I didn’t think it would be this way.
I was expecting more.
I got up this morning, looked out the window and … it was a beautiful day.
I didn’t see that coming.
Winter is setting in, here in Alaska. Beautiful days are few and far between and I just didn’t expect today, of all days, to be one of them.
I, well, to be honest, I just thought the end of the world would be, I dunno … different.
I’m not sure what I was expecting exactly, maybe a wine dark sky lit around the horizon with a hellish orange glow, blood soaked moon ten times its usual size filling the sky, sooty clouds of gritty choking ash, erupting volcanoes and shaking earth, agonized woeful shrieks of bereft men filling the air, rising seas and burning mountains, the smell of bitter acrid smoke and sulfurous brimstone. Vast undead hordes risen from their graves, shuffling across the countryside dripping gelatinous ichor and clods of wormy stinking soil, feasting ravenous upon the quaking flesh of the hopeless. Demons loose as a plague upon the blighted land, gleeful in savage mirth, horned and leathery, skins black as sin, wielding crackling fiery lashes in their flinty hands like brands made of hellfire and lightning as they drive the doomed and the remorseful damned down to their eternal torment in the bowels of the malignant Earth.
You know, like that.
Instead, well, it’s a beautiful day here in the Alaskan Matsu.
Today it’s as only Alaska can be. Diamond clear air, cold and invigorating beneath a cloudless cerulean sky. The sun is a brilliant yellow fire upon the pristine white peaks of the Chugach. The still crisp air smells of winter and wood smoke, the wings of bald eagles slice through it without a sound as they soar and wheel majestic over the winter landscape.
It’s a fantastic day to be alive.
There’s nary a Nazi horde in sight.
The sky is empty of invading Communist paratroopers.
The dead remain still and safely entombed within the frozen ground.
The landscape is absent any hint of biblical plague, there are no poison frogs falling from the sky, no foul cloud of biting flies, the seas are cold and blue instead of warm and red as blood.
Not a single shriek rends the still, peaceful air and I haven’t spotted a single shambling zombie or damned soul, even though I kept a careful lookout for impending Rapture on my way into Anchorage this morning and again on my way home. And, heck, even the traffic was light today, making the commute painless and relatively free of myopic demons reeking of naturally produced, pesticide free organic hemp and blocking the fast lane with their Satanic hybrid electric cars of Hell.
As I said, I expected the end of the world, the end of America, to be different somehow. More biblical, I guess.
Frankly I’m a little disappointed.
I mean, that’s what today is, right?
The end of the world, the end of America, the beginning of the End Times, Rapture, Armageddon, Ragnarok, the Blue Light Special at the end of the universe. We’re in some real pretty shit now, aren’t we? Game over, Man, Game over!
That’s what they told us, isn’t it?
If Barack Hussein Obama wins reelection, it’s lights out for America. Jesus will weep, God will rage, poison arrows will fall from the sky, the ground will shake, Nazis, demons, Communists, panic on the switchboard and industrial disease, immorality, sparkly gay atheist fascists running free in the streets.
I mean, come on, all those TV preachers couldn’t be wrong, could they? All of them? Why it’s like they were just making stuff up, scaring people for their own personal agenda – you know, instead of really speaking for God.
Karl Rove, one-eyed king in the land of blinders, now he couldn’t have been wrong last night, could he? Romney won Ohio after all, tell me he did. How could it be? How could it be that Karl Rove was wrong? Romney didn’t win the popular vote in a landslide? Romney didn’t win the electoral college? But, but, but, that would mean Karl Rove wasn’t any more accurate than those aforementioned TV preachers!
Ted Nugent, shocker, rocker, and draft dodger – he couldn’t have been wrong, could he? My God, no, not The Nuge! I mean, he’s always been so reliable. Monday before the election he tweeted, “Dear God in heaven America vote Mitt Romney Paul Ryan Republican and save America!” Last night, after the election results could no longer be denied, despite Karl Rove’s frantic last minute Hail Mary to Almighty God for divine intervention, the Motor City Madman announced the end of America: “Goodluk America, u just voted for economic & spiritual suicide. Soulless fools!” and then he said “I cry tears of blood for The Last Best Place & the warriors who died for this tragedy.”
And yet – and yet – here on this gloriously cold beautiful Wednesday, it appears as if America is still standing.
Probably Ted can’t see it, what with his eyes full of bloody tears and all – and seriously, tears of blood? You’re crying tears of blood? Dude, that's not right. Visit a doctor. Vision is totally covered under Obamacare and now it looks like Michigan will have to implement it after all. Thanks to Obama, you’re covered, Ted, I’m just saying.
Oh yes, that. Warriors. Right. Ted Nugent, craven draft dodger, lamenting the dead warriors who died for our sins. Yeah. I’m just going to let that one go right on by. I’m feeling good. The world didn’t end and the Rapture didn’t come and Angry Bearded Jesus didn’t call us all home and there’s a black man in the White House. I know you’re disappointed, Ted, that the rest of us didn’t get cornholed by Satan. You ought to get a little something. So, as somebody who didn’t shit their pants in front of the entire country when called to arms under the American Flag, I’ll just let it go. Consider it a consolation prize. Speaking as a veteran who answered the call: you’re welcome, you gutless chicken-shit coward, you’re welcome.
