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November 8, 2006

Justice is a Dish Best Served

Category: Editorial – Tom Harrison – 11:43 pm

Cliches were rampant last night on CNN and MSNBC, the only stations I could find that covered the election, even though it was clearly as important as the last two presidential elections. One pundit lamely pulled out the “revenge is a dish best served cold” quote which I thought missed the point. Yesterday’s election was more about justice, and justice was served.

But is justice what we need? Well, yes, we need justice because we need the country, and more importantly the rest of the world to see that Americans actually are able to discern right from wrong. Last night, a number of lousy guys got ousted. And with credit to the pundits of the conservative side, so did some perfectly reasonable and righteous folks whose only sin was being Republican. Yes, when America gets pissed off, step aside, because it’s all, or nothing. From my viewpoint, here in the bastion of liberalism in Massachusetts (you know: gay marriage, free health care, Kerry, Kennedy and now a black governor), the political landscape got reset to about the right place last night. I shed no tears for any of the idiots who let their mouths say one things and their genitals say another, nor for the “holier than thou’s” who turned out to be wholly unholy. And I can completely respect that this election was, in truth, a referendum on our failed Iraq war, nor did have any moments of remorse when Bush fired Rummy (even though he was from my Princeton alma mater). So yes, justice was served.

But…

Isn’t there always a “but”? But, why wasn’t the election also about global warming, or our energy policy? Sure, one could argue that fundamentally Iraq is all about energy. But I think the truth is, Iraq is about dogma taken to an extreme … really on a number of levels. Dogma from the neo-conservatives, and dogma from the warring factions who can’t seem to cope with the opportunity to have peace and freedom all at once. So Iraq might have been tangentially about oil, but in truth I think it’s more about whose dogma is more right. Justice tried to show last night that the answer is … neither.

So the big “but” is: but what about these fundamental issues: energy policy, global warming, environmental destruction? For the record, I think they are really the same issue. But none of these issues rated a single mention in the heat of battle last night. It was all “corruption and Iraq”. These were the issues that motivated Americans to vote. Yes, the party that got installed will certainly be more aware of my issues, but none of mine were the “mandate” spoken by the voters … nor of the pundits that represented their (unspoken) wills.

So doesn’t seem like America has said much more than “get rid of the bad guys”. In this case, I cannot help but to concur with the assessment of who the bad guys are. Perhaps this is just the way politics works: you get the bad guys out because they are corrupt, and for a while the good guys can do good things (like getting energy and global warming on the agenda) … until the good guys become corrupt. Not that I am cynical or anything…

No. I’ll not leave this comment with anything other than a pure positive. Damn: America spoke loudly and clearly and whatever reason each of us had, we collectively did the right thing. Justice has been served.

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