Election causes tensions

Called Mom and told her I was leaning toward John Kerry. “You’d be a fool,” she said. “I’d be disappointed. Call your Dad; see what he says.”

So I did. “So, um, what would you say if a, um, certain son of yours hypothetically voted for Kerry, um, hypothetically?”

He didn’t hesitate. “Loser,” he said, laughing. “But you’re young.”

Talked to the 16-year-old little brother and told him, too. “I’d think less of you,” he said. Great, and he’s the one person who is supposed to look up to me.

Then I told my twin brother and he said that I was a “low-down, ignorant, slanderous succubus.” Ouch. And we were in the womb together; just imagine what friends would say. Or should I say former friends?

And that’s exactly my point. This election is ripping people apart.

For proof, switch on your radio, turn on your TV, go on the Internet or read a newspaper and you’ll notice something: everybody is really mad.

Liberals at conservatives, Republicans at Democrats, Bush at Kerry, Kerry at Bush, Glenn Beck at Michael Moore, Hannity at Colmes and Bill O’Reilly at everybody.

And it’s all the election’s fault. The race for president is a nationwide instigator, pitting neighbors against neighbors and brothers against sisters. It has turned friends into enemies and replaced sweet with sour.

It has turned America into a boxing ring with both fighters bloodied and stumbling, and each punch just a bit stronger than the last. Thank goodness the final bell rings in less than two weeks.

Not only has the election turned voting Americans against each other — it has affected even the apathetic. The indifferent ones are tired of the ads, the arguing and the lying. The more negative the ads get, the more negative their attitudes get, and they just want it over with already. And who can blame them, because if what these two are saying about one another is true, is either really worthy to lead?

It’s all just pretty sad, and it’s worse than you think.

For example, an illustration on Rush Limbaugh’s Web site shows John Kerry draped in a United Nations flag, implying that Kerry’s loyalty lies with the United Nations and not the United States The site also features a special John Kerry section, describing it as “scores of articles on every issue. Every flip and flop documented.” Just yesterday, Limbaugh said, “Liberals think they are more powerful than God.”

What’s next? John Kerry has had two wives–why can’t the Senator make up his mind?

But Bush gets it worse. According to Yahoo there are over 100 Web sites committed to mocking and/or bashing Bush. Some of the most popular are “President Moron,” “Too Stupid to Be President,” and “George W. Bush or Chimpanzee?”

Speaking of Bush, no president before him was hated as fervently as he is. People really hate this guy. They abhor, despise, loathe and detest the man. They’ve hated him so much for so long, it just has to be exhausting. Think about it, what more could possibly be said at this point? Maybe: “I call on George Bush to explain why he was almost killed by a pretzel. Can he really be as tough as he says he is?”

We are truly a country divided. Half of us are red and the other half is blue. But here is the thing neither side will admit: they need each other and would be even more miserable without each other.

I learned that lesson from the loveable but somewhat evil Eric Cartman, when he poetically stated the mutual benefits enjoyed by both sides in a South Park episode concerning the Iraq war.

“You people who are for the war, you need the protesters. Because they make the country look like it’s made of sane, caring individuals,” he said. “And you people who are antiwar, you need these flag-wavers, because, if our whole country was made up of nothing but soft (expletive) protesters, we’d get taken down in a second.”

Inspired, I called my mom back. “Mom,” I said. “What would you say if I voted for Eric Cartman?”

John Calkins is a junior majoring in mass communications. oraclecalkins@yahoo.com