Faded sign, partially overgrown with moss, showing allowed uses of a trail (hiking, bikes, and horses are OK, motorized vehicles are not)

Now that the election’s over: Politics!

Published 2012-11-07

Couple thoughts I’ve been sitting on through this election.

First: if ever there were an election where I could’ve been persuaded to vote Republican, this was it. I’m more conservative than I once was, and vaguely disappointed in My Guy. If a reasonable grownup (e.g. John Huntsman?) were batting for R instead of a mendacious four-year-old … who knows? I don’t particularly agree with John Huntsman on most issues, but this election was a point at which Republicans could have shown they were all growed up and ready to sit politely at a table with women and gay people and immigrants, and talk reasonably about actual problems like national debt and global warming. And I could’ve been swayed. Heaven knows the Dems have disappointed me more often than not, I might’ve given Team Red a shot.

Instead, everything we saw since last May seemed specially-designed to scare me straight back to the Democratic party. In the end, Republicans declared themselves — I wish I were making this up — enemies of math. They did this even when it was costing Their Guy the election. I just cannot get behind that kind of Crazy. I have called this kind of thing “anti arguing.” As soon as someone opens up on socialist Kenyan anti-colonialists or climategate or some other crap notion — they are arguing themselves into a hole. As in: I was with you until you started talking. For all that My Guys are spineless wimps and triangulators, at least they don’t look at reality and say: “you know, I’d just prefer to believe what’s in my head right now.” (They’ll totally sell out reality, but that’s a separate problem...)

Second, I’ve been hearing a lot of Rich White Dudes threatening to Go Galt and shut down their businesses because of this election. This struck me as a weird reaction, and kind of whinycandyass (quitters!) Then I realized: a lot of Rich White Dudes subconsciously — and correctly — realized this election was a referendum on a kind of American historical identity concerning the primacy of Rich White Dudes. (For proof: just look at who they chose to represent that historical vision. Has there ever been a politician richer or whiter or dudelier than Mitt Romney? It’s like he fell out of a wormhole from 1959. And sure, Barack Obama’s kind of rich and slightly white and mostly dudely, but he is much less of those things.) For a lot of people, yesterday was a vote between a long period of history we could call “When We Got Stuff For Free Without Even Asking Just Because We’re Rich White Dudes” and “Now We Have to Slog Through the World’s Bullshit Just Like Everyone Else.”

Man up, John Galt. It won’t kill you to scrub a toilet or pay an extra 10% in taxes. Your testicles will recover. A Real Man™ sheds a tear at his loss, then he wipes his nose and gets back to work.