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        The End of Dark Ages. Eat it, Victor Topaller!

        November 9th, 2008 by Alexei Zoubov

        I intended to post something right after the election day, but got too busy, dealing, in part, with my emotions.

        Yes, I did get very emotional about the election and even shed some tears – and I’m not ashamed of it.

        The last eight years I felt like living in a strange unreal world, some kind of nightmare that I should wake up from and suddenly see the world that makes some sense again.

        In a way sometimes it created flashbacks back to some features of our life in Soviet Union. A profoundly illogical, ideologically driven half-wit (sorry, quarter-wit) leader – just like in the USSR. The gang in power, creating policies based on the desire to dominate the world and force their ideals on whoever they could – almost a clone of Soviet situation and policies. The application of an economic theory, based on the completely outdated and idealistic principles – again the same picture, just replace Karl Marx with Adam Smith.

        I’m not attempting to present any analysis, there are already many articles and books on the subject. I just want to explain, may be to myself, why I’m so happy it’s over. And why I happily voted for Obama, although I don’t completely agree with some of his positions.

        It in part has to do with the fact, that McCain’s (mostly of his team, I have to say) style of arguing about his opponent’s abilities and character were reminiscent, at least for me, of the ways the Soviet system was dealing with so called “enemies of Soviet State”. Anti-American in one case, anti-Soviet in other. Same crap, same stink.

        I was the kind of “optimist” that says “It couldn’t get worse” – and I was right. Hopefully I’d be able to live the rest of my life without the likes of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfovitz and others like them in power. May be I’m too positive (time for some Negative Thinking?)

        One of the most upsetting revelations that I started getting  in the last years of Clinton presidency was the far-right, ultra-conservative, pro Bush/Cheney ideological orientation of the majority of my fellow Russian immigrants. Many well educated, intelligent people not excluded. See my post: Jazz Musicians, Russian Immigrants

        It is well known that some kinds of Ideology, just like religious beliefs, exist in partial or even complete isolation from real reasoning processes in the brain. Holding beliefs that contradict reason is one of the manifestations of cognitive dissonance, that always seeks some kind of resolution. Way too often instead of adjusting or changing beliefs in accordance with the facts and reasoning based on them, people actively search for the facts supporting their beliefs (often inventing these facts), and suppress the perception of facts that contradict them.

        After enduring years of Soviet ideology, perceived   as far-left, constantly pushed on them, most Russian immigrants automatically accepted far-right ideology as a panacea. Everything a little bit to the left of far right seemed like socialist influence. For me it looks similar to Soviet authorities perceiving jazz as capitalist and the enemy of Soviet society.

        When I just came to the States, I wasn’t interested in politics at all, busy with my music and just plain survival. I was very slow to get friends and contacts in Russian community and didn’t discuss politics with those I became close to.

        First big surprise for me came during 2000 election. My first impression of Bush (that later proved to be correct) was of a person of very limited intelligence with an overblown feeling of self-importance and God-given purpose of saving.. whatever. I saw “DANGER” posted over his head as a halo. I was absolutely shocked when decent, respected by me Russians one after another started expressing their admiration and intention to vote for him!

        He won and they still liked him, although he very soon became the laughing stock of many in the States and all over the world. Then came 9/11 and his glaring shortcomings were not of the major importance for a while… until he started planning the Iraq war. Once more there was a divide between a small group of my friends being against this war and the overwhelming majority of Russians for it.

        Things became really ugly – all those opposing the war were pronounced anti-American, unpatriotic and even enemies of the State (just like those in the USSR that opposed the invasion of Hungary in the 50s).

        All the Bush screw-ups didn’t change much in the minds of Russian community republicans. At least they almost stopped calling everybody that didn’t agree with them traitors.

        The last election woke up the snakes and the hyenas. I didn’t pay much attention to them until I started getting mass mailings from some Russians. The ratio of facts to name calling, vicious attacks, plain lies, vague hints of the desire of the opponent to destroy America was close to zero. Obama was, of course, the main target of this vile logorrhea.

        One of the first preachers of hate and fear was already discussed on this blog Leon Weinstein. His “essays” were sent to me so many times, that I just couldn’t take it any more. I tried to respond to some of those who sent me his stuff and got (what else) the advice to go back to the country of my origin! Which is Russia, by the way, and isn’t the same country I came from anymore.

        And then came Victor Topaller! Weinstein is just an apprentice, compared to this pillar of pseudo-Americanism and anti-almost-everything. In his sick mind Teddy Roosevelt was the first socialist, FDR caused the Great Depression, anybody that has an opinion even slightly deviating from his is either a terrorist, communist or an idiot. And the most amazing thing – he is extremely popular among Russians!

        Time to celebrate and be happy - and may be even shed some happy tears - reason and compassion finally overcame fear and hate.

        There is no way to deny that we’ve witnessed (and some helped) one of the most important elections in USA history, marking the end of Dark Ages!

        Finally, ¬†I can’t really avoid feeling enormous joy thinking about the feelings Obama’s victory aroused in Leon, Victor and other fake patriots.

        Eat it, Leon Weinstein! Eat it Victor Topaller! Be careful not to choke on your hate!

        Posted in Ideas & Ideologies, Leon Weinstein, Thoughts