We Love the Rude Pundit

They know. Oh, they know

The Rude Pundit has been on a weeklong visit to the deepest, darkest nether regions of Red State America. When he first arrived, he was greeted by car after car on the highway near the airport still sporting “George Bush for President” bumper stickers. The Rude Pundit is a listener, an eavesdropper. In plate lunch joints and bars, he heard the same things over and over: about how great it was that the President was tough enough to fight the terrorists in Iraq. Hell, the fuckin’ newspaper here, in an end of 2004 story on the soldiers from this region, directly stated that the war in Iraq was about avenging 9/11. How do you counter that kind of localized propaganda? But, you know, there’s something interesting that happens whenever you engage anyone who believes these things in a conversation: they get really, really defensive about Bush. And not in a coherent way. And not even in the knee-jerk-“I-support-my-President” kind of way. No, it’s more of an “I don’t wanna talk about it – shutupshutupshutup” kind of way, with ears covered and eyes clenched shut. In other words, they know. They know it’s all been a huge failure. But they don’t wanna know. And it’s just easier to pretend that everything’s fantabulous than face that horror, that abyss, of mistrust, of awareness of one’s own complicity in the voting booth.

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