It's the end of the world as we know it...

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30.1.05

In America, 50% of the American adult population can't even be bothered to go vote once a year on election day. (Or even once every four years for the presidential elections.) Millions don't even bother to register to vote. Millions others simply can't be bothered to drive the mile it may be to their polling place and take fifteen minutes out of their Tuesday.

Meanwhile, in Iraq, those who choose to vote will have to worry about violence, bombings, kidnappings, being shot, being killed, and threats to their family.

If Americans had to endure THAT type of opposition, there probably isn't a single spoiled American who would risk their own life to vote. It is no surprise that thousands or millions of Iraqis have expressed that they are planning to sit out the alleged historic vote. (Or that those who are voting are exiles safe in the United States, in France, Ireland, or Spain.)

One (such as myself) might wonder why the hell the elections are going forth now, when American forces clearly can't contain or control the violence, and we are forcing any Iraqis interested in voting to the original timetable and subjecting them to violence. Probably because Bush has declared that the elections will be held now, in his usual tradition of, "come hell or high water." After all, HE doesn't have to endure the hell, and to cancel them looks bad for his administration.

And what exactly is the goal of the election? Iraqis have already expressed doubt that the political process will work. They seem to believe that the United States will merely annoint the government that it wants. Of course, with our history, who can blame them??





And on a not-really-at-all-related note, I read with interest this commentary in the Toronto Star:

I first sensed the characteristics that made America great in the past: an incredible work ethic, optimism, pride, respect, and independence.

But something is happening in the America I knew. It's morphing from the intended republic to somewhat of a quasi-monarchy; ironic really when the catalyst for nationhood was a rebellion against a monarchy. The suspension of critical thought, the public lynching of those who provide alternative views to the current administration, the labelling of White House policy dissenters as "traitors" and "freedom haters," the suspension of objective media, the word "liberal" now being the greatest insult.

To embrace and accept these practices is a violation of the founding principles for which America stands. The U.S. must return to the principles that led to success and admiration in the past. Not doing so may result in the death of a great republic.

It's truly frightening when our own problems are so obvious that outsiders can shine the light on them and point them out, while we here intimately involved are so oblivious. I think it's like a bad relationship: Your friends all know that it is wrong and needs to change. If you weren't so invested or involved in it, had you any objectivity at all, you'd realize how wrong it is as well. In fact, if your friend was going through what you are, you could point out the problems to them. We always seems to have insight into those we care about, and lack it in ourselves. So goes our country right now...at least for 51% of the population who actually chose to vote.

3 Comments:

  • At 1:19 PM, Blogger Matthew said…

    Don't worry, Stephanie. Our institutions are strong, and if we guard them and keep fighting, the pendulum will swing back. It always does.

     
  • At 9:17 AM, Blogger tadvent said…

    "We are Arabs, We are not scared and we are not cowards." -Shamal Hekeib Iraqi voter

    "Even after a bombing, voters won't be stopped"
    -Cleveland Plain Dealer Headline

    What an incredible day yesterday was for Iraq and US foreign policy. Your right, if Iraq would have waited to have the election they could have maybe gotten 90% of the country to vote, instead of the over 75%.

    Why can't we celebrate TOGETHER a joyous occasion for people who have been oppressed for generations? Can't you see what a great occasion yesterday was? Does it have to be political?

    This isn't a "repbulican victory" it is a victory for the men and WOMEN of Iraq. Not to mention what will happen in the rest of the region if Iraq is successful.
    Don't you want the people in the rest of the world to have the same freedoms as you?

    On D-Day, 2500 Soldiers were killed, if that happened today Ike would be crucified in the papers for the loss of life. During the battle of the bulge, our men were grossly misoutfitted and under armed. Again, if that happened today, you would be calling for the secretary of war's head. Arguably, these were two of the greatest military moments of the past 75 years. War is not easy. But in under 3 years we were able to help a country expel a vicous, murderous dictator; set up their own military and hold democratic elections. All while 49% of our country spits at the person who is orchestrating this.

    I wonder what some socialist in Canada has to say about that?

     
  • At 10:58 PM, Blogger Ontario Emperor said…

    I also have to respectfully disagree with your suggestion that the Iraq election should have been delayed. And this isn't from hindsight - I held this view before the election, and will hold it regardless of the eventual results.

    The one thing that has angered the militants in Iraq has been American rule. Therefore, it is a wise move to end American rule as soon as possible, and that can only happen by moving the electoral process forward.

    However, I realize that the Iraqi elections won't necessarily result in the bastion of democracy that Bush wants. In fact, there's a good chance that the eventual government in Iraq will end up being similar to that of Iran; representative to be sure, but probably fundamentalist.

    The best thing that could happen to Bush now would be for an Iraqi government to form and tell us to get the hell out.

     

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