November 8, 2002

Hold On Tight

Something I read yesterday just won't get out of my head. It's a quote of James Carville speaking after the election results: "The American People just don't have a clue as to what is coming." (See Michael Ruppert "On the 2002 Midterm Elections". For a Carville interview on the election results see MSNBC.)

They are the most ominous sounding few words, and they really say it all. The radical right is visibly salivating at the feast it's going to have now at the expense of all the little people, all the people who were foolish enough to take them at their words with all their simplistic campaign slogans. They just don't know what we are all in for now.

"Compassionate Conservative." "I'm a uniter not a divider." "I trust the people." "I'm a reformer with results." You name the slogan, they are all belied by the actual behavior of the Bushies. The American people are trusting. Or apathetic. Or clueless brainwashed couch potatoes. Who knows what it is? Maybe the voting machines are tampered with. Or maybe people really are that snowed by all George W.'s seductive sales pitches.

And there are always those, the Greens among them, who say, "Well maybe now it will get so bad that people will wake up." That's always the hope when there seems to be so little hope. We will hit bottom and bounce back up. But we never seem to hit the bottom. Maybe there is no bottom.

In any case, there is nothing to do but pick up the load and keep walking. As Buzzflash put it, You have 24 hours to mourn, and then it's time to get going again. So we must carry on. I marvel at the adaptability of the human animal. How quickly we adjust our expectations and move on.

Now that the war is virtually a sure thing, and the war after that and the one after that. And the full-fledged enforcement of the Patriot Act and the clamp down on civil liberties are becoming manifest, I search my mind for positive thoughts. And I come up with things like, "Well, I'm not standing before a firing squad at this moment." And that is good. It is good to be alive, good to live to struggle another day. And if they do drag you before a firing squad, enjoy that last cigarette!

Now one more positive thought comes to mind. That day, October 26, when thousands upon thousands gathered in Washington DC to celebrate resistance to the war machine, one of the men who spoke was a Black Muslim and he said, "You know I feel pretty good today because this morning I read the Constitution. And it says, 'We the people.' It doesn't say, 'We George Bush.'"

I heard some reassuring words this morning on the radio in a song performed by Shawn Colvin, "Sunny Came Home." The words from a few years ago came to me as though they were a special message for me personally today, a soothing, reassuring, kind voice saying, (approximately) "So light the fire and hold on tight, the world isn't burning down."

Let's hope it's not. Perspective, that's what we need. Stay focused. Stay alert. Stay positive.

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