[Marxism] A Right-Wing Republic?
lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Nov 4 10:16:24 MST 2004
Counterpunch, November 4, 2004
The Self-Fulfilling Prophesy of Lesser Evilism
A Right-Wing Republic?
By SHARON SMITH
George Bush barely defeated John Kerry in the Electoral College, but he
won the popular vote by a sizeable margin of 4 million across the
country. Republicans increased their majority in Congress, while voters
in 11 states voted to ban gay marriage. And California's referendum
against "three strikes" sentencing laws also went down to defeat.
Republicans--and social conservatives--swept the 2004 election, despite
the extreme polarization of the nation's population.
No one can blame Ralph Nader this time around. Nader's half-million or
so votes had no influence on the outcome of this election. The Democrats
made sure of that, devoting months of effort to keep Nader's name off
ballots in populous states across the country.
Who is to blame, then? Unfortunately, the first conclusions coming from
the Anybody But Bush left appear to have quickly shifted blame to the
U.S. population itself.
For example, Justin Podur's article, "The Morning After," posted on
"[I]t is time to admit something. The greatest divide in the world today
is not between the U.S. elite and its people, or the U.S. elite and the
people of the world. It is between the U.S. people and the rest of the
world. The first time around, George W. Bush was not elected. When the
United States planted cluster bombs all over Afghanistan, disrupted the
aid effort there, killed thousands of people and occupied the country,
it could be interpreted as the actions of a rogue group who had stolen
the elections and used terrorism as a pretext to wage war. When the
United States invaded Iraq, killing 100,000 at the latest count, it
could be argued that no one had really asked the American people about
it, and that the American people had been lied to. When the United
States kidnapped Haiti's president and installed a paramilitary
dictatorship, it could be argued that these were the actions of an
unelected group with contempt for democracy."
With this election, all of those actions have been retroactively
justified by the majority of the American people.
Many people will be influenced by these arguments because Bush's margin
of victory was so much larger than anyone predicted. New York Times
columnist Nicholas Kristoff, for example, argued on Nov. 3, "Democrats
peddle issues, and Republicans sell values. Consider the four G's: God,
guns, gays and grizzlies."
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