Friday, November 5, 2004
Struggling with Optimism in the Face of a Mandate

Three New Yorkers & a Michigander

Dear Youth of America,

It’s a good thing you spent this past Tuesday as you would any other: taking bong hits on your 70s-era Salvation Army couches and playing Sim Election on your iMacs. Better squeeze in all the apathy and lethargy you can now, because soon you’re going to be doing more by 9 a.m. than most people do all day! Thanks for surprising us by acting completely and consistently in character. Way to go, kids.

Rock the vote or die,

Dear Republican Lawyers,

Thanks for hectoring minorities and poor people away from their polling precincts. What good is a democracy if everyone gets a vote? That would turn the whole process into a sham like “American Idol.” You brandished abstruse stipulations like switchblades—well done, bloodsuckers. Well done.


Dear Pollsters,

Boy, were you way off! Thanks for the effort, though. It doesn’t matter that you’re utterly ineffectual and unaccountable—you can still be president one day!

Too close to call,

Dear Mr. Diebold,

While the election went off without a single shenanigan, it’s great to know you personally vouched for your machines’ impartial precision in delivering Ohioan votes to the Republican Party without any recountable paper trail. Besides, if America wanted accuracy over speediness, they’d have voted Democratic! Thanks for shoving democracy headfirst into the Matrix’s mechanical maw, thus ensuring a Republican victory in every election from now till doomsday.


Dear Homosexual Folks,

Thanks for turning your inalienable right to wed into a national issue during wartime, thus presenting the Republicans with a wedge issue great enough to rouse the righteous fury of every homophobic Christian conservative from Casper to Crawford and propel them into voting booths to repudiate your lifestyle. The good thing about America is that everyone is free to vote for or against such things when more important issues (e.g., war) are too unpleasant to stomach.

Love (not in that way),

Dear Security Moms,

Thanks for thinking twice about the state of affairs before deciding to blindly follow your president’s instructions not to change horses in midstream, even if the horse you’re riding has stumbled over every single hurdle and, it turns out, is a one-legged pony with strangles. Also, good move ditching Soccer for Security. Now trade in those minivans for Hummers! Anyway, your kids will get great deals on rugs when they’re shipped off to the Persian Gulf.


Dear Liberal Media,

Thanks for your faithful reporting of undistorted facts, even while being discredited as horribly, horribly biased. Although, when you think about it, as long as your name’s being sullied anyway, instead of defensively kvetching so much, you probably could have used the opportunity to aggressively push your barely hidden agendas and not-so-ulterior motives. You know, the way Fox does it. Suckers.


Dear Concert for Change,

The Guinness Book of World Records called. Congrats, you successfully put together the biggest circle-jerk in the history of the world. It turns out that patronizingly preaching to the choir doesn’t work very well. Well, it doesn’t work in the figurative sense. If you’re the G.O.P. and you infiltrate the churches and literally preach to real no-foolin’ choirs, it ends up being pretty effective. Who knew? Oh, Karl Rove, that’s who. I almost forgot.

Still, thanks for at last bringing the Boss and R.E.M. together on one stage.

Yours in Christ,

Dear P. Diddy, Eminem, and Michael Moore,

I’m sorry that God has more followers than you guys. It really shouldn’t be so surprising—the Bible outsells all your CDs and DVDs combined. Thanks for fighting the good fight, though. I guess some people voted because you brainwashed them with blustery propaganda or threatened them with gangsta-style execution Maybe next time you should recruit some politically active celebrities who are friends with God, like Mel Gibson or Father Guido Sarducci.


Dear Ohioans,

It’s like I don’t even know you anymore.


Victory Speech by the Leader of the Moderate, Pro-Choice, Anti-War, Environmentalist Undecided Voters of Cuyahoga County, Ohio, for Bush Good evening, fellow members of the M.P.C.A.W.E.U.V.O.C.C.O.F.B. Well, we did it! [Cheers and applause.] This is truly a great day for us, and for all America. The candidate we settled on at the very last minute has emerged victorious, and...
Suggested Reading for Psychopaths [The morning after the election . . . ]...
Fruit Salad
Perhaps There Is Life on This Planet I have returned, albeit briefly, to my desk job at this Somewhat Less Major Media Company. It is April now, though the weather hardly portrays the month that I have come to know over my years here. The harsh,...

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