Friday, January 12, 2007

The End of Days

My policy is to not post about politics, but this isn't a political post. It's a historical one, or at least, one noting a historic moment: The beginning of the End of Days. No, it's not the Biblical Apocalypse, but it's an Apocalypse of sorts nonetheless.

As you know, Bush gave a speech the evening before last, trying to sell the public on the idea of escalating the war in Iraq. His proposal flies in the face of what a majority of Americans want, what the Congress (including many Republicans) wants, what most military officers want, what the Iraq Study Group wants, and even perhaps what most Iraqis want. Yesterday I followed the news of the aftermath of his speech, and it seemed that he hadn't changed any minds. On the contrary, the American mood seemed to be one of despair -- that we are being led by someone who is reckless and completely removed from any sense of reality.

But it was yesterday evening, as I was driving home from work, that the true import of this day was revealed to me: At the corner of a major intersection here -- the location of our largest shopping mall -- I saw a crowd of people. People with signs. "What are they doing?" I thought. "What can this be?" And then I read their signs.

It was an anti-war demonstration.

You may be saying, so what? Big deal! Well, it is  a big deal. Because this isn't, like, Berkley, or Vermont. Brevard County, where I live, is very, very conservative, and very Republican. Our Representative is Dave Weldon, one of the most radical, foaming-at-the-mouth, extreme conservative Republicans in Congress. This county voted overwhelming for Bush both chances it got.

The traffic light stopped me at the intersection, and I had time to watch the demonstrators waving their signs. This morning the newspaper said there may have been as many as a hundred of them. The constant traffic in the intersection raised a constant chorus of horn-honks of support. An anti-war demonstration, here , in Brevard County.... It felt... out of sorts. Like this shouldn't be happening. Like something was a little fractured. Like a window had opened a slit and we were looking through space and time to somewhere else. Like we were slip-sliding off the face of the Earth. And then I realized what it was really  like:

It was like the End of Days. It was the ripping apart of social fabric that will signal the beginning of Apocalypse. Now don't get me wrong: Jesus isn't returning. It's not the end of the world. But it's the end of something, in an epic way.

And I say, it can't happen too soon.

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Ah yes, but did you join in? My experience is that protesters against Bush are a fairly diverse and always interesting lot...

Another sign of the Apocalypse:

New Hampshire now has a Democratic Goveror and the Democrats control both houses of the state legislature, and several of the State's Washington legislators are Dems also. When I was growing up this would have been unheard of: Our Republican Governor Mel Thompson was so conservative that when he wanted to run for President even the Republicans wouldn't back him. He was the one that advocated giving the National Guard nuclear weapons so they could deal with campus unrest, and allowing the local police to use shotguns on park vandals. I am not making this up.

As recently as 9 years ago I saw the following bumper sticker in Carroll County, in the North central part of the state: "Courage is being a Caroll County Democrat". Now they control the state. Go Figure.

And, by the way, here in Vermont we just handily re-elected the Republican Governor, although to his credit he is on record against the surge.
I remember Mel Thompson! Wow, he was one rabid dog. And speaking of foaming at the mouth, the recent swing to the Democrats must have the Manchester Union Leader sopping the floor.

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