Thursday, November 11, 2004

You're All Hating Haters who Hate Things

By: Michael Akerman

EDIT: I've updated the Pictoblog. Additionally, I'm going to try to update it once daily with another picture, one per day, until I run out of pictures. Keep an eye on it.

I have a message for those Democrats who are grieving over John Kerry's loss. I speak for myself, but I believe I also speak for the Republican party and I hope I speak for most of the Democratic party when I say, "Stop being moronic!"

Since Bush's victory (incidentally, he gained percentage in every state but South Dakota and Vermont), I've heard plenty of Democrats saying they were going to move to Canada, or refusing to visit "red" states, or considering lobbying for their state to secede. I'm sure most of them are at least half-joking, but I know all of them at least partially mean it. This is disturbing, to say the least.

However, I must say that the "blue" states seceding is a tempting outcome. The secession of these states would mean lower crime and higher income for the remaining country. Besides, after you plow all your funds into butter, neglecting the guns, and your society collapses under the weight of the welfare state, we can always answer your inevitable cries for aid and reinstate democracy in your country. For the inevitable end of the "United States of Canada" (as labeled here) would be an uncontrollable morass of welfare that drains all the money from taxes faster than it comes in (low taxes for the low- and middle-income people, you know), leading to a downfall into hopeful fascism. Of course, the Democratic country would likely draw their major voters from the "red" states, effectively draining all the young minority males from the remaining US, and eliminating those who cause a plurality of crime (I'd say a majority of crime, but I'd have to research that).

But I digress. Back to the issue at hand. It's stupid to grieve over Kerry's loss. Why? Because you seem to be grieving over some very big misconceptions.

One: the President will utterly change the face of American law. This is a big one, because it's so astoundingly untrue. The President has very little legislative power. When it comes to ability to make law, he has the power of a well-respected lobbyist. That's about it. As I've said before, even the current Republican majority is not enough to ensure Bush's policy changes succeed. The Congressman, especially the House members, still have to worry about reelection (in just two years). Additionally, many Republicans come from rural states, so they will have to side with the Democrats on many economic issues (such as total privatization of social security, which I, personally, think would be great). Additionally, there are the Republicans from liberal states, who won because they were unopposed or because of incumbent status. They could, and would, quickly lose their jobs if they adamantly supported drastic "civil rights" encroachments (I say "civil rights" because I don't think gay marriage, or, indeed, marriage of any kind, is a right. I don't think abortion is a right... so forth).

The second reason, and the one I'm more infuriated by, is the notion that the Bush campaign was based on the premises of hate and fear. This is largely because of a ridiculously poorly worded exit poll question, which had six discrete options (taxes, economy, terror, etc.) and one very interpretive category: moral issues. Moral issues are everything to everybody. Liberals think it's moral to have gay marriage. Conservatives think it's moral not to. Conservatives think it's moral to charge every economic group the same percentage in taxes (or none at all, instituting a sales tax instead). Liberals think it's moral to charge the upper-income people extra for being successful. So, a loaded question such as this reveals that Bush convinced people based on hate. Do you honestly think it could possibly be so? A strong majority of people support at least civil unions for homosexuals. [sarcasm]Sounds really hateful to me.[/sarcasm] Honestly, are you so blinded by your own knee-jerk, emotional decisions that you think everyone decides politics based on emotions? Does it not occur to you that most of the Republicans have reasons for their stance?

Let's lay it down. There are Republicans like me who oppose gay marriage and abortion more on ethical grounds than religious. Then there are the religious Republicans. Conveniently, you all seem to forget that these people do believe this, and they're not making decisions based on untruths. At least to them (and, for the most part, to me) the word of God is truth. It's not a disputed fact. It's not a flimsy pretext for action. In some cases, it's the only pretext for action.

For instance, the complaint about the Bush administration's stance on gay marriage is that it's based on shear hate. However, aside from my oft-repeated stance that government should not have a hand in marriage, and, since marriage has a religious connotation, it is wrong to allow gay marriages purely because you think it makes them more "equal" than just civil unions, there is the theological argument. Remember Sodom? Religious people, believing it a distinct possibility that they will be smitten by God for allowing gay marriage (at least governmentally), oppose gay marriage on the grounds of the idea that they don't want to die and be damned to hell. I know, terribly selfish trying to protect everyone from themselves, eh?

So.... Arafat's Officially Dead

Right. So, French authorities announced that Arafat is dead yesterday. They also said that they have a "plan" to prevent violence. Smith and I agree this means they've already chosen a successor.

That doesn't make the situation hopeless. Remember, these countries like to pretend they're democracies by holding "elections" to choose the "president." Personally, I think it's time for a little action. If we want to create peace in the Middle East, we have to deal with the wedge that is Palestine to achieve it. What I think Bush ought to do is send in a token force to make sure the election isn't interfered with. Furthermore, invite other countries to send small forces, all to be used at the discretion of the Palestine Board of Elections wherever they wish to make sure the election is fair. The forces cannot claim to support a candidate, and they must be sure to leave as soon as the election is decided (this is why it must be a token force. If it's a large force, the Palestinians will feel threatened). Meanwhile, the force will be very nice to the people, giving out candy, and helping build sheds and such. I think the Palestinians yearn to be truly Democratic, and with a force from many countries, they will feel protected without feeling threatened, as the forces cannot work together as a unit, like a single large force from one country could.

Under the watchful eye of this multinational election force, the Palestinians could choose whichever candidate they actually want. If this turns out to be another dictatorial religious fanatic, so be it. The forces congratulate them on a successful election and pull out. The ideals of peace are still advanced, even if democracy is not implanted, and more effective peace talks can resume with the new leader.

The only danger I see is the threat of the famous Palestinian suicide bombers. This is why it's crucial to gain Palestinian agreement and keep the force small. The problem is that they will destroy the Americans out of pure hate, but I don't think they'll do it in Palestine itself. And, as long as the force is well-trained (perhaps Special Forces), they will be able to watch out for themselves. Besides, the force will be spread out (as security operations tend to be. The MPs stand alone, usually, or two at a time), minimizing the amount of damage from a suicide bomber and helping to convince the bomber that two American deaths are not worth 50-100 Palestinian deaths.

I think that's our best bet for peace in the Middle East. It will be easier, since there's no invasion, and no regime change. God did that for us.

~Michael Akerman