I wrote a post on how this blog was going to take a few days off, and in some sense that may still be true--I could use the lull to redesign, I was planning on it regardless of who won, and 500 posts seems like a good place for a design overhaul. So I still want your comments on what kinds of designs you like, what you want to see more of and less of, etc. But I'm still going to keep shouting.
What got me riled up again was seeing snide comments on liberal blogs--"You're out of step with the rest of the country." You know what? I don't bloody care.
The majority of the country once thought slavery was fine. The majority of the country once though segregation was fine. The majority of the country once thought not letting women vote was fine. If now the majority of the country thinks that gay marriage threatens America more than an incompetently prosecuted war on terrorism that's been exacerbated by an incompetently prosecuted war in Iraq, more than constant attack on transparent government, more than choking pollution and energy shortfalls--well, they're wrong. And I'm not going to say they're right just to be "in step." And I'm not going to give up on changing their minds and rousing up the people who do agree with me to be more active and more participatory. To give up on the things that politically
matter to me--an egalitarian society, safety, security, a clean environment, well taken care of troops, and transparent government--is suicidal.
There is very little I want to do in life--whether it be journalism, art, science, or religion--which is not threatened by the increasing power of this majority. So from a sense of enlightened self-interest, I'm not going to quit now. And from a sense of what is right, I'm not going to quit now. From what sense I have of you, my readers, you are mostly similar people--people who want to push the boundaries of science and technology, people who want to use information to connect and uplift each other, people who not only believe in but need
a more a egalitarian and open society, people who care about transparency and good government and the environment. It's a good source of dark laughter to plot a trip to Canada. It's more than easy to shrug and say, who cares, and we may need to do that for a few days to recover. But this is not "just" politics.
This is not just a contest that has been lost and is over. There is no aspect of our lives that isn't going to be affected by the next four years--and isn't going to continue to be affected for the rest of our lives if we don't learn our lesson and try harder.
I feel a bit like a suitor who has been thoroughly rejected by the object of her affection. Beyond the crushing moment of rejection, there is sometimes the weight of realizing, "You know what? I'm still in love." I know plenty of people who have all the options in the world to give up--move to Canada or the UK or India, or lose themselves in a line of work less directly connected to politics, ostrich-like. But in the very depths of this crushing defeat, I feel very strongly that I do love this country. I can't explain it beyond the fact that no majority can stifle me from shouting. Perhaps I love it just because I do. I'm not sure I agree with the idea that being American is the best thing to be in the world. I don't think we are better than anyone else, and as more of the world wins the rights we have, we are only as good as our collective judgement. Plenty of other countries have lots of things going for them right now. Rejected suitors are almost always counseled to move on to more receptive relationships, and they usually should, and they usually do. Sometimes they don't. Sometimes they decide that they love someone so much, they have to keep trying. And sometimes they do triumph. This is my country and I'm not going to give up on it.