- Watching John Kerry lip-synch the oath of office, I couldn't
help wondering, 'what if.'
Here on stage in Washington was the winner-class warmed and protected by
cashmere and tax cuts against the strange, nipple-chilling cold. Hell had
Our President said, "It is the policy of the United States to seek
and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every
nation." Well, no, it isn't.
Our President said, "We will widen retirement savings and health insurance."
No, he won't.
Our President said, "America will not pretend that jailed dissidents
prefer their chains." Yes, he will.
Our President said, "And our country must abandon all the habits of
racism." Oh, sure.
He doesn't believe a single word he's saying. And all over America, everyone
knows he's lying and America is truly relieved.
America doesn't want to give up the habit of racism. Karl Rove doesn't.
Jeb Bush doesn't. If not for challenging hundreds of thousands of voters
in Black precincts of Ohio and other swing states, if not for purging thousands
more from voter rolls for the crime of voting while Black, you wouldn't
be president now, would you, Mr. President?
You won't "pretend that jailed dissidents prefer their chains,"
unless they are chained by your buck-buddies in Saudi Arabia.
You'll "support democratic movements" so long as the citizens
of Venezuela don't get carried away and decide that democracy means they
can choose a leader you don't like.
- And you'll "widen Social Security and health insurance"?
Who are you kidding? I just got a doctor bill for $5,200 - should I send
it to you at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?
You said, "You have seen that life is fragile, and evil is real,
and courage triumphs." What you meant was, "Courage is fragile
and real evil triumphs." Indeed your entire campaign was about American
cowardice: "they" are coming to get us. Americans, scared for
their lives, soiled their underpants and waddled to the polls crying, "Georgie,
Franklin Roosevelt said in his inaugural, "We have nothing to fear
but fear itself." But he didn't have Dick Cheney creating from his
bunker a government which is little more than a Wal-Mart of Fear: midnight
snatchings of citizens for uncharged crimes, wars to hunt for imaginary
weapons aimed at Los Angeles, DNA data banks of kids and grandmas, the
Chicken Little sky-is-falling social security spook-show, and shoe-searches
in airports. Fear is your only product.
In another world, in which all votes are counted, J.F. Kerry would have
gathered most of those arcane chits called "electoral votes"
and would have taken that oath today.
But, dear Reader, there's one cold statistic Kerry voters must face. The
fact that Republicans monkeyed with the votes in swing states doesn't wash
away that big red stain: 59 million Americans marched to the polls and
voted for George W. Bush.
If bin Laden doesn't scare you, THAT should.
Because if 59 million Americans agreed with George Bush that every millionaire's
son, like him, shouldn't have to pay inheritance taxes; that sucking up
to Saudi petrocrats constitutes a foreign policy; that killing Muslims
in Mesopotamia will make them less inclined to kill us in Manhattan; that
turning over social security to the casino operators that gave us Enron,
WorldCom and world depression is smart economics; then, fine, Mr. Bush
deserves the job. But most Americans, bless'm, don't actually believe any
of that hokum. YET MOST STILL VOTED FOR HIM!
What we witnessed on November 2, 2004 was a 59-million strong army of pinheads
on parade ready to gamble away their social security so long as George
Bush makes sure that boys kill each other, not kiss each other; who feel
right proud that our uniformed services can kick some scrawny brown people
in the ass in some far off place when we're mad and can't find Osama; who
can't bring themselves to vote for a guy with a snooty Boston accent who's
never been to a NASCAR tractor pull and who certainly thinks anyone who
does is a low-Q beer-burping blockhead. And they are.
Today we witnessed more than the coronation of some privileged little munchkin
of mendacity. It is the triumphal re-occupation of our nation by nitwits
who think Ollie North's a hero not a conman, who can't name their congressman,
who believe that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were going steady,
who can't tell Afghanistan from Souvlaki-stan. Bloated with lies and super-size
fries, they clomped to the polls 59 million strong to vent their small-minded
little hatreds on us all.
When I looked today at the oaf of office, I could not shake the feeling
that this election was an intelligence test that America flunked.
- Catch Greg Palast's film, "Bush Family Fortunes,"
at the Freedom Film Festival at Sundance, Thursday, January 27. For more
information or to sign up for Palast's writings, go to www.GregPalast.com
Palast is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Best Democracy
Money Can Buy.