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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Elections

In the last three days I've been feeling pretty good in ways that haven't been available to me for years. It's because the Republicans, for whom I have long had no respect whatever, received a serious rebuff this past Tuesday, to an extent that I didn't think would be in the cards any time soon. They lost control of the Congress over which they had exercised a hammerlock for the past 12 years, and this means that, while they still call all the shots in the other two main branches of the U.S. government, namely the Executive and the Judiciary, this means there's hope yet that the cattle cars won't start rolling in this country for at least another few years. By that I mean falling into some form of fascism, concealed at first and then becoming gradually more overt, for which it seems to me modern day Republicans have been preparing the way since the days of R. Reagan, if not R. Nixon.

Of course most Americans don't need to fear this development, and an even larger majority don't, but I do.

If you think politics are important, then it's a very discouraging thing to see elections going against you year after year, which has been the case for far too much of my adult life, given the success of Republicans since the days of Eisenhower. But now, for the next two years at least and hopefully for longer, things will be on the upbeat side.

Of course you have to bear in mind the fact that I grew up during the four illustrious terms of F.D.R. and that during my early adult years I saw many American ideals actually being implemented, especially in the field of Civil Rights, during the administrations of Democratic Presidents H. Truman and L. Johnson. Without that I might still have been struggling with the status of being a second-class citizen.

I had a feeling that this past Election Day would be special, when I set out in the rain to drive the 15 miles to the polling place (an epic drive for me, you understand). There had been all the polls pointing to the likelihood of the Democrats retaking the House, and possibly the Senate, too. But also the weather reminded me of another cool, rainy election day, when my foresight in moving to Virginia from my native D.C. some years earlier had paid off, and I had gotten the chance to cast a vote for a man of my color, Doug Wilder, to be governor of the state, and so it had happened -- the first Rainbow (i.e. "black") governor of any state in the Union, so far.

And on this present day Virginia got a chance to make history again, by providing the final and sixth senator that the Democrats needed to gain the Senate, too, and it did, by choosing a former Republican, Jim Webb, over longtime Republican iron rascal, George Allen.

Oddly, George Allen is one of the few well-known politicians that I've seen up close, and it's even stranger, now that I think of it, that Marion Barry is the only other one that I can recall right off. That's not good, is it, that I should have personally sighted only infamous ones. In his very early days of running for stuff, Allen showed up one day at at event held at the local high school when my son was going there, back in the early 80's it must have been. I may even have shaken Allen's hand on that occasion, though I don't remember doing so. In those days I had no idea of his toxic, repressionistic leanings. I just remember that he was a pleasant-looking eager young guy running for office, and that he was the son of the then very famous head coach of the Washington Redskins, who had passed on his name (but in the present era hopefully not much else) to this guy who would go on to become a governor and then a U.S. senator, though now, thankfully, no more.

Webb didn't win by much -- a little over 7,000 votes out of the several million cast -- but it was enough to make unlikely a different result by a recount. But that means that my one little vote was more important than usual, and it shows why it is always important to vote, regardless of the weather or anything else. You never know, and it's just the right thing to do anyway, if you value your civilization and regardless of how much one may think of how little it matters. It always matters.


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