afterwards

a bit rambly

The weather here the past few mornings has been glorious, at least. It has been a classic autumn, in every sense: clear crisp New Mexico mornings, a gripping world series and the predictable outcome of the U.S. presidential campaign. Now in that next morning, we all face the prospect of another four years of the Bush administration. Perhaps that is too awsome an idea to contmplate, so soon in the light of the waning sun of fall...yet there is some other arc that must be drawn here...towards history perhaps and certainly towards a future four years hence. When i was eight years old, Nixon stomped McGovern during an upopular war. Nixon seemed to intuit that regardless of his lack of popularity, despite the daily, really horrible news from Vietnam, he would win because there was a war on, because in times of fear and uncertainty, most humans will choose to stay the course rather than potentially induce even more chaos by changing paths. And he was right. My father had gone to the republican convention back then, in 1972.. he said he saw nixon riding in the front of a big yacht in the harbor in Miami. Nixon, he said, was all smiles, standing at the bow of the vessel, waving his double peace sign, confident in his plans, though scandal and lies smoldered just below the surface. The lies and scandal would not boil to the top for a few years more. But until then, Nixon enjoyed a glory that was not unlike the autumnal setting i alluded to or described earlier. And so dear reader, are we here again. My prediction: things might well get worse in Bush's second term, but you can believe that by the time 2008 rolls around we will all welcome the return and intervention of Hillary and the rest of the clintonista democrats. Striking a similarly historical parallel, the issue of the youth vote this election also comes to mind. Most media sources have agreed that, statistically, this year's youth turnout was no higher than the previous presidential election. What happened...there were a plethora of new voter registrations for people 18-24. They just didn't follow through. Here's a good example: my 23 year old friend called me on tuesday morning and told me he had registered this past summer, and wanted to vote. I asked him where he had registered. He said he registered in his home town, some 200 miles distant from Albuquerque. Upon further questioning, I realized he no working knowledge of the the electoral process, didn't know the first thing about where to vote or who to contact to ask and would be unable to travel home that day to do his duty. He had left it until the last minute and that just won't do in a democracy. I am going to be cynical and believe that there were plenty of cases like this. That leads me to believe that there is a serious failure of education in our great nation. If we are producing a generation willing to register because of their fears about the future, but who are unable to follow through because of lack of insight or education into the mechanism of democracy, then i am a bit fearful. Such citizens might make excellent sheep. My advice then, to them as well as to all of us: “the future is unwritten, know your rights”.