I don't think I've ever seen a higher anxiety level among some segments of the American population. After viewing the news reports and reading the "threads" on Internet forums and blogs, it appears the feeling is widespread that the U. S. is either going to turn sharply away from the Orwellian course it's followed the past five years, or it will get much worse and soon.
Here's what this week's two "highest impact " diaries were about on the top Democratic blog, DailyKos. Coming in "#1" was a post entitled "ACTION ALERT: Blackwell purged Ohio Voter Rolls Oct 1st.- Vote Early " raising the possibility that Republican Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell had purged enough Democratic voters to keep the Buckeye State red in 2006. One commenter responded :
This is the most depressing story I have ever read. If it is true, democracy in America is truly dead.
The second diary, titled "HUGE! Bush Guts Posse Comitatus, Grabs National Guard!," is about how Bush, with Congress's help, has changed the law so as to allow him to override governors' control of their own National Guard units. In response to comments hoping that a new Congress would quickly overturn the law after the first of the year, a commenter wrote :
I'm worried we can't beat this back. with election fraud and steps toward martial law, it's hard to be optimistic. i dunno we haven't been able to stop anything yet. so much hinges on this election it's scary. until then i'm stocking up on water and canned goods.
Stocking up on water and canned goods during a week when the news has been better for Democrats and worse for Bush than any in memory?:
Such an attitude might be dismissed as the product of an especially trepidacious spirit or even of a mole trying to suppress Democrats' confidence, but it's not just anonymous posters on blogs who are expessing a sense of foreboding. Tough Texan Molly Ivins writes:
So how come I'm not thrilled? Because I watched this happen two years ago - same rejection of the Iraq war, same disgust with Bush and Co., same understanding Republicans are for the rich, period, same polls showing D's with the lead going right into Election Day. And the same geographic gerrymander and same wall of money in the last two weeks. I'm not close to calling this election, and I'm sure not into celebrating anything yet.
And the gutsy Keith Olbermann, living up again and again to his appropriation of Edward R. Murrow's sign-off line, said in his commentary from a few night ago on Bush's signing of the new Military Commissions Act:
These things you have done, Mr. Bush, they would constitute the beginning of the end of America.
I know Americans want to believe that they still live in a democracy where the "people" rule. I understand that Americans who are antiwar or liberal or gay or Muslim or atheist want to trust in the common sense and good faith of a majority of their fellow citizens. All peace- and freedom-loving people in the world are hoping--as they hoped 2 years ago--that America will regain her sanity and make a definite change in course.
But just in case there are still enough Americans happy to vote their fear or prejudice or greed to keep the Republicans in power, consider some options better than stocking up on bottled water and canned goods.
Just in case the combination of voter suppression , paperless electronic voting , Republican Secretaries of State and a Republican U. S. Supreme Court is enough to hold the House and Senate for Bush's allies, at least do a little research about a place to where you might be able to go so you can avoid learning more about the Military Commissions Act than you really wanted to know.
Just in case the Democrats do manage to win, but decide to let Bush continue on his merry way, trampling the Constitution, consider check out what it would take to move to a place where habeas corpus has not been suspended.
Just in case the November 7 election still leaves enough pro-war Congressman and Senators in office--Republicans and Democrats--to support Bush's plans for war against Iran, find out more about a country that is neither a target nor a supporter of American imperial ambitions.
Just in case the Congress that convenes in January decides to follow the advice of leaders of both parties that want a draft to solve the military's manpower problems, at least explore the possibility of moving somewhere that does not extradite draft resisters.