It’s Worse Than It Was

Last Wednesday I was on the phone with Holly, plotting our imminent expatriation to Peru in the wake of the election results. We were trading insightful and horrifying things we’d read on the internet in the last twelve hours.

“You know,” I said, “Someone somewhere pointed out that when Nixon was re-elected in 1972, the left was dismayed, but he never got to finish his term. Maybe in two years there will be a massive scandal that will throw Bush out of office.” (As if everything that’s happened since the moment he wasn’t elected the first time isn’t enough grounds for impeachment.)

“Yeah,” said Holly. “But Bush is even worse than Nixon.”

If you could go back in time to 1972 and find our respective parents, in their respective dismay over the Nixon victory, and tell them that by the time the decade was out they’d be the parents of daughters who would grow up to be friends, and that by the time these daughters had voted in their second presidential election, just after the turn of the millenium, they’d be talking to each other on tiny, portable telephones about the election that had just taken place, in which a warmongering, lying Republican had just been re-elected, and that they would be saying to each other on these tiny, portable telephones that this warmongering, lying Republican was worse than Nixon, would they believe it?

If you told me right now that in thirty-two years my future kid will be communicating through a chip in her molar to her friend about the recent election (if there are even still elections in the United States by then, if the Earth isn’t a charred cinder by then, if all the new terrorists the Bush administration is creating right now with its holy wars haven’t come and blown us up yet, if by then I’m even allowed to have my own children, because the state hasn’t taken over my uterus to make sure it’s a moral enough environment in which to grow a fetus), if you told me that after the 2036 election my kid would be saying to her friend on the phone, trying to be consoling, “Hey, when Bush won in ’04 the left was really dismayed,” and her friend said, “Yeah, but this person is worse than Bush,” I think I might have to kill myself and hope I don’t get reincarnated in this demented version of human civilization.

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