 28, 2004

What If?

I've a friend who is forever harping on and on about Garrison Keillor and incessantly quoting sections from the latest Prairie Home Companion. I've never really been sold on him, to be honest. K. thinks he's not vulgar enough for me, and there may be some truth in that.

Vaara may have changed my mind, though. He's posted a absolutely wonderful exerpt from Keillor's latest book, Homegrown Democrat. It is a must-read. A teaser:

The party of Lincoln and Liberty was transmogrified into the party of hairy-backed swamp developers and corporate shills, faith-based economists, fundamentalist bullies with Bibles, Christians of convenience, freelance racists, misanthropic frat boys, shrieking midgets of AM radio, tax cheats, nihilists in golf pants, brownshirts in pinstripes, sweatshop tycoons, hacks, fakirs, aggressive dorks, Lamborghini libertarians, people who believe Neil Armstrong's moonwalk was filmed in Roswell, New Mexico, little honkers out to diminish the rest of us, Newt's evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man suspicious of the free flow of information and of secular institutions, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk. Republicans: The No.1 reason the rest of the world thinks we're deaf, dumb and dangerous.

Keillor then goes on in even more delightful detail. So, yes, by all means read on.

I, of course, agree with him completely. Big surprise, I know. Nevertheless, it got me thinking a very depressing thought. Even most of my somewhat conservatively-inclined friends (yes, there a few) admit that Bush losing would not be the worst thing that could happen to America (or the world, for that matter). Indeed, I suspect there are lots of people on the right who might even prefer he lose, in order that somebody else take the fall for all that he's sown thus far. They will, of course, in the end be absolutely delighted if he wins, but I really don't sense the mass sense of urgency for their man to win that Democrats like Vaara / Keillor / I (et al) do.*

That said, I'm a bit concerned: what with our increasing outrage and activism (all much needed, mind), should we also come up with a contingency plan if things don't work out? Or is this really our make-or-break last stand? If so, terrible thought, is this what revolution has come to in a modern democracy? Or, alternatively, have we set ourselves up for such an apocalyptic denouement in order that we might be able to pat ourselves on our savvy rhetorically-gifted selves and pragmatically say: "Okay, maybe it wasn't THAT bad. But hey!" If we honestly believe the rhetoric, however, what do we do in the event of a loss?

Not sure.

* I am, of course, not referring to certain extreme elements of the Right that truly believe that a non-Bush vote is the same as voting for a fetus-eating lesbian who dares to speak French, and thus MUST be stopped at any and all costs. Their bountiful presence on the internet notwithstanding, they are a minorty worthy only of a minute's pity-scorn usually reserved exclusively for people who call back telemarketers after receiving their message on voice mail.