Four more years

By Debra LoGuercio

©Copyright 2004, Debra LoGuercio, all rights reserved

Four more years. Let the apocalypse begin.

Those of you celebrating Bush's victory, eager to get back to bombing those ragheads to smithereens, hollering "Don't mess with Texas" and sucking up gasoline in your Hummers and your SUVs, just move on to the next article. Ditto for all you homophobic lemmings who think God is a Republican. Don't even read this column. There's nothing for you here. I don't even want you in my space today. You're uninvited. This column is for the rest of us.

Bitter? Hell, yes. The direction in which this country is going, from the yawning national deficit to crumbling international relations to a bottomless pit of a war to the bleeding away of middle class jobs to foreign soil, thoroughly sickens me. Which direction are we going? Is the handbasket a clue?

The Daily Mirror nailed it with their Nov. 4 headline: "How can 59,054,087 people be so DUMB?" Excellent question. Wish I had an answer.

The worst part of this whole election nightmare is that at some point, the Bush Administration will attempt to snatch my children (and yours) to keep feeding the war machine. Although Bush declared he would not reinstate the draft during his campaign, I don't believe it for a moment. Our troops are stretched dangerously thin, and reservists are having their tours of duty extended. The need to vastly increase the numbers of bodies to absorb shrapnel in Iraq is inevitable. I don't care what Son of Read My Lips said during the campaign, the draft is just beyond the horizon, and inching closer.

So, if you voted for Bush and you're still reading this column despite my warning to move on, don't even whimper when you're standing by that graveside, burying your son or daughter, or grandson or granddaughter. You're an accomplice to his or her murder. Just don't forget to pat your taxbreak-fattened wallet and holler "Don't mess with Texas" when they lower the coffin. And be sure to remind yourself that, Praise the Lord, a dead child is not nearly as horrible as two guys getting married. That should take the sting out of it. Particularly when you're boxing up those baby blankets and Little League trophies for the last time.

Beyond the unfathomable collective stupidity of 51 percent of our population, what sickens me most about the results of this election is what it means to our children. All the mistakes, debts and sacrifices of this administration will be corrected, repaid and given by our children and our grandchildren. Maybe even our great-grandchildren. We aren't leaving this country or this world in a better state than how we found it. Back in college, in my comparative psychology class, we learned that a species that does not provide for the survival of its offspring is a species destined for extinction. Move over, carrier pigeons and saber-toothed tigers - you need to make room for the humans.

So, what do we do in the meantime? How does the 49 percent of the population that's wringing its hands in disgust and despair cope? Good question. A friend forwarded me a Garrison Keillor piece, in which he talked about getting back to normal in this post-election world and enjoying the small things in life again. Although it was heartwarming, it's unrealistic. Enjoying warm bowls of oatmeal and taking long strolls in the woods won't distract me from worrying about my children's fate.

What's the answer? I'm not really sure. For starters, this government should put its money where its mouth is when it comes to the military. If we're going to be a country perpetually at war, then we need to transform military service into a viable career. The military is the ultimate police force, and anyone who chooses that line of work should have the best in salary, benefits and retirement, at least equal to a police officer's. Maybe if the government made military careers more financially attractive, more people would pursue them voluntarily.

Will it happen? Not without reversing Bush's beloved tax breaks. On the other hand, we're already $7.4 trillion in debt. We'll never be able to pay that back anyway, so what the heck, let's just double what we already can't repay and give better salaries and benefits to soldiers. Will that attract new recruits? Possibly, when they discover that most of the careers they wanted have been outsourced and their options are dissolving. But don't count on it.

When they reinstate that draft, remember, you read it here first. If only there was a way to draft all the children and grandchildren of Republicans first. Starting with Barbara and Jenna.

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