Wednesday, my friend asked me how I was doing and I thought to myself that this was one of the bleakest days that I had experienced. My tears for what has happened in the past 24 hours is something that many could have understood and empathized with; others probably would have taken a special delight in viewing that scene.
So is the “foe for every friend” status on my campus right now, as well as in my country. I know that the Democrats lost the election, that they lost it soundly. If everybody in the US had voted, that would not have been the case, but every election that I can remember always comes down to the same people, over and over again.
Let me not digress: what really matters is why the other half of the nation that voted for George Bush, thus voicing their support for his policies at home, his dealings with the world, and his war. Why?
We all need reasons to take stances on worldly issues, and these reasons need to be backed up by facts. While arguments have been beaten to death, there are still facts out there that, whether or not we agree with them, are true. Hopefully, the existence of those facts still matter.
Government officials and experts have torn apart the Republican Party's farcical arguments: there are no WMD and no link to Al-Qaeda, and the number of active terrorists and terrorist events has increased. What is harder to measure with statistics (although it has been done and supports my argument) is the unimaginable extent to which we have alienated much of the world, especially the people that live across the “Muslim” countries throughout Africa and Asia, the very people that we are supposedly trying to bring closer to us.
There are real government reports that back up these claims: the 9/11 panel's report, the Iraq Survey Group report, and the State Department's annual report on terrorism. People should have read these reports, thought about what they said and compared it to what the Bush Administration has told us since it all began.
However, people didn't do that. The majority of Bush supporters still believe the Bush administration's false claims (i.e./ lies): a recent USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll found that four in ten people still believe that Saddam Hussein was linked to Al-Qaeda. The same survey said that 62 percent of Republicans believed that claim. Is that simple ignorance or deliberate denial of the facts in order to continue a certain way of thinking?
As this administration's justifications for the war have been dismantled one by one by activists, government officials, and intellectuals, Bush supporters attach less and less importance to the facts and get vaguer and more prophetic in their arguments.
How much value do truth and reality hold for these people, who seem so eager to trust a man who wishes to bring Jesus into every decision that deals with governing Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Jews, atheists, and agnostics.
This spirit-crushing ignorance that 50 percent of our nation needs in order to support this administration's decisions is only going to spread in the next four years, because in the meantime they'll be busy disemboweling education, not to mention healthcare, social security, and civil rights (See past four years of legislation).
There are some things that all of us must accept. This war didn't save us from weapons of mass destruction. It didn't sever an unholy alliance between an international terrorist and a world leader. What it did do is put the blood of over 100,000 people on our hands.
This was not a movie or a biblical massacre; these deaths are real, and there are bodies and broken families to prove it. It would take an awful lot of September 11ths to come close to that total, and an exponentially higher number of people left without mothers, fathers, siblings, spouses, and children.
We must ask ourselves some fundamental questions. How many more people are going to have to die for us to feel safe? How many more nations need to be torn apart and thrown into chaos? How many more people need to be alienated, humiliated, and violated to satisfy our hurt pride, our lust for revenge?
Hopefully we will be thinking about these questions soon, because a new phase of the war on terrorist regimes has just begun, and it's the one at home.