I want to give you, gentle readers, some reasons to continue to love America. I mean that, maybe, in the sense that Jesus meant it when he said to love your enemies. Don't get me wrong, America is a great place to live. But it is so, because we do a lot of really shady things. So because of that, sometimes it's hard to really get behind. So what follows are a few useful things to think about when you think that America is going down the shitter.
- Thing 1: Blagojevich. This is some real, good old fashioned corruption. This is corruption you can really sink your teeth into. I mean, here's the kind of corruption that exists solely so you can actually know what's going on for once. One man conspires to sell a senate seat, gets caught on tape, and then he has the balls to stick it out. He doesn't even like his job, my friends. And yet he refuses to step down. Once he realizes that someone wants to take his job away, he, like a toddler, is going to hold onto it with all the tenacity of a rabid chihuahua! It's a work of art. It gives me those little jittery feelings down in the pit of my stomach. It makes me feel like I swallowed a live fish. It's one reason that we know that America can be redeemed, because this shit is clear cut. It means that not everyone in power is part of a grand conspiracy. It reminds us, dear friends, that some people are just assholes.
- Thing 2: Bailout. The rules of capitalism, in theory, are few. But one of the ones that has historically been as firm as concrete is the one about how, in some Darwinian sense, the strong survive and the weak perish. Some really high percentage of creatures born die (one hundred). Some really high percentage of businesses fail (?). Eventually. But America has proven that even this rule, basically the only rule in capitalism, is worth throwing away. I guess what we've all really learned from this is that even if we stop buying things from corporations, they'll still find a way to take our money and we won't even get any cool new stuff. Perhaps the lesson our children will learn is that no matter how bad you fuck up, there's always a reset button.
- Thing 3: Shoe. Bush gets not one, but two shoes thrown at him. They arrest the guy that threw the alleged size 10s. What do the Iraqi people do? They protest his arrest. By doing what? Throwing their shoes. This is a huge insult in the Arab world. But at least it isn't an IED. And that's the important thing. It sends a clear message, while remaining essentially non-violent. Though it does bring yet another meaning to the phrase: shoe on head.
- Thing 4: Hope. I voted for Obama. There, I said it. I've got the election bug still up, and it shows clearly where I stood in this election, that is, with Kucinich, the only true liberal to actually call himself a democrat. I actually did, in fact, decide that this time, I would vote for the lesser of two evils. Yes, I'm implying that Obama is an evil. Perhaps it would make more sense to call him the lesser of two bads, to keep the sort of metaphysical ramifications of "good and evil" away. So why is Obama still bad? Because he's a moderate. Why are moderates a problem? Because they don't actually do or believe anything. Here's the thing: we all live in a constant state of hope. I hope that I will someday have gainful employment. Joe the Plumber hopes that Obama won't take his business away. The Lizard People hope for equal rights for their kind. But can Obama actually do all of the things that we want him to do? Of course not. We'll be super lucky if even a fraction of his promises are fulfilled. Because, when it comes down to it, he's just another democrat and he's only got four years, maybe eight. But! It's okay, because he gave us hope. And that's enough for us to convince ourselves that things are better than they actually are. Racism will continue. Gays will lose their rights. People will continue to lose their jobs. Our soldiers will die. But it won't be as bad as it was before. And maybe that's all we really deserve.