Once upon a time, I had a good deal of respect for John McCain. Of course, not anymore, for obvious reasons. I wouldn't spit on him, but I might tell him that he was someone who could have inspired a sense of bipartisanship in this country, and he threw that aside for his true desires -- power without leadership. I think Americans, particularly the young ones, who will be the ones living with the consequences of the clusterfuck that is this administration's policy on any- and everything, not only deserved better from him, but now deserve one hell of an apology. Two roads diverged in a wood, and McCain took the 8-lane highway that leads to Wal-Mart.
Once upon a time, I thought of Rudolph Giuliani as a Republican I kind of liked -- one I would even consider voting for, and not in some bizarro-world scenario where up is down and right is wrong, which is of course now the only way I could see myself voting for him. Once upon a time, I agreed with him. I thought he was a good-humored guy with some good ideas and a great sense of human rights. Not anymore. He, too, has fallen into step with the power-hungry bastards who have ruled this country right into a Dark Age.
A friend of mine told me to watch this. His choice of closing was particularly apt. And yet it's somewhat frightening that Murrow's words can bridge nearly 60 years of fearmongering, "us versus them" myopia, and an absolute lack of anything even resembling morality.
Last week I saw part of a George Carlin special that was at least as old and possibly slightly older than me. Reagan was in office, and Carlin remarked that the man who campaigned on the "keep big government out of our lives" platform wanted to make sure government remained firmly planted in every American uterus. He went on to say a lot of other things that were extremely applicable now but that I won't recount, as that's not my point.
I had the same feeling I got when watching "Murphy Brown" and Murphy said something about Bush wanting to build a wall along the US-Mexico border, and I jolted up. I was in elementary school then. Now I'm a graduate student. How long do I have to wait for things to change?
Maybe that's the problem. Are we waiting for change? Are we so wrapped up in insignificant bullshit that the real problems, ideas, tragedies, and joys that should make up our lives fall by the wayside? I'm willing to bet serious money that the number of people who could recount in detail the conditions of Paris Hilton's jail sentence is exponentially greater than the number of people who know the name of the current Poet Laureate. I wonder how many could pick Karl Rove out of a lineup. Or know that American women have had the right to vote for less than 100 years. I will be 38 the year the 19th Amendment turns 100. My mother will be 68. I hope my children will be old enough to remember it when they are adults.
I will teach my children that people died for us to have the right to vote -- not just women, but all of us -- and that we should exercise that power, the fundamental principle upon which democracy is founded. I will teach them that we are all equal. I will teach them to be curious, to think things through, to never accept anything on blind faith alone. I will teach my children how to be responsible citizens of the world.
I hope there will be enough of a world for them to live in. So I guess that means that it's time for us to wake ourselves from the gossamer nightmare that has become our reality.