I’d like to begin with a confession: I didn’t vote in 2000. It’s the only presidential election since I turned 18 that I’ve sat out, and I’m more than embarrassed about it. It remains one of the biggest mistakes of my political life, and that’s saying something. The fact that my participation wouldn’t have made any difference (I lived in Massachusetts at the time) affords no solace, nor should it. I was stupid. I fucked up. Period.
See, I talked myself into some profound silliness. I wasn’t a Gore fan, for all kinds of reasons, and I was going through one of those periods of intense frustration at how the Democrats and Republicans were more alike than they were different (a dynamic that’s even worse now than it was then, by the way). So I convinced myself that there wasn’t any meaningful difference and parked my butt on the bench. I knew Bush was a joke, but I had no idea just how bad he’d turn out to be. I figured he was an inept bumbler who wasn’t really smart enough to get anything done, and four years of the government getting nothing done would hardly be the worst thing the Republic had endured.
From the vantage we enjoy here in 2008 my decision in 2000 seems blindingly, pathologically moronic. (More…)