Thursday, November 04, 2004

Public Shaming

Reading world news today: The Brits are seriously depressed about Bush. Canada released an official message that Americans would have to wait in line (for about a year) like other immigrants before moving to Canada. The world is looking on in awe at the sheer audacity and ignorance of Americans. 72% of Bush supporters still believe that Iraq caused 9-11. Where have they been hiding? Why don't they know what's been going on around the world? There are separate channels of disinformation circulating among the rightwing, distorting any realistic view of the world. My Taiwanese students analyzed the election news for my Current Events class this a.m. They are left completely stumped about why "christians" voted for an aggressively pro-war president who refused to correct any of his many sins. They started to get the bit about gay-marriage and abortion as being more important for evangelical christian Americans. But still, the shameful display of puritan busybodies all too willing to enforce their anachronistic beliefs on their neighbors' private lives, complete with their scarlet letters and the rest -- instead of attending to the outrageous abuses of our imperial administration. The best scientific estimates of deaths we caused in Iraq was just published before the election in the British journal The Lancet: 100,000 violent deaths, mostly women and children due to bombing. Yet Americans find it more "moral" to prevent women they don't know from having an abortion. The evangelical christians ought to be lined up and whipped senseless for this crime they've perpetrated on the rest of the world. We are in a struggle against a medieval superstition in our own heartland. Whatever happened to the 18th century Enlightenment? This is why the founders of the US insisted on the separation of church and state. Yet we're running backwards into a theocracy by default. Bush was re-elected because Jesus told him to bomb Iraq!
If we want to preserve whatever enlightenment liberties are left, the struggle is going to become more desperate. I think the moral high ground must be seized. Evangelical christians must be shamed morally in public, at every opportunity. And the politicization of rightwing churches must be challenged in courts. Children should be sent back to public schools by law and given textbooks that represent facts, not cosmic myths and historical fantasies. This drift toward superstition is wholly dangerous for both the US and its overseas subjects.
As for the re-elected administration: the lawsuits have already begun. Rumsfeld is being sued for promoting torture and illegal detention. Cheney is next on the block for his Haliburton backroom deals, while Haliburton itself is being critically investigated by an office from the Pentagon and beyond. Powell is about to collapse from pretending to still have any integrity left, after admitting many times that, in hindsight, he presented false information to the UN. And why isn't Rice in prison already? Why isn't the community protecting itself against these sinister criminals?

For an overview of the hair-raising international press reaction to Bush's election, see here:


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