Saturday, November 06, 2004

It's Moral Values, asshole!

Well, it seems we were wrong—hate is a family value after all. 
And apparently everyone, every single person in this great country of ours
who counts, turned out, stood in line for hours and hours, endured harassment
by court-sanctioned Republican challengers, and defiantly, deliberately
cast a vote for Bush (or voted on an electronic voting machine, which in
some cases amounted to the same thing.) And why?  Because of Moral

How do we know?  Our infallible exit polls told us so.  The
same ones that had Dems chilling the champagne and Bushies cringing sullenly
the afternoon of election day.  Before we found  out how completely
wrong we were.

“Moral values” was an exit-poll option, one possible multiple-choice
answer to the question “What was most important to you in deciding how
to vote?”  I think the other choices were:  I dunno; What I had
for lunch; What’s it worth to you?; and Go perform an unnatural act on

“Moral values” was a phrase so self-evident it required no definition,
until the pundits glommed on to it as the new organizing principal for
our government.  I heard six “expert panels” in the space of as many
hours deconstruct it for us (pace Derrida).  These panels all consisted
of: a hardshell fundamentalist Protestant; another hardshell fundamentalist
Protestant (for balance); a slightly more moderate fundamentalist Protestant;
and a token godless heathen foil, preferably one from the East Coast media
establishment. (And it goes without saying that all participants were white.)
That’s it. There’s your new spirit of tolerance and diversity.  No
Catholics, no non-Christians, not even any Unitarians.  Welcome to
Bob Jones University! pep rallies are mandatory.

The most blatant of these panels was on 60 Minutes, the Wednesday edition,
which is no doubt scrambling to get back on the Dean’s list after handing
in that forged paper.  The only panel member I recognized was Barbara
Ehrenreich who bravely pointed out that there’s nothing in the Bible about
tax cuts for the wealthy and service cuts for the poor. (Whom would Jesus
smirk upon?)  A woman with a frizzy 50’s perm didn’t mince words: 
America now consists of “churchgoers” and “the un-churched”.  A well-fed
man offered the definitive sound-bite: It was a contest between Father
Knows Best and The Times They Are A-Changin’, and Father Knows Best held
Holy Patriarchy! Can we keep our color TVs though?

The next big consensus news topic (and why do I think that pretty much
all we’ll get from here on in is consensus news topics?) is “What to expect
from four more years of Bush.” (NPR’s Morning Edition actually called it
his reign, but let that pass, it’s as accurate as anything they’ve said

I think we all know what to expect.  That’s why even the “un-churched”
among us are down on our dirty, disfavored knees praying for anyone who
is anywhere near Fallujah, any living entity or ecosystem that comes between
the New Mandate Oil Co. and “their” oil (and where do you think oil comes
from, you literalist evo-denying dumbf-ks?), anyone who works for what
used to be known as a living, anyone who has made the moral error of becoming
sick or injured-- hey, bad decision! What were you thinking?

My own particular thoughts are for the caribou.  I’ve never seen
them, and now I guess I never will. I’m sorry that they must be going.
Sorry, sad and sick at heart.

If I may quote from my scripture, it’s a hard rain a-gonna fall.


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