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November 2004
Editorial: From a Blue State
By Rachel Cernansky

 

Rachel and Olé
Rachel and Olé

This has been one of those weeks when I have had one thing on my mind (by which, I mean, if it isn’t obvious, the gloomiest day in memory that will surely make these States less United than ever) that I have absolutely no desire to talk about—I want it out of my head—yet can’t help but complain about it. Wait, “one of those weeks”? No, I don’t believe I’ve had one of these weeks before.

Part of me feels the responsibility to fill this space with something inspiring, some positive sentiment to reflect on and move forward with. I’m sorry, I have none of that. Right now I’m so disappointed, so—I hate to admit it—depressed, that I wish I just didn’t care so much about the things I care about. Then my hopes and expectations would be lower for the potential of humanity and for expressions of compassion, and would not have been crushed as much as they have been. And I’m hoping these feelings will disappear and I can carry on with the work that I, we all (anyone holding or reading Satya knows which ‘we’ I am referring to), are putting so much effort into. But this week has not been very promising to that end. Up until Tuesday—even early Wednesday morning—there was a glimmer of hope, a bright side to look on. It was not guaranteed Kerry would win—but until he didn’t, there was reason to keep working, potential for goals to be reached. Getting Bush out being the goal in itself for the last few months, and the year or so previous there was the chance that Bush had limited time left. With an election coming up, he had to at least keep a friendly face on, with the November voters in mind. But now, without another election to worry about, what incentive does he have to even cover up his dirty work? All the work we’ve done, what’s the point? I’m really starting to wonder…

We began this sanctuary issue with the notion of how apt, how well-deserved it would be to highlight the crucial role fulfilled by those offering a place of refuge for those in need. We must keep battling the source of the problems—the destruction of forests in Africa, for example, for the sake of both the ecosystem and the animals being killed off at a heartbreaking rate to supply the bushmeat trade, but while we do that, there are those babies left behind by the mothers already taken who need care right now. The day after the day after the election (I needed one day just to mourn), we were picking out the chimp portraits you’ll see in the pages ahead—survivors of lab research—and I didn’t feel it coming, but soon found tears streaming down my face. All I could think about were the rollbacks these creatures are going to see happen to the safety of their cousins in the wild. The increased funding, or at the very least, decreased regulations, that the logging and oil industries are sure to see in the next couple years if not months. And the decreased support, both financially for, as well as cooperation with, international agreements that, if only superficially at times, provide at least a glimmer of hope that people are making efforts to resolve the problems of our world.

And… the list goes on. And includes not least of all, the complete lack of scrutiny of these officials who lie about policy, lie about motivations, then lie about the election process and go ahead with stealing it, once again. (For more on this, see www.gregpalast.com.) The election for presidency of this great nation that was founded by people who for the most part had such good intentions for the future of this land. Of course there are quite a few glaring exceptions to the justices they sought and the equality provided some people, and the lands that were taken, etc., but even so, it is quite inspiring to go back and read some of the words of our (pardon me while I use a title I usually try to avoid) founding fathers. They worked to make this country the place—to stretch the sanctuary theme a bit here—of refuge they were looking for. While America has never lived up to its ideals, there was hope that we were moving toward them. But our current leaders are on a divergent path. They do not have the good of the people, the welfare of the commons, the separation of church and state, and a system of checks and balances as their underlying principles.

What does guide them is not what I’m looking to talk about—it’s the dominant element of precisely that conversation I don’t want to have. My problem is that I have nothing to say. I want this to pass and hope that in no time at all I’ll be more motivated than ever—maybe take up the “Don’t get sad, get mad!” philosophy, or is it “Don’t get mad, get active!”? But for the moment, I’m sorry to say, I’m quite sad. I’m quite angry. I feel quite bewildered, wondering, What’s the point? But would very much like to hear answers, if they’re out there…

 


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