This election has driven me insane. I think the best way to show my level of insanity is to reprint the unsent emails I’d planned on sending to my potentially McCain/Palin supporting conservative, Bushie in-laws. In every case but the last, I kept the emails in my ‘drafts’ box, because I deemed them too incendiary, too undisciplined and, frankly, too ‘id’.

After a while, I realized that whenever I was feeling pent-up, I could write an email, then simply not send it – it was a great relief, and I began writing ‘unsendable’ emails almost nightly. They range from the bratty ‘Why I won’t be talking to you’ to the hopeful ‘Perhaps this latest endorsement will change your mind.’ In almost every case, I either started out upset and became, by degrees, enraged, or started out making a solid point and became, by degrees, enraged.

 

EMAIL #1
McCain
From: zzXXXX@hotmail.com
Sent:
Thu 10/16/08 5:31 AM
To:
bXXXXXt@yahoo.com

S, K,

This debate proved, without a doubt, that McCain is a crazy loon. McCain supports Troops to Teachers – ‘so that people who have served in the military can go to teaching without taking these examinations or certifications to serve in some states.’ McCain could not deny that his healthcare plan would give 5,000K when the typical healthcare plan would cost 12,000K. And he dismissed the ‘health of the mother’ in the case of difficult births or Obama’s ban of partial-birth abortions. McCain stands for ignorance, staying in Iraq for a hundred years (great if you want your kids to die there) and doing little, if anything, about our economic crisis (which his deregulation contributed to).

You can vote for a smart, eloquent man, who is thoughtful and the exact opposite of Bush, or you can vote for a petulant guy who used his dad’s connections (like another Republican) and was such a bad flight student that he crashed planes twice before getting shot down in Vietnam; a guy who left his first wife when she got into an accident and was no longer functional and beautiful – all to marry a rich heiress twenty years his junior. But those are just issues of character. Look at the real issues. Healthcare, the war, education, the economy.

If you’re a conservative, you can simply not vote. Independents are voting for Obama. But if you vote for these people (McCain and Palin), you will live to regret it (as you must, by now, regret your Bush vote(s)).

If you are going to vote for McCain, though, vote proudly for him. Vote for a guy who went against the Martin Luther King holiday. Vote for the guy who believes that Viagra should be covered under healthcare, but not birth control; a guy who doesn’t believe in Head Start. Vