The Zombie Shuffle

Because presidentins such hard work, Bush needs a one-way ticket to Crawford

"We're at war with Belgium? How about that!"

"Lead is a vegetable? Who knew?"

"You've jump-started the Rapture? You go, Little Bonzo!"

There was one question in the final debate where Bush's answer seemed genuinely passionate and direct, when he was explaining how his faith directs him. You could feel the glow radiating from him as he explained, "Prayer and religion sustain me."

This guy is saved, and good for him, though it hasn't proved good for the nation. You get the impression Bush is one of those guys who's afraid that if he ever loosens his rigid grip on his beliefs he might plunge back into his old, dissolute life. Lincoln prayed too, but he also looked at reality, weighed other views and listened to his generals. Bush gives the impression that, for him, facts are merely gnats flitting through the shining light he's receiving from on high.

I think Bush means well. He doesn't sit there gloating, rubbing his hands in glee as he hands our future generations to corporations. But Mr. Bush, he just doesn't think so good. So how could he know that when God talks to him, it's really Karl Rove in his earpiece?

In his America, the Bible mixes with the mythic old west, where the sink-or-swim, groceries-or-medication challenges we're faced with are the proving ground for whether your character is worthy of God's eternal life or not. You don't want government coddling to get in the way of that, do you? If you're broke and struggling, it's because you were meant to struggle. If you're rich and awash in no-bid contracts, it's because righteousness is rewarded.

But for those of us who think government can work for the common good, and with better intentions than Monsanto, Squibb, Enron and Halliburton; for those of us who want that government to stay the hell out of our beds and bookstores; for those of us who think this planet is heaven enough and want to preserve it and our place on it; for those of us who like the French, and the Germans, the Canadians, the Mexicans and most other peoples of the world who opposed Bush's war; for those of us who know that torture, deceit and unprovoked war are not the values Americans have defended for 228 years—we have work to do in these next few days.

We have to do all we can to speak to our sundered friends, relatives and acquaintances about what's at stake here, and what it really means to be an American. The media won't do it. Ad campaigns won't do it. But if each of us who cares deeply about this election can each reach out and change just one vote, that tips the election right there.

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