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It's been almost three weeks and I really didn't want to think any more about the election. Even though some of my friends continued to point out the inaccuracies of the voter tallies in swing states, etc. Even though they're pointing out how Bush's cabinet is forming a line to resign, And even though that Sorry, Everybody website has grown beyond 600 pages of photos, I felt the best thing to do for my own sanity would be to put it completely out of my mind. Sure. There's nothing that can be done, and besides... who cares who the president is anyway?

But there was an angle of all of this that bothered me. Something that I couldn't get out of my mind. Something that was, maybe... just a little bit evil on the homefront side?

I thought back to when George W. Bush came to Ground Zero. The World Trade Center was a smoldering pile of pulverized metal, rock and human remains. A fire chief tossed the Commander-In-Chief a bullhorn and our President spoke into it so everyone could hear what he had to say: he vowed to bring the people responsible for this act to justice. It was a powerful image. Meaningful. It suggested that there was a plan, that the plan would take us closer to being safe and that everyone cared about what happened here.

But maybe that wasn't exactly true.

If you look at the map, it's really obvious to see how the voter breakdown took place. It's not really so much Republican and Democrat. It's Safe Area v. Likely Target.

Obviously, New York is a main target, since the bullseye was already hit. But, other likely targets are the cities on the West Coast. So is Chicago and to a lesser extent Detroit. Boston? Sure. and The people of New England probably, in great part, got to come down and see in person what those two hijacked planes accomplished in Lower Manhattan. Television could not have captured the sight of that site in person. It's still staggering, even after the cleanup is complete, to see the sheer size of the area affected. If you haven't seen the World Trade Center site with your own eyes, either before or after the attack, you really can't get a true perspective on what happened.

But, really, isn't there a bit of resentment by people who don't live in those targeted cities? I have personally met people who tell me that they "HATE New York!" These are American citizens, mind you, not terrorists. New York Magazine even did a cover story a few years back about the people outside of here that don't like New York or New Yorkers, so this is hardly a revelation. So, yes, there are people who not only don't care what happens here, but hope that we would go away, just like homosexuals, abortionists and other equally evil deviants.

I was just wondering how many people actually feel like they're safe from terrorist attack where they are.

And sure, there is a responsibility, a feeling of importance in being one of these targets. Being a target means that you "matter." And, in a sense, there's a certain resentment about that. Why do these places draw attention more than other places? At least in some ways, that's because of the media and what goes on there. There's Big business, Wall Street. It happens here. Eastern Time is often referred to as "New York Time." And no city has had more films and television programs set in its borders. Country Mice are jealous of and annoyed by City Mice.

There have been discussions this past week about the possibility of a nuke going off here. And really, that's far more likely today than during The Cold War. Nukes are smaller, and with suicide bombers, easier to deliver. Most people in town aren't phased, but it's just one more thing to keep in the back of your head as you negotiate the sidewalks. I can't help but think that retribution for these selfish acts is on the way.

The policies of this government have been murder. And We The People of the United States are headed for a very big fall... but, really, when you look at it, it's more than likely that only those of us in the Blue states are gonna that pay the price.

Comments

( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
classyclvr
Nov. 21st, 2004 08:55 pm (UTC)
"I was just wondering how many people actually feel like they're safe from terrorist attack where they are."

that's a really good observation about the "safe" zones of the US and the potential target areas.

as a permanent resident of the DC area, i definitley felt a threat of terrorism.

as a temporary texan, i feel a slight threat, because its bush's home country, and being so close to dallas/ft. worth.
penpusher
Nov. 21st, 2004 09:01 pm (UTC)
I wonder how the voting would have gone, if everyone in the country had experienced 9/11 the way New Yorkers did, the unkept promise of this administration and this war which is sinking us deeper in danger with the Middle east.

