I've been discouraged, if not surprised, to see so many postings expressing relief that "the election is finally over."
Because it's not really over-- the struggle embodied by the election is certainly nowhere near over.
Oh, it was scary indeed, the menace of the Republicans.
Writing in Harper's magazine before the election (10/12), Kevin Baker wrote,
To vote for a Mitt Romney-- to vote for the modern right anywhere in the West today-- is an act of national suicide. The right is hollow to its core; it has no dreams, no vision, no plans to deal with any of the problems that confront us, only infantile fantasies of violence and consumption. But it is, at the moment, well-funded, well-organized, and feeling especially threatened. It is capable of anything.
In the election, the rational view prevailed. Enough people could see past the flim-flam, and they voted accordingly.
And it wasn't the squeaker, the near thing that the pundits promised.
Indeed, given the probability that electronic voting machines were hacked once again in favor of Republican candidates, the margin may easily have been far greater than will ever be announced.
Was it really such a hard decision, after all, for the much-talked-about undecided voter?
Even if the President and the Democrats were semi-successfully slimed by the GOP, when you looked at the Republicans it was fairly plain that if you gave them your vote you opposed more than just civic staples such as civil rights and fairness to minorities.
Your vote was not just against regulation of Wall Street, but against life itself, let alone democracy. Against skies, oceans, weather, the very planet and its climate. Nature. Women. Veterans. Working people. Old people. Fairness in representation. Reason. Art. Sex. Science. Any check on the religious fundamentalist fanatic who is the eternal enemy of civilization.
What would you be voting for?
Oil, and for wars for oil. For the madness of nuclear proliferation. You'd be voting to deepen the enfranchisement of the extraction industries and their benefactors, the world's wealthiest men. Voting for sawing off mountain tops. For poisoning the water table. For misogyny. For prisons, racism and repression.
You'd be placing yourself in the lynch mob, not among those who stand in the door opposing it. You'd be allying yourself with the worst aspect, historically, of the national character. With the fearful and paranoid, and with those who knowingly foster an atmosphere of fear.
The public simply turned out to be not so obtuse, after all, as to be unable to see and understand these things.
And so the reactionaries and Tea Partiers, the angry ignoramuses, the racists, corporate flunkies and Bible-belters were stymied, and the bilious billionaires immolated fortunes in vain.
But... they won't quit.
They already believe that they naturally by rights own the executive branch of the U.S. Government.
They won't stop trying to get it back. The moment the election ended, they were, and are re-grouping.
And, as Baker wrote, they are capable of anything.
The best lack all conviction, Yeats wrote, while the worst are full of passionate intensity. Don't think they're just going to give up.
And if you wanted any time off from the anxieties of the election cycle, you're out of luck.
Hal Robins is a renowned underground comic artist and his work has appeared in Last Gasp’s Weirdo, Salon Magazine’s Dark Hotel and many other publications. For decades he has been the co-host of KPFA-Pacifica Radio’s “Puzzling Evidence” program. Reverend Hal is the Master of Church Secrets for The Church of the SubGenius. As Dr. Howland Owll, he has served as MC for many unique San Francisco events, and is the principle of The Ask Dr. Hal Show, still currently running both as a live staged event and in-studio on Radio Valencia (radiovalencia.fm) Friday evenings. Hal contributed his unique vocal talents to the award-winning interactive game Half-Life.