Ted Nugent wasn’t the only one to soil himself on Twitter last night, Donald Trump suffered a full on Britney Spears style social media meltdown. By this morning, after the world didn’t, in fact, end after all, The Donald’s lawyers had deleted his sullen tweets calling America to treason and sedition. Too bad one of his tech savvy apprentices didn’t tell him that on the internet nothing is ever really deleted. I have a complete list of Trump’s tweets right here. Let’s review: "We can't let this happen. We should march on Washington and stop this travesty. Our nation is totally divided!" Yes! That’s it, that’s freedom, that’s true America right there, override the Constitution with riot and violence and then install a leader handpicked by Real Estate moguls. Wasn’t it Thomas Jefferson who insisted on the armed revolution clause in the Constitution? Trump continued to blurt out increasingly demented tweets like the social media version of Tourette's Syndrome, “The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy.” Jeez, really? I wonder why the Framers put it in the Constitution then, they must have hated America.
At the end of the night Trump proclaimed, “He [Obama] lost the popular vote by a lot and won the election. We should have a revolution in this country!"
Later that tweet, like the others, was deleted.
Interesting thing that, don’t you think?
I mean, it turns out that President Obama actually did win the popular vote by a comfortable margin and the electoral college by a landslide – winning every swing state but one. Yet, Trump initially claimed Obama lost the popular vote “by a lot.” Trump implied electoral chicanery on a scale large enough to warrant armed insurrection against the United States government. But, then, hours later he issued what is essentially a retraction by deleting the post. Could this be an abject example of how information can be garbled and unreliable in the first moments of a big event? Could it be an example of how people can get things wrong because they don’t yet have all the facts, all the information, because the numbers aren’t yet crunched and the interviews aren’t complete and because there is chaos on the ground? Could Trump’s incorrect reporting of fact and a call for armed action be an example of why, maybe, you shouldn’t depend in the first moments on rumor and confused media reports and the fog of war because you’re likely to have it wrong?
You know, like the initial reports regarding the attack on our embassy in Benghazi, Libya?
But I digress.
Former Saturday Night Live cast member, professional bimbo, and rabid rightwing Uber Christian, Victoria Jackson, also managed to spectacularly lose her shit in public. “I can't stop crying" she tweeted over and over. This morning she roused from her dirty tear-stained sheets to proclaim, "America died last night.” She didn’t blame Obama for the demise of America though, instead she pointed her staggering intellect elsewhere, "Thanks a lot Christians, for not showing up. You disgust me.” Yeah, disgust, that’s the word I was looking for. Disgust.
Another of Hollywood’s D-List, Stephen Baldwin, the last and least of the Baldwin brothers, he of woodenly acted bit parts and of low-budget SyFy and Lifetime Channel movies, didn’t get called up to heaven by Jesus. So like crashing an Oscar party held by actual actors he raptured himself: "2nite Gods Spirit lifted within me&joy came over me, I will serve the Lord, my hope is in Jesus not Obama, Gods wrath is upon US. 2Thes2:11.” Funny, maybe it’s just me, but God’s wrath looks like a pretty fine day here in Alaska. I understand things aren’t so bright on the East Coast at the moment, but God’s Wrath? Really? Where is this guy tweeting from? The 14th Century?
Sarah Palin boggled that “Americans would support the president’s policies.” Boggled. Apparently her last minute appeal to America didn’t pay off as big as she expected. “It’s a perplexing time for many of us right now,” she said. Perplexed. I don’t often agree with Sarah Palin, but hey, she’s perplexed. I’m hip.
You know, these people and their wealthy masters literally spent billions of dollars, billions, to defeat Obama.
All those dollars are now wasted.
They’ll never get anything back. Karl Rove basically took their money, bushels and bushels of it, and lit it on fire. If this was anything but politics (or religion), Rove would be in jail next to Bernie Madoff for running a bogus investment scheme, he lost just about as much money.
The ironic part is that these folks are the ones who are screaming the loudest about having to pay a couple bucks more in taxes, hell they gave double that to Rove and other SuperPACs and got nothing back. They could have saved themselves a shitload of money, garnered themselves a big fat tax break, saved thousands of small businesses, and kick started the economy right out from under President Obama by giving every out of work blue collar conservative a year’s wage – say $35K – to spend at the businesses of their choice. And they would have created a self-sustaining cycle that would have eventually paid back the investment with interest. Instead they poured their money down Karl Rove’s rat-hole. Savvy businessmen, my ass.
But, again, I digress.
And they lost big.
