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I voted for Bush in ’04 and laughed like a maniac at all my friends who voted for John Kerry. My friends were heartbroken and shocked at Kerry’s loss. I was neither. I was glad that Kerry lost. If the Dems weren’t going to put their best horse in the race (Hillary Clinton), they deserved to get beat like a gong.

The truth was, I hadn’t voted for Bush because I’d felt disenfranchised by the Democratic Party. I’ve always been a registered Independent. I hadn’t even voted for Bush because I thought that he’d make a better or even a good President. I thought, in fact, that he’d do just the opposite.

Ultimately, I believe in Israel’s right to exist. I believe that the land being called “Israel” is the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people and that they have a right to not only claim that land, but to possess it. No amount of time that passes or treachery committed against the Jewish people diminishes that right. And it is because of this belief of mine that I would consider it very hypocritical to recognize this right for Jews but to ignore it for the natives of this land: The Native Americans.

By ’04, I’d already accepted the unavoidable downfall of America. “You can’t establish a country based on theft of land and enslavement of innocents and expect it to survive and flourish forever,” I liked to argue. Not if you believed in God, karma, divine justice, “what-goes-around-comes-around”, “what-goes-up-must-come-down” or the inevitability of change. This was to be my mindset for the next four years.

Then in 2008, something funny happened. A family illness forced me to split my time between New York and Virginia and it was during all this shuttling back and forth that I was struck again and anew by the awesome physical beauty of this land. The bridge before the exit for Havre de Grace in Maryland or northern Virginia’s amazing blend of the suburban and the rural – shit, even the Jersey Turnpike, when looked at with a clear mind and no agenda, can bring peace to whatever troubled you just moments before.

Then this year’s Olympics came and I found myself rooting way harder than I ever had for America across the board. I cheered for the men’s and women’s basketball teams, the men’s and women’s volleyball teams, May and Walsh, Dalhausser and Rogers; for Shawn Johnson for platform and synchronized diving and for each of the 7 medals that Michael Phelps won outright and even for the one that the Olympic committee decided to award him anyway.

And of course, no discussion of the year 2008 would be complete without at least a mention of the meteoric rise of Illinois Senator Barack Obama. This man seemed so surefire and his election as president of the United States so logical, that for a moment, I almost forgot that this is America we’re talking about. This is a country where they sell beer by showing us pretty girls. Now, the Republicans are selling us a presidential ticket by using the same strategy.

Senator Obama now faces two-pronged opposition of almost cartoon villain proportions. One is a man that has gone on record as saying that staying in Iraq for another 100 years would be “fine with me.” The other is a woman that opposes Roe vs. Wade. The man, an aging idiot, once outrageously opposed legislation towards making the birthday of a true American patriot, The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a national holiday. The woman became mayor of a debt-free town of less than 10,000 people and left it 22 millions dollars in debt. The man preaches the sanctity of marriage from the pulpit of personal infidelity. The woman professes her readiness to be vice president while having no clue as to the simple meaning of the “Bush Doctrine”.

So where does all this leave me? Well, right now, I’m very much like the man that has long wished his wife dead, and now stands before her as she lies on her deathbed, finally realizing how much and how long he’s loved her. MY GOD, do I love America! It is truly the greatest country on earth and I write that realizing that with every passing second it becomes less so. I write that realizing that despite the Republican ticket’s shocking inadequacies, this country just might elect John McCain and Sarah Palin. And I write that knowing that if we do elect McCain/Palin, it’s an even money bet that John McCain succumbs to the stress of office even before his first term ends.

Make no mistake about it folks, a Sarah Palin presidency will be the death knell for America as we know it. And I know, I know, I should be ecstatic.

And yet….

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