As always, Sofia said it very well:
Let me be like the Ahl Al Kahf and surrender to slumber for another century, or at least another four years, where God protects me for being a true believer, so that when I wake up the whole world will have finally come around to see what I already envision, and everyone converts to liberal moderation. Or libertarianism.
Following is the “brief and simple commentary of a philosopher friend” and colleague of my father’s (after my dad’s note checking in):
Sent: Wednesday, November 03, 2004 11:03 AM
Subject: Are you in today?
Left you a voice message but heard nothing from you. Just wanted to know if you are okay. I know you took this election contest extremely seriously and, therefore, it must have a big impact on you. I can understand that, but we must look forward now. Life (as we know it) will go on, with George W. Bush for four more years — even if with fewer participants in it.
Sent: Wednesday, November 03, 2004 12:02 PM
Subject: RE: Are you in today?
I’m here but arrived later than usual. Took me some time this morning to sew up my slashed wrists. Agree we must resign ourselves to what we can’t control. Clear to me now that things must get a lot worse for many more people before things can change for the better. Some consolation in thinking that Bush left to his own devices will create even more of a problem in second four years than he has in the first, thereby increasing the chances more people will wake up and do the math. But I have believed for a long time that sooner or later the other shoe will drop, and when it does the results will make 9/11 look like child’s play. If things get worse in a catastrophic way, a knee-jerk reaction is more likely than a sobering up.
Have to remember this has always been a very conservative society. Dumb religiosity plus affinity for simplistic answers is no less prevalent here than in Pakistan. Europeans must be appalled by the results, but those who are gloating today need to remember that majority rule is no guarantee the right course of action has been chosen: Hitler came to power in ’33 because a majority of Germans voted for him in what was regarded as a relatively fair election. Republican success in getting working poor to support privileges for the rich is remarkable; conservative social institutions married to big capital is nothing new, it’s the basis of fascism everywhere.
It’s a sad day.
I’m contemplating investing in a one-way ticket to Australia, where they have kangaroos and wombats and, hopefully, sunshine. A mass exodus sounds fun right about now. Who’s up for joining me?
EDIT- But, as always, Christine gives me hope:
It breaks my heart to think that those who voted for the first time this year, those who spent countless days and nights canvassing neighborhoods and raising money, those who kept their hopes up until the very last minute, might look at today and think it was all for nothing. It would be too easy to throw our hands up in the air and stop trying. But we can’t give up yet… I can do my part, as small as it may be, to help those around me. I can keep educating myself and others. I can continue to speak my mind and heart. But give up? I just can’t do that yet.