As all my nearest and dearest and most of my cronies know, I usually spend two weeks every summer at the Summer School for Liturgical Music in upstate NY -- two weeks of hobnobbing with other folks who love to sing and love Orthodoxy, it doesn't get any better than that. A couple of summers ago, I was chatting with one of the professors about politics, and he opined that one's only real choices were the "Party of Evil" or the "Party of Stupidity."
Now, since this person is from Boston, I was pretty sure which political party he considered "evil" (Boston being one of the most solidly Democratic cities in the nation), but I was curious to find out why he thought the Democrats were stupid. So I asked, "Which is the Party of Evil?" He looked at me as if to say, "You're kidding, right?" and answered, "The Democrats, of course." And while I was still picking my jaw up from the floor, he added, "What's more evil than killing your own children?"
I raise it because, reading other people's blogs, I am struck with the venom directed at the Bushes. Regardless of one's opinion as to how this latest fiasco was mismanaged (and having seen FEMA in action on many other occasions, I'm not convinced this was any different or worse), there's such a personal quality to people's vituperation. Really, it's been that way ever since the election of 2000, when people were convinced Bush "stole" the White House. (Yes, Gore won the popular vote, but not the electoral vote. That has happened before, most recently in 1960, when the other Most Hated Republican -- Richard Nixon -- refused to request a recount.)
So I got to thinking. And it seems to me that for the absolute foulness of public discourse to cease, the only solution is for the nation to keep electing Democrats, since at least Republicans are funny when taking potshots at the opposition.
In that case, which is worse? To live with four years of Republican mismanagement, a lot of malcontents spewing venom and hatred at everything that the President undertakes, and rousing the rabble until we become a camp of armed militia on either side of the political spectrum? Or to live with the Party of Evil in power, supporting the demolition of the family and the wholesale murder of the unborn and definitions of marriage that are most charitably described as "creative," selling the country down the road of perdition until a takeover by Anti-Christ is inevitable -- but the rabble are Fat, Dumb and Happy, and intelligent discourse becomes not even a memory?
I don't know. Well, I do know -- for myself. I will continue to vote according to my conscience, and also according to the way I have voted most of my life: deciding early on which candidate I'm against, and not looking too closely at what's left. Unfortunately, I think that's how most people vote nowadays.
Oh, and I'll spend Election Days as I spent this past Election Day, singing alternately, "Save, O Lord, Thy people," and "To thee, the Champion Leader." That way, whichever wins, I'll know it was the will of God, and I'll be content.