But Texas is safe, I'm sure!
serendipity
Nov. 21st, 2004 09:20 pm (UTC)
Maybe, but there's something about the correlation between areas of higher education and voting for Kerry that's intriguing.
penpusher
Nov. 21st, 2004 09:33 pm (UTC)
Yes... I saw this.

I don't know. It's pat to say that people who are less educated voted for Bush. I think it's more complicated (npi) than that.

If you think about human psychology, and you think about people wanting to control their own destinies, which is part of the American Agenda, people tend to want to be considered important. They want where they live to be vital. Such is the case of the red state dwellers. Geo. Bush is their champion because he listens to them. He cares about them. He coddles the south and their values. Kerry "opposed" those values, because that was true to the spirit of the Constitution. But most folks didn't get that. They just heard that he wasn't willing to sponsor a bill to ban abortion or was going to create programs that would cost more taxes.

I don't want to sell the people who voted Bush short. I think they voted for what they wanted. But I'm thinking that if they were at Ground Zero, and had been through this, maybe it would've been a different outcome.
(no subject) - serendipity - Nov. 21st, 2004 09:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - penpusher - Nov. 21st, 2004 10:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tamperevident - Nov. 21st, 2004 10:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - penpusher - Nov. 21st, 2004 10:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - serendipity - Nov. 21st, 2004 10:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - penpusher - Nov. 21st, 2004 11:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - serendipity - Nov. 21st, 2004 11:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
totally off subject - low_delta - Nov. 22nd, 2004 09:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: totally off subject - serendipity - Nov. 22nd, 2004 09:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
tamperevident
Nov. 21st, 2004 09:33 pm (UTC)
you know, i might disagree with your accessment of "safe zones". i think people in the midwest might feel more targeted, and more scared, hence the instinctual reaction to stick to a leader whom they perceive as strong, but who really has the more agressive agenda. i believe agression is a direct result of fear. but why do they feel tagreted? well, thats a whole other different question. i think maybe because whats really threatened here by what happened on 9/11 is most people's familiar way of life. the so-called "american dream" has been stripped away, and those that are the most conservative feel the most affected. Bush's promise is that he will keep America "strong" -- meaning, unchanged. those of us on the coasts might be more in touch with and focused on reality, and with what's going on outside of our own continent, i think.
tamperevident
Nov. 21st, 2004 09:36 pm (UTC)
i.e. for us, on the east coast, things had already changed, irrevocably.
low_delta
Nov. 21st, 2004 10:09 pm (UTC)
With regards too Bush's promise to keep America safe, and how that promise was viewed by the voters...

I think that everyone felt threatened by the September 11th attacks, but I would say that we here in the midwest don't feel that same fear anymore. The threat still makes us a bit nervous, but the fear isn't palpable anymore. So those in the midwest may feel safer than they did three years ago, while those in the target areas may not.
(no subject) - tamperevident - Nov. 21st, 2004 10:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - serendipity - Nov. 21st, 2004 10:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - low_delta - Nov. 22nd, 2004 09:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - penpusher - Nov. 21st, 2004 10:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tamperevident - Nov. 21st, 2004 10:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
low_delta
Nov. 21st, 2004 10:03 pm (UTC)
similar thoughts
This, from a friend who lives in D.C.:
Living in Washington, DC, this was crucial, because if some sort of disaster happens, the consequences in this city will be immediate. (And I'd like to add something here: if you don't live in DC or New York City, and you worry on a daily basis about a terrorist attack: fuck you. Come to DC for a month, and you'll know what it's like to live in a city under siege.
penpusher
Nov. 21st, 2004 10:27 pm (UTC)
Re: similar thoughts
It's really true. NYC has been on and remains at Orange Alert since 9/11/01. That's over three years now.

