I'm amazed at the placard carrying trolls I see on tv at political rallies (*cough*RNC*cough*) chanting "Four More Years! Four More Years! Four More Years!"
Listening to their bitter tirades against the Evil Left(TM) who somehow is "running the country into the ground" (despite having no control over any branch of government whatsoever), and noting their earnest attempts to avoid any objective insight to the success or failure of recent Republican actions, I'd say their lives are NOT better off than they were four years ago. If they had a good record, they'd stand on it. Instead they choose to stand on Kerry's throat and hope it will be enough. And Kerry also seems to be avoiding the real issues, instead spending his time responding to attacks on what he was doing 30 years ago. There's only one candidate who seems to be dealing with the issues, but we'll get to that later.
Looking over the RNC crowd, I don't see a lot of smiles. Lots of cheers and clapping when a speaker attacks someone else with a real zinger... Hmmm... They LOVE that whacknut Zell Miller. God, nothing beats an angry sellout for ratings, does it?
Well, seeing how their only delight seems to be the suffering of others, and despite their protests, I'd venture a guess that their lives really *aren't* better off than they were four years ago. Is yours? Would you vote for four more years of this? And more importantly, do you acknowledge that your quality of life has gone down but are planning on voting Republican out of fear?
Interesting thing, fear. It's taken some of the strongest Libertarians I know and herded them like cattle into supporting the Republicans. Sadly, the couple I'm thinking of are (mentally) shells of their former selves. I don't want to sound like a zealot, those days are over, but it's true. They're afraid of everything, and getting moreso. They feel like they've lost control of their own lives, and they need someone to take control for them. They have lost their understanding of the basic universal principles which they once embodied, and which strengthened their wills and guided their steps. With the loss of their courage and independance went their material and relational success. They seem to be wandering philosophically... It's hard to explain.
In discussions, they both admit to still believing most of the things Libertarians believe in, but they think the Repubs represent safety, because that's what Dubya CLAIMS he represents. They think he will protect them from Al Qaeda. Protect them from the Democrats. Protect them from job losses. Protect them from taxes. Protect them from indecency. Protect them from a godless world. And they are willing to exchange liberty for safety.
My friends don't seem to understand that stronger laws designed to close borders don't work.
They have forgotten that the war on drugs is a dismal failure.
They think that if there are laws made to prevent it, people will stop being gay.
They think massive military spending is justified, because we've been pushed into a corner and must *fight* our way out rather than just walk away like grownups do.
They think if they vote Republican, it will stop their neighbour kids from skateboarding around the parking lot at the mall and smoking joints.
They think if they vote Republican their taxes will go down (heh. not unless they're in a higher bracket than I think they're in).
They see George Bush, and to them, his well-scripted and practised public persona exudes a confidence and clarity of purpose that trancends the sheer emptiness and idiocy of his message.
But the good traits my friends see in Bush do not exist in him. They exist in Michael Badnarik.
Badnarik's message is not empty, as Bush's is, and it is not at all idiotic. The only people who can ridicule his ideas are those who are living off a corrupt system.
Badnarik is the sole candidate standing on timeless principles of liberty, individual rights and responsibility, and the pursuit of happiness -- namely through strong private property rights and the unhampered quest for financial independence. And he doesn't give a damn what Bush or Kerry did or didn't do in Vietnam. History is dead. NOW is what matters.
My friends have forgotten about passion. They've forgotten about ethics. They've forgotten about freedom. But thankfully, for every soul lost to fear, another two awaken to reality.
I'm going to buy my friends Atlas Shrugged for Christmas. They've been meaning to read it, they insist, but of course, they've put it off -- for years. I didn't. Maybe that's why I'm typing this and they're wondering fearfully who can save them from the world.