HOW CAN I LIVE IN THE USA?
I was unable to log into Blogger all day, but to be honest, that was kind of a relief. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to say. Last night I came pretty close to my prediction that a Bush win would literally drive me insane. As the results came in, I pretty much shut down, curled into a ball and couldn’t think of a single thing to say about anything. I couldn’t work up the energy to get angry or depressed. I was just numb.
Since then, I’ve been trading emails and IMs with despondent friends, watching the news, checking out the coverage online, and I started to find my voice again. And then I saw an email in my bulk folder. Spam. I never read spam, but this one had a very provocative title. The subject was: “How Can I Live in the USA?” And in a lot of ways, that perfectly summed up how I’m feeling.
How can I live in a country where about a third of the electoral vote was in the red column before the race even began?
How can I live in a country where a man who mispronounces “nuclear”, who can’t admit to making a mistake, who thinks there’s more than one internet, is considered presidential material?
How can I live in a country where a draft dodger can attack a war hero for his military service – during a time of war, no less – and get away with it?
How can I live in a country where the president’s lies are taken as fact by a large percentage of the population, where people still believe there are WMDs in Iraq and that Saddam was involved in 9/11?
How can I live in a country where the president is believed to be winning the war on terror, yet Osama bin Laden is still at large?
How can I live in a country where a president can transform an unprecedented sense of national unity into an unprecedented state of divisiveness and animosity and be considered a good leader?
How can I live in a country where ballot measures banning gay marriage pass by wide margins in 11 states?
How can I live in a country where every branch of government is now controlled by right-wing extremists?
I’ve never felt more out of touch with the mainstream, more hurt and offended by the results of a national election, more of a sense of fear and dread for what my country is becoming. And I was amazed when I saw that email to think that the spammers were already tapping into Democratic frustration like mine. If there were that many people sharing my outrage, then maybe there was reason to hope after all.
As it turned out, the email was actually about how to obtain forged citizenship documents. I should’ve known.
And then all I could think about was how sorry I feel for the people that email was targeting. Sure, plenty of people around the world hate us because of who we elected, but to lots of people, America is still the land of opportunity and freedom and promise. There are scores of people who are so desperate to live in America that they’d do absolutely anything to get here.
Maybe instead of swindling them with phony green cards, someone should warn them what they’re walking into.