Fear vs. Hope: Fear Lost

I’m from Texas, but the family story is that during the Civil War my ancestors were Northern sympathizers. One great grand-uncle was hung by the Confederacy for giving shoes to a Union soldier. I’m also a Civil War buff, and have read dozens of histories of it and visited more than 30 battlefields. And it feels like the Civil War finally ended tonight, with me here to see it happen. Not only because an eloquent Black man became president, but because Nixon’s “Southern strategy” finally crashed to ignominious failure. I couldn’t be happier. God bless us all, and bless President Obama most of all. After eight years of a malevolent, moronic president, America can now rejoin the rest of the world. 

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  1. Paul H. Muller says

    I’m watching Obama speak in Grant Park right now and its like hearing Shakespear after 8 years of watching The Simpsons.
    KG replies: Hey, I love the Simpsons. You mean maybe 8 years of watching Montgomery Burns?

  2. David Cavlovic says

    As a Canadian, I can say I believe in America again.
    What do we know about Obama’s cultural tastes?
    Gotta be better than Bush’s. As Robin Williams quipped after Ozzy Osbourne’s visit to the Bush White House: “Man, Nostradamus saw that and said, ‘that’s it, I quit!’”

  3. says

    It’s wonderful to see how personally we are all taking this victory. My path was almost diametrically opposed to Kyle’s. Spent the first 27 years of my life in NJ, NY and CT, the last 21 years in NC. I’m proud of my country for the first time in years, and I’m doubly proud of my adopted state for disproving the dismissive stereotypes, on both the Presidential and the Senate level.
    And here I thought we would never again see a president whose last name was more than two syllables long.

  4. David Cavlovic says

    …and again, as a Canadian, I had to laugh at McCain’s ultimate insult: Obama is a socialist.
    I mean, really!!! I have often heard it said that BOTH political parties in the U.S. are to the right of our own Conservative Party, but is Socialism such a dirty word in America??
    KG replies: Astonishing, isn’t it? And no one even comments. I consider myself a Democratic Socialist myself, and the other day our cello professor, who’s from Spain, said, “My father *was* a socialist!” Obama wants to redistribute the wealth back downward – which has been rapidly distributed upward for eight years now, if not 28 – and all the poor people are trained to boo. Even Orwell would be speechless, I think.

  5. says

    I’m so glad you reminded me of Nixon’s ‘Southern Strategy’. I’d been struggling to remember where national politics went so terribly wrong, and that was it.
    That strategy, created to co-opt George Wallace’s successful appeals to racism, created a terrible feedback loop. Whoever chafes at the persistent association of the Southern accent with bigotry can thank Nixon and Wallace.

  6. says

    Good riddance to Bush too, but his antics were kind of fun.
    I like the Simpsons too, but the Family Guy is much better and even funnier, sort of like the Simpsons on speed.
    In one scene, Brian the talking dog is on a date in a restaurant with the proverbial dumb blonde, and was poetic over the delights of Don Giovanni while the dim-witted young lady puzzles over this.
    I split my sides with laughter.

  7. says

    Good riddance to Bush too, but his antics were kind of fun.
    I like the Simpsons too, but the Family Guy is much better and even funnier, sort of like the Simpsons on speed.
    In one scene, Brian the talking dog is on a date in a restaurant with the proverbial dumb blonde, and was poetic over the delights of Don Giovanni while the dim-witted young lady puzzles over this.
    I split my sides with laughter.

  8. says

    Kyle’s original post was both relatively innocuous and fairly accurate. Our current president squeaked by with a narrow electoral victory in two elections and then promptly stated that he had received a “mandate” from the American people and intended to promptly “spend [his] political capital.” It’s an Us vs. Them mentality, which is both malevolent and moronic. You’re either with us or against us. Where’s the nuance and complexity of that? And why should we respond to such divisive and hateful behavior with tolerance or empathy?
    That said, it seems to me that there’s virtually nothing in common between Conservatism and the current Republican party. In fact, plenty of well-respected, self-identified conservatives endorsed Obama and proclaimed him more of a true conservative than McCain. McCain’s campaign represented a continuation of the malevolent and moronic “us vs. them” mentality of the Bush administration. Although his concession speech was gracious, his crowd of supporters was as ugly as can be. It is illogical to criticize people for being intolerant of intolerance.
    KG replies: Amen.

  9. says

    With malice toward none, with charity toward all, I look forward to members of the Bush Administration coming to a fair and speedy trial for abrogating the U.S.’s adherance to the Geneval Convention and for lying to Congress. We are a nation ruled by laws. If we are to try to continue to live to this ideal, the criminal actions of any administration must be held accountable.
    People aren’t evil. Actions can be. Regardless of whether you believe that ordering torture was evil or justified, it does appear to have violated U.S. law. I hope that the next administration stands up for U.S. law.

  10. peter says

    I think it inaccurate to call George W. Bush “moronic”. He certainly has lesser language capabilities (either written or spoken) than are usual for successful people in our text-dominated culture. But there are many other types of intelligence besides facility with language, as musicians should well know.
    Despite his poor language capabilities, there is no evidence that W. is unintelligent, let alone a moron. Moreover, calling him thus risks under-estimating him, as perhaps the failure of his political opponents these last 15 years amply demonstrates.
    KG replies: I remember seeing that smug interview W. gave after his big success in bombing Baghdad, where he sat there and said proudly, sort of like a six-year-old playing grown-up: “I’m a War President. When I sit in the Oval Office, I have War on my mind.” Or something close to that. I had never seen anyone so emotionally retarded presented as an authority figure. Perhaps there’s some level on which Bush has better-than-average cognitive abilities, but he’s linguistically incompetent and also emotionally stunted. Having seen what I’ve seen of him on the screen with my own eyes, I can’t consider him a functioning adult. I have a cousin in Texas who’s met him, and says that in person he does have some social skills that don’t come across on camera. Moron may not be the precise medical descriptive, but I was drunk off my ass with joy and scotch when I wrote this entry, and saw no reason to alter it significantly after I sobered up. I’m partying. Anyone who wants to defend that vicious bastard on any level can go do it without me.