It was a landmark night for gay rights. Same sex marriage will now be legal in a number of states, Maryland, Maine, and Washington. Legal by popular vote for the first time in our history. Staunchly conservative Wisconsin, Paul Ryan’s home state, not only fell to Obama, they elected themselves the first openly gay Senator, Tammy Baldwin. Talk about kicking Ryan in the balls.
The Tea Party whimpered, clutched at its wrinkled gray sternum, and went into cardiac arrest. It’s not dead quite yet, but it needs to fill out a living will and start thinking about where it wants its ashes scattered. Democrats didn’t win back the House, but Allen West and Joe Walsh are out of a job – and that’s a major victory for sanity in America. Michele Bachmann, damn the luck, held onto her seat by the skin of her flabby white ass, but her fangs have been pulled and her power base is dust and her state went to President Obama just like Paul Ryan’s did. Just like Mitt Romney’s did.
Over in Washington State and up in Colorado, people are out today buying munchies. Recreational pot is legal there, no more bullshit about “medicinal use.” Legal, at least at the state level, the feds aren’t happy about it but again, just like gay marriage, the writing is on the wall.
Everybody better just get used to Obamacare, because last night it became permanent. Americans want universal coverage and they’re going to get it. States can now quit dragging their feet like petulant children and get busy seeing that all of their citizens have access to healthcare. Period. The argument is now over – not that conservatives will stop arguing over it. Even if they take the White House in 2016, the ACA is now the law of the land. Better get onboard, fix the things that need fixing, and get used to the idea that even poor people are entitled to healthcare in America.
Latinos and African Americans sent an unequivocal message to the Old White Guy Party last night – if you want our vote, you’d better do some serious remodeling. You’d better get rid of the racists and the bigots and the xenophobes in your party. You’d better wake the hell up and realize that America is a multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural nation and it always has been – the difference is that now minorities have real power at last. Either get onboard with this idea, or join the Whigs in the dustbin of history. Women likewise slapped the GOP right upside the head. The message was crystal clear, you want our votes? Then you need to dump the misogynists and the legitimate rapists and the Neanderthal religious lunatics. Women are fifty-one percent of the population, why would you kowtow to those who keep trying to disenfranchise them? Are you stupid? “Minorities” aren’t so minor any more, they’re as American as you are, they’re motivated, they believe in this country just like your ancestors did, and they want somebody in government who represents their interests. You’re either that party, or you’re not.
The problem is simply this:
Once upon a time the faces of the Republican Party were Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Ulysses S. Grant, and, hell, Ronald Reagan.
Today the public face of the GOP is Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, the Koch Brothers, Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, Karl Rove, and a silly old man shouting at an empty chair.
Once upon a time, the Republican Party stood for freedom, the end of slavery, the extension of rights to all Americans, the reasonable regulation of business and monopolies and the protection of the little man from the same. The first president to call for pluralism, i.e. multiculturalism, was a Republican, William McKinley. The republican who followed, one of the greatest presidents this country has ever seen, Teddy Roosevelt, believed in science, in reason, in the conservation of nature and the husbanding of our natural resources, the protection of our lands, in equality for all, and in peace. Republicans once upon a time believed In freedom of religion and freedom from religion.
Today the GOP would make businesses into citizens and make citizens into property. They squint suspiciously at any non-Christian and seem hell bent on denying others their just and due rights as Americans based on those self-same religious beliefs. Science, natural resources, and the environment seem to share equal contempt among conservatives nowadays. They are the party of drill, Baby, drill and legitimate rape. They’ve got abortion on the brain and are obsessively concerned with what other people might be doing in the privacy of their own bedrooms. The GOP has become the very military-industrial complex another great Republican once warned us about. The GOP has given up science and become the party of Birthers and creationists and conspiracy nuts – and rather than distance themselves from such crazies, the modern Republican Party embraced them. One has only to look at the 2012 GOP Platform to see just how far they’ve drifted from the once great party of Lincoln.
Once upon a time, there was room in the Republican party. Room for competing ideas, room for reasoned debate and differences of opinion, room for all Americans.
Today, the Republican Party has grown very small – small in mind, small in ideas, small in tolerance. They’ve become the party of loyalty oaths, purity balls, and secret handshakes.
Once upon a time, the Grand Old Party faced the world with the courage of Roosevelt, of Eisenhower, of Lincoln.
Today, this morning, these last four years, the Republican Party is shrouded in the rank stench of hysteria and fear. They face the future with the false bravado of the coward and the blustering shallow patriotism epitomized by the likes of Ted Nugent. They cower under their beds, clutching their guns and their bibles, deathly afraid of the future.
And that, more than anything is why Mitt Romney lost last night.
Sarah Palin was correct this morning. Perplexed is exactly the right word.
The GOP is dying a slow death, poisoned by their own bitter tea. They are now firmly on the wrong side of history and unless something changes, they’ll wear that confused expression into oblivion without ever understanding why.
It was a beautiful day, here in Alaska.
You’d hardly know it was the end of the world and all.
There’s a long cold winter ahead, but that just makes spring all the sweeter.