The morning after the election, an acquaintance asked me who I’d voted for. I said Kerry. He was silent but somewhat taken aback. I had registered this person to vote a few weeks earlier, when he asked me how to do it, (I let everyone at work know I would help them if they asked) but of course I didn’t ask at the time who he was voting for. I don’t do that. (btw, he registered too late, so don’t blame me for this election.) He didn’t say anything about my Kerry vote at the time, but it’s clear he thought about it, because about two hours later we had this conversation. I’m being as faithful as I can based on my recollection. Believe it or not:
Him: Well look at it this way, at least you can look forward to four more years of honesty and decency.
Me: Bush isn’t honest. He lied about WMD’s. He lied about the reasons for the tax cuts, and about who gets them. He lied about Saddam being connected to Al Queda and 9/11.
Him: Everybody lies. And it’s not for us to say …
Me: Everybody lies, maybe, but you can’t call that honesty. And Bush’s lies are substantial. They effect us.
Him: It is not for us to say.
Me: No, it is actually. It is. That’s why we vote. That’s why we read.
Him: We don’t know all the facts. There are greater things at work. And there is a plan behind it.
Toward the end his voice got softer and he eyes started to focus on the mid distance. I realized what he was not talking about a Bush plan. The PLAN. And the thing it was not for us to know? Not Bush’s plan. God’s Plan. Facts, news, opinions; they don’t matter.
This friend of mine is a good guy. We get along fine. I never thought much about the small New Testament he keeps by his keyboard. Or the email he sent out to half the staff about the parallels between Iraq, Bush and Revelations that are found in Nostradamus. (Yes, Nostradamus again!) A lot of people have beliefs that can’t be explained or justified in the natural plan. Fine. But listen to Bin Laden’s speeches. And listen to the religious right — right here at home. I can’t escape using this name for it: AMERICAN TALIBAN.