It is a time of freedom and fear, of Gaia and of borders, of many paths and the widening of a universal toll road, emptying country and swelling cities, of the public bought into privacy and the privacy of the public sold into invisible data banks and knowing algorithms. It is the time of the warrior's peace and the miser's charity, when the planting of a seed is an act of conscientious objection.
These are the times when maps fade and direction is lost. Forwards is backwards now, so we glance sideways at the strange lands through which we are all passing, knowing for certain only that our destination has disappeared. We are unready to meet these times, but we proceed nonetheless, adapting as we wander, reshaping the Earth with every tread.
Behind us we have left the old times, the standard times, the high times. Welcome to the irregular times.
Their Fallibility, Our Fallibility
Monday, November 01, 2004
On this day before Election Day 2004, I'd like to note a few things that a number of progressives were sure of over the past four years.
Some progressives were sure that George W. Bush would plant weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and miraculously "find" them.
Some progressives were sure that George W. Bush had arranged a fix with Saudi Arabia in which the Saudis would flood the market with oil, making the energy situation look less dire and ensuring Bush's re-election.
Some progressives were sure that George W. Bush would trot out a long-captured Osama bin Laden shortly before the election, trumpeting his capture and riding a wave of popularity to victory.
Some progressives were sure that George W. Bush would stage a terrorist attack on the United States before Election Day and use it as a pretext to postpone the elections and jettison democracy.
None of these came to pass.
The Republicans' fallibility is that they are not as fantastically omnipotent or conspiratorally diabolical as some progressives think they are.
It is the fallibility of a number of progressives (though not all, mind you) to buy the hype of Republican infallibility and spin it into a series of discouraging and self-defeating conspiracy theories that are disconnected from reality.
The Republicans do not have complete control. Karl Rove is not a supergenius. Conservatives can be defeated. But until we convince ourselves of these things, we won't get anywhere.
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