People have often asked me, and I have often wondered myself, whether there is something to be optimistic about with the Bush victory.
Here is a cartographic analysis that tries to put a brave face on the US elections, by recasting the blue-red map using populations and counties as a basis. Some pretty graphic results!
Then here is an article written before the elections about some of the "wonderful, insurrectionary things" occurring in the communities all over the US. I'm beginning to wonder whether these had the kind of critical mass and energy to sustain and develop the "insurrections" through another four years of Bush, perhaps a Patriot Act III, and still more Guantanamos and secret torture.
And then here is an analysis form Counterpunch that hits on an interpretation that I once jocularly made to my wife several months ago, but which I have begun to take more seriously since - that a Bush victory would be actually no bad thing! Why? Because it would push things domestically and internationally so far that there will be a fairly radical readjustment of perceptions about the “benefits” of US imperial hegemony both among Americans as well as others. In other words, Bush will probably use up the “political capital” that he thinks he has, to push ahead with the agenda that his neocon minders have handed him – and fall straight into Osama’s trap.
With the more internationalist Kerry, the basic framework of the international order would have been retained and strengthened, and everyone would have breathed a sigh of relief and gone back to business as usual, despite the fact that as far as the rest of the world is concerned, both Kerry and Bush are almost equally disastrous. That's because "business as usual" itself was disastrous. My take is that Kerry’s (and Clinton’s) internationalism would have been stylistically more consultative and “benign”, but in substance just as hegemonistic as Bush’s, and just as disastrous for ordinary people in poor countries whose dictators or even democratically elected leaders are suddenly suspected of posing a threat to the international order.
The only problem with this optimism is that it ignores the value (ZERO, possibly even NEGATIVE) put on non-western lives by successive US administrations throughout history, and therefore inhumanly discounts the thousands of MORE lives that may have to end horribly – both in the US and elsewhere around the world - before this “radical realignment” I’m talking about comes to pass. In short, World War V. (World War III was the war gainst communism, both the cold one in the west and the hot ones everywhere else, ending with the Balkan wars of 1992-99; World War IV is what we have been living through since September 11 2001.)
Not much to be optimistic about, then. Oh well, perhaps the heat death of the universe!