Monday, November 03, 2008

On Civilization

I really ought to post something on the eve of this historic election.

     It's no surprise to me that speculation is rife about possible excitement once the results (or lack thereof -- one of my coworkers is sure this will be another Presidential race decided by a courtroom fight) are announced.  A lot of folks are expecting that post-sports-championship reaction on a grand scale.

     Could be and it's a pity if so.  Civilizations generally fall slowly but civility and civil order seem to start eroding first.  It doesn't take a very big slice of the population to decide it's a good night to fight or torch cars to make a real big mess for the grown-ups to have to sort out.

     I remain convinced that a hard core of good sense yet lingers.  We've got a pretty good thing here with this whole United States thing -- let's not be in too big a hurry to tear it up.  While a few witlings are undoubtedly primed to throw a fit no matter what the outcome I think there are more good and decent folk than there are barbarians.  Could be we'll have to step up.  Probably worth pondering.

     And if you haven't voted?  Better get out there and do so.  Better to be a hanging chad than to do nothing, dare nothing and hang in the shadows.


Jenny said...

Aren't they all historic? :)

I dunno.. I tend to think the chances of anything more serious than some localized tussles are slim, no matter how it goes.. more likely and worse if it goes against Sen Obama, of course.

That said.. I'd still be somewhat surprised if we don't see the "reset button" punched for serious sometime in the next few generations - more likely within the next few decades at this rate. Who pushes it and what comes up on the new startup screen when it's all said and done though is anyone's guess.

Like you've said though, we've had bitter elections before. I don't think we're seeing another election of 1860 yet. But I think we will.

phlegmfatale said...

I do know this election cycle has been exhausting. I'll be glad when it's over.

Turk Turon said...

Been standing in line since 5:30 AM with my thermos of coffee. I'm number 30 in line. Holy SHIT! The line behind me stretches around the block and back into the darkness. The line has at least tripled in size since I joined it.

Turk Turon said...

The polls opened at 6:00 AM and I had voted by 6:07.The line of voters appeared to be about 150 long.

What a weird state! In Virgina you can legally bring a concealed handgun into the state capitol (with license). But my freakin' congresscritter is like Schumer or Feinstein.

Roberta X said...

Turk, I think Virginia Virginia is in that odd twilight land between the United States and Washington, DC; I'll mangle the line (Kipling?) but "...the gap between/the Queen's presence and The Queen." Between the putative ruling class and that over which they believe themselves to rule.

Jenny, point taken, every day is history once the sun's set on it. As for the "reset button," on a grand scale, I think what will come up after it is pressed will be less free, less prosperous and overall less than what went before. There may well be pockets of of (internal) peace and prosperity but we're likely to see great big swathes where it's much too easy to be too dark, too light, too individualistic and/or not ready enough to shoot first and ask later. So I'm hoping to avoid it. A nice slow gradual slide in the manner of Rome seems more likely to me; we've now got barbarians on the frontiers, big strong centralized government with an increasing emphasis on a single powerful leader chosen, usually, from a body of hereditary elites and a restive underclass whose votes can be bought with bread and circuses: we are already Rome and now await a Caesar. Terribly big sandals to fill and it is perhaps reassuring to look around and see the lack of anyone among the ruling class who could. As long as our office-holders are clods and younger sons, we are relatively safe in that direction.

Drang said...

Some seem convinced that there will be rioting no matter the result: The Obamunist loses, massive unhappiness, The Obamunist wins, massive joy, rioting, arson, and looting either way.
As I note on my blog today, I saw a homemade banner for he revolutionary Communist party, USA, on my way home from taking Mrs. Drang to work this AM. Puts it all in perspective...


CCW said...

Not that voting is very daring, or even doing something. But I appreciate the rest of your post.

I think you're right that civility is the first thing to go, and we're witnessing it now. Can you imagine people defacing Reagan or Carter signs in 1980? It would've been shocking. Now it doesn't even make the news unless you actually shock a kid for it.