This morning our local paper ? \The Contra Costa Times\ ? featured a Knight-Ridder story about Kerry’s denunciation of Bush as living “in a fantasy world of spin.” I was glad to see a glimmer of truth in print, but by the time I’d read past the lead, a sinking feeling replaced my pleasure.
“For the second day in a row,” the paper said, “Kerry spoke to a polite but hardly enthusiastic audience. The president, during his appearance, was interrupted 32 times by applause, Kerry 11 times.”
Without precisely saying so, the major media have already declared Kerry the loser, so that each and every story about him spins on that axis. The creepy thing is, I feel acceptance of defeat setting in. Yesterday I found myself saying “maybe it will take four more years to fully mobilize opposition to the corporate apocalypse of Bush,” then shuddering to imagine what this damaged person could do with that time. Yet when I think about it, the only evidence I have for this anticipatory disappointment is what I read in the daily papers.
We are being conditioned to accept as reality that given freedom of choice, the electorate will go for small-minded belligerance and know-nothingism every time. I consider myself a highly critical consumer of official spin, yet almost without knowing it, I found myself ready to lie down and declare even this slim hope dead.
I’ve spent the last few days in preparations, services, and celebrations for Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish new year. Everywhere I went, among their hopes for the coming year people called out “regime change.” Most of the polls now have the candidates tied. What if it turns out that people resent being told how to think, and begin to act as if the vote really did belong to each of us? Wouldn’t that be a wonderful surprise?