How the political rhetoric reads in rural America
Now that the information fetish is all about, with every airwave trying to cram its media-mad political lies, and oh yes, promises through, perhaps we could look through one last-minute message in the bottle from this rural quarter, which is now, safely far from the current campaign.
I’m not calling it an election, yet. But I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Depending on what happens between now and when (and if) they actually give the votes a proper count, I’d say at this point that many people are predicting Barack Obama will win, based on the polls.
Short of Osama Bin Laden’s capture being nationally broadcast as he comes out of his hole at the 11th hour with his hands up for a Special Forces exclusive, the gig certainly appears up for the Bushites, that is, for Republican control of the White House.
The whole nation is more or less a 50-50 split between the urban coastal zones of the free-flowing, electrified, amped-up monoculture of the cities and the hunkered-down dream towns amid the moms and pops and Plumber Joes of rural and suburban America.
But it’s really not a fair game.
Under such conditions, it appears to be safe to say that he who rules the boundary-bending technology, and the grass roots networking, forces unleashed for many months in ports now both cyber and dirt-real, will manage to change society.
The Obama campaign and its mastery of technology and people moving will do, if doing nothing else, end the reign of George W. Bush by breaking through every medium and boundary possible.
This will be done by filling every port of information across the land via internet, TV and so on, creating a marvel of saturation (and fundraising) not seen before, transcending even those same 50-50 boundaries of metropolis and yes, the fabled “Green Acres” of rural America, making the mindset sufficiently the same to do at least one final desperate progressive thing: Get a change in kings.
It will happen because if Bush had only done a bad job, that would be bad enough.
No reason to pursue the evidence on this. No reason to go to world court.
It’s not that the numbers aren’t there: They are just too high to count, the assessment of eight years. The totals. The collateral damage.
That we still have shreds of the country left is, yes, I suppose, just another cause for celebration. Almost. Though nothing has been harder than try to see some pattern that might follow after the election, a drifting kind of wrecked ship is all I can conjure up to this point. A wounded cruiser with its guns still blazing into the fog of war, wastefully firing on an enemy as invisible as the word, “terrorism.”
But after eight years of Bush, while living in that same rural America of “Green Acres” fame, as far away from it all as the Shire, I can only unfortunately count the collateral damage in terms of personal calamities. In fact, I think, based on this input, it’s safe to say the extended wavelengths of pain have been getting tighter within the years, then months, then final days, now hours, of his rule.
That somebody, anybody, nobody even, is going to take that throne of this burning empire, is reason enough to celebrate.
But there’s not much caution in the winds, either way.
With the late-hour anger of teaming millions working as the main sword of the John McCain campaign, with Sarah Palin out there whipping up the primal instincts of the worst, those prone to believe in dirty, unsophisticated cheap shots, one can only shudder at the antipathies being wrought in rural America should Obama win. One shudders at what the outcome will be ... after the election.
No doubt, Palin stirred it up in Grand Junction this week. One might imagine the ugly bits, the eddies of angst, that are now set spinning from the sidelines of the fringe, from the sawed-off mountain folk types out in the crowd. From pissed off people calling for blood.
If you remember the Clinton years, there’s nothing like a Democratic presidency to stir up the home-grown reactionaries and yes, terrorists, the Timothy McVeigh types, those Monty Pylons and other sub-patriotic posses forming in the hinterlands of the West.
There’s a seething misanthropy out in the boonies, indeed, and they just may be waiting to erupt.
That Obama made some references, much ado made of it during the Democratic primaries, about rural residents, in their anger over how poorly the overgrown cities are managing things, especially from Washington D.C., only to turn to religion and guns, might make more sense than we know right now.
Is it better to have a global reformer like Obama in office? A finger-wagging war bird like McCain, though perfect for a captain’s cap if we were christening the Titanic, might be one last great warrior maverick for a dying age, he’d hardly be the “all hands on deck” tonic this nation needs. His idea of rural America only goes as far as his ranch overlooking Sedona and the red rocks of Oak Creek Canyon.
Let’s just hope the idealist, the great communicator in this scenario, points people toward liberty’s light within these shores, not just abroad, because the divisions of rural America, that xenophobic place where the wider world is ever more bizarre, and threatening, can hardly bear to withstand the disappointment.
Since that’s how these things really get started … in the provinces and outlands of the dispossessed. You know, when expectations, once raised, are dashed for one final time, where the dissenters voted for “change” but only get more “chains,” and “revolution” is the name of that thing.