Leverett Butts - Musings of a Bored English Teacher

Occasional web log from Southern writer Leverett Butts.

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Location: Temple, Georgia, United States

English Professor in Georgia. Writer of Southern lit

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Okay, today I'll talk about it .

It's no secret that I'm not exactly Bush's or the GOP's greatest supporter.

It's also no secret that I did not want Bush to win a second term.

Not because he's a Republican; he isn't.

He is a megalomaniacal idiot chimp with a Napoleonic complex the size of Shaq.

He seems intent on destroying this country from within by tacitly encouraging our industry to move elsewhere, slowly eroding our civil liberties in the name of security, and overextending our armed forces in conflicts across the globe (I don't see how we're going to avoid a draft no matter how much he claims we won't need one. I'm not saying he's lying, folks. I'm just saying he's either not telling us something, or he's a fucking moron).

While he claims he wants to unite America, I can't help but remember these same words during the first election. I haven't seen much unity. A whole lot of division? Yeah, that we got in spades, but unity? Not so much.

For Bush, "uniting" America seems to translate as "brow-beating or humiliating everyone who disagrees with me until we all think and believe the same things."

And if we don't agree with this administration's policies, according to Dick, we can all go fuck ourselves.

That's a form of unity, I suppose.

The really surprising thing to me is the idea emerging that America's government is somehow responsible for the citizenry's morality. A significant percentage of voters claimed in exit polls that "moral issues" constituted their most important concerns in this election, beating out the Iraq clusterfuck and our disintegrating economy.

First of all, could someone please explain to me how Shrub's opponents were immoral? I haven't heard that any of them diddled livestock, children, or relatives. To my knowledge none of them has ever murdered anyone. In fact, I can't think of anything overtly "immoral" any of the opponents have done. I can't speak of substance abuse, but then again, even Bush himself is a self-proclaimed alcoholic.

Glass houses and stones.

However, much of this morality debate is academic, anyway. I fail to see how a person's personal morality reflects on how well he can do his job. JFK, whom Bush admires, passed Marilyn Monroe back and forth with his brother. FDR was allegedly found dead in the arms of his lover. Reagan divorced his first wife amid accusations of mental cruelty.

Indeed, immoral behavior among influential political figures is as old as the country itself. Thomas Jefferson slept around with his slaves and fathered a child on at least one of them. Ben Franklin had more illegitimate children than Zeus and Odin combined. Andrew Jackson was a drunk, and Ulysses S. Grant took opium.

Whence this idea that immorality equals bad leadership and that great leaders must necessarily exhibit high mindedness and moral rectitude?

Most importantly, though, are we to ignore the ideas of our forefathers who fought and died to create the first country in which the church and state were two separate entities? We came to this country in an effort to escape a government which dictated how we should live and whom we should worship. Our founding fathers drafted a Constitution which guaranteed the citizenry would never have to live under such oppression again.

Yet here we are, not even three hundred years later, reinterpreting this same Constitution in an effort to force the citizens to live the way one ideological group (admittedly a very large and diverse one) believes everyone should live. This group hopes to deny legal rights to other groups who don't subscribe to this very narrow view of life.

Regardless, the Republican emphasis on "family values" and morality will prove, as it almost always does, a hypocritical smokescreen. They appeared to give us what we want so that they may surreptitiously take from us what we need.

I simply hope when the sons are dead, the jobs are gone, and the homes are repossessed, we're still satisfied with our moral president.

Am I bitter? A little.

Will I get over it? Most assuredly.

I am a son of the South, and as such I know how to handle defeat. I was raised on it. I drank it in my mother's milk, and I internalized it in history class.

The Republican Party has been screwing us for over a hundred years now. The only difference is that nowadays they give us a kiss first and a smoke after.

And some of us seem to enjoy it.

One more carpetbagging scalawag won't make that much of a difference.

Wake up, Folks.

As the chimp's former co-star once proclaimed, it's mourning in America.