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They Get What They Deserve--And So Do We

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The bailout didn't fly. OK. I get that. I read MichaelMoore.com and am deeply suspicious of anything the government offers to do on behalf of the citizenry. I should be and feel increasingly entitled to be. While the rest of us slog by, the bailout will save the already rich from the true consequences of their greed and risk-taking.

I had a horse in this race, for sure: in the mortgage debacle, I lost $40,000--the totality of my children's college fund--in the sale of my once-valuable home. Now, like so many others, I scrimp month to month, sending tuition checks in time for bank deposits and just before cable bills clear.

I find myself angry with the neighbor who still displays her "W is for women" bumber sticker and the colleague who thinks Palin has "spunk." When Bush was appointed the first time, I thought things couldn't get worse. When he 'won' the second time, I was truly disappointed in my country. Bush was, for one thing, an illegitimate leader; and for a few others, not very bright, imperious and dangerously impervious to new information.Do people really vote for the guy they want to have a beer with? Really? Will they vote for McCain-Palin for similar reasons?

My impulse is to say they get what they deserve, have gotten the obscene war, the rotting economy, the repressive culture they deserve. But others of us got those things, too, and we simply do not deserve them. I didn't deserve to lose my most valuable asset, my life savings, essentially, simply because so many voted (without thinking) for the guy who was least qualified but most familiar.

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I don't want familiar. I want bloody smart. I do not want a leader like me; s/he better be a hell of a lot better than me at most things. We aren't talking about running a lemonade stand; this is the most complex job in the world. Period. People's lives and livelihoods depend upon how well the job is done.

Those who endorse the McCain-Palin ticket will get what they deserve--and so will the rest of us. For me, that is the sad, horrifying truth of this election.

Progressives, thinking people must vote as if our lives and livelihoods depend upon it.

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Kellie Bean has been a Professor of English at Marshall University, an Associate Dean of Liberal Arts, and most recently, Provost of a small New England College. Author of "Post-Backlash Feminism: Women and the Media Since Reagan/Bush" (McFarland (more...)
 

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