Friday, November 05, 2004

Jane Smiley: Bush Voters are Ignorant, filled with Bloodlust and Fear

Novelist Jane Smiley cranks out an embarrassing display of intelligensia arrogance and condescension in Slate. According to her vision of the world, "The election results reflect the decision of the right wing to cultivate and exploit ignorance in the citizenry."

After a few paragraphs about the violent history of the Red States she reanimates caricatures of Bush and Cheney that I thought the election would stop, at least temporarily. "Cheney is the capitalist arm and Bush is the religious arm. They know no boundaries or rules. They are predatory and resentful, amoral, avaricious, and arrogant. Lots of Americans like and admire them because lots of Americans, even those who don't share those same qualities, don't know which end is up. ... The Republicans have sold their souls for power."

This makes me sad. This kind of thinking will not make the Democratic party more competitive. And we need a competitive, responsible, innovative Democratic party. We don't need adolescent whinning about Republican cheating or a 'if-they-don't-vote-for-us-they're-stupid' mentality.

We don't need this, "And in addition, we have to remember that threats to democracy from the right always collapse. Whatever their short-term appeal, they are borne of hubris and hatred, and will destroy their purveyors in the end." For Smiley an election where 115 million people vote is a threat to demcracy if the Republicans win. Do I smell a bit of projection there Jane? If you don't accept the verdict of 60 million people, who exactly is the threat to democracy again?

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