Dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum
Raves/Rants about the goings-on on a little blue inconsequential planet in a small and relatively uninspiring solar system which is on the far end of a small and wholly unspectacular galaxy in the large universe.

Remember, remember, the 4th of November

Category: , , By Satchal
The phrase, my post-election recapitulation of the Guy Fawkesian ballad, is rich with irony.

Most associate Guy Fawkes with the Vaudevillian "V" from the graphic-novel-turned-major-motion-picture V for Vendetta, the character who sought to end a British autocracy by symbolically blowing up Parliament as in inspiration for a national rebellion. And yet the original Fawkes was a pro-Catholic anti-Protestant Theocrat, who sought to blow up the aristocratic British parliament and return England to religiously-upheld rule. The stark contrast with a pop culture character has a stunning resemblance to the anachronistic Conservative movement that sought to set back 21st century America into Guy Fawkes' 16th century.

I had always associated America with not just religious tolerance, but as a secular state that embraced all religions (and yes, there is a difference between the two). And yet, the Bush administration, wearing its faith on its sleeve, has largely sought to annihilate this notion, and has given credibility to the Pat Robertsons of the world, folks who feel the United States is a Christian nation, and to be anything else is anti-American. This doesn't do justice to the diversity in the United States, but I'm not sure anyone took notice until Colin Powell's articulate endorsement of Barack Obama on the Meet the Press a few weeks ago. Worse still had been the divisive politics played by John McCain and Sarah Palin, neither of whom I am sure are racist, but who incited and nurtured those feelings in the basest of their base.

Fast forward a few weeks, and you have the stunningly cathartic moment that brought you last night's election result. That America, after eight years of fear-mongering and divisive politics, could embrace a mixed race candidate with little legislative experience but a thoughtful and well-articulated plan will go a long way to slamming the door on the racial and religious fracturing that had become the standard Republican playbook in recent elections.

This election not only represents a new sense of inclusion for all, but my sincerest hope is it will return the celebration of intellectualism, of ideas, and of a meritocracy that had once been the hallmark of the American state.

Ultimately, one hopes it will bring a return of power and stability to the middle-class. It is useful to note the middle-class is a singularity in the history of our species. For much of human history, there has been a ruling class, and a working class. In the 1930s, Franklin Roosevelt put forth the policy changes that resulted in the middle class, a notion that has been embraced around the world. These policies have been under attack that past 25-30 years with the advent of trickle-down economics. Yesterday's election was a referendum on the failure of those policies. Ironically, the largely middle- and working-class attendees booing at McCain and Palin rallies, when the two mentioned "redistribution of the wealth", are the people who stand to benefit the most from that redistribution (which is the essential concept of taxation).

The task before Obama, and really all of us, remains large and imposing, but we took the first step last night, and for that reason, let us always remember this 4th of November.

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