There is no rest here.
rachbee
Nov. 22nd, 2004 08:29 am (UTC)
I definitely don't feel safe at Disney because they remind us all the time how it would be a really easy target. We even had to go through special training, not to mention all of the extra security precautions.
penpusher
Nov. 23rd, 2004 04:38 am (UTC)
Disney would probably be the top targeted Theme Park, but I don't think theme parks are very high on the list of places for terrorists to attack. They'd much rather go for things that could disrupt commerce and business, which is why New York is still a huge target, or government, which makes DC the other likely point of attack.

But, it's great to be prepared anyhow! I'm sure Disney is more prepared than NYC is, and we've already been attacked! There's not a lot we could do anyhow. Escape routes are very poor. I mean, the West Side Highway? FDR Drive? Bridges and Tunnels. Anyone who tries to get around here during rush hour knows how tough it is... just imagine if panicked people are all trying to flee something. It wouldn't be good.

I'm certain that there's some orderly method at Disney for moving people to safe areas that is in place, and that people are trained to keep everyone calm. You're much safer there, Rach, even if they did attack!
meadmaiden
Nov. 22nd, 2004 11:46 am (UTC)
I'm sorry, but "under siege"? Compare to London in the 80s when the IRA was bombing on a regular basis or Gaza or anywhere where people have really had to deal with terrorismn on a daily basis. The Sept 11 attacks were a horrible tragedy, but relatively isolated events, thankfully. No matter what color "alert" any city is under, it is a perceived threat and not actually "living with terrorism". We Americans really have no idea what that is really like.
penpusher
Nov. 22nd, 2004 12:30 pm (UTC)
Under siege? I didn't say that.

And yes, compared to London during World War II, or Northern Ireland throughout the IRA skirmishes, or practically anywhere in the Middle East, we have been spoiled. But that wasn't my point.

The fact that we are dealing with terrorism at all is the question. For us, this is what living with terrorism is like. And really, I think it's going to get worse because of what we're doing.
(no subject) - meadmaiden - Nov. 22nd, 2004 12:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - low_delta - Nov. 22nd, 2004 09:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - meadmaiden - Nov. 23rd, 2004 09:56 am (UTC) - Expand
bubblesinmyhead
Nov. 23rd, 2004 01:04 pm (UTC)
I posed the same argument too. I was looking at the statistics of people in New York City that voted for Kerry and in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx the statistics were close to 80% in support of Kerry. I said to myself why is is that we the people who experienced one of our nations foremost tragedies are confident enough to change leaders "during wartime", WE'RE THE VICTIMS, but these other states still feel the need to cling to Bush for support.

I don't know what your opinion of Fahrenheit 9/11 (or if you saw it) was but nevertheless one scene in it that struck me was when the government announced that some small town in some random state was suspected of being a terrorist threat. The people of the town couldn't believe it but they feared it nevertheless and when interviewed on where would be the likely target: "Walmart" was unanimous. These people really don't realize how useless that is to a terrorist in terms of economy or any kind of crippling to power of a nation. Some places in the midwest or south really is kind of filler to the rest of the country.

The other thing that strikes me is that these "red states" may voice a hate towards our urban culture yet they love it on television. Just think in terms of American movies and television. How many featured television shows are in your average red state or movies. They all love to watch the Sopranos and Sex and the City but then they criticize our leaders in these states. It's like they only want us to exist on television. If you know what I mean.

Sorry for the rant. Politics does that to people hehe.
penpusher
Nov. 23rd, 2004 01:24 pm (UTC)
Hey, wow! You jump right in! Nice.

I did see Fahrenheit 9/11 and I remember that scene. People definitely have a different view of what they think makes for a good terrorist target.

As for the media... well, that's a double edged thing. Films and TV program producers set their projects in NYC because lots of things happen here, lots of people have visited here, it's a good backdrop for a story and the implication is that people will be interested in it. It's just a great setting. But, yes, people do like New York, but at arm's length...

Unfortunately, people believe the clichés and react accordingly.

This was a great welcome!
(no subject) - bubblesinmyhead - Nov. 23rd, 2004 01:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 33 comments — Leave a comment )

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