Today I was checking my email and catching up on live journals and I was noticing that the majority of those things had something to do with the recent election. As I was reading, I could feel the emotion behind the words and I wondered, “why don’t I care that much?” The answer is simple: I’m in Japan. I heard that Bush had won from Katherine. I saw the results in Japanese on the news. My state voted Democrat like it always has. It’s as if I was experiencing it all through a filter. Surely life in Oregon and California will be the same as it always has. Surely the Right can’t ignore the voices of the Left. Surely the entire country hasn’t lost its mind. Surely things can’t get worse.
And then the other news started pouring in. The Republicans have gained even more of a majority in Congress. Oregon changed its constitution to say that gay marriages are now banned. Soon, Bush will have to appoint a new Supreme Court Justice, which means one more conservative judge on the bench for probably the next 20 years. Texas is rewriting its textbooks to say that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. In their science books they are inserting Creationism. We are on the eve of World War III.
At the end of Amistad, the Africans are returned to their homes, only to find their families gone and their country in the middle of a civil war. They got to go back to Africa, but they were never able to go home again. And I worry that this is my fate. That next month, I will return to an America that I do not know. No longer the home of the free, but the home of the afraid. The most backward first-world country on Earth.
What will the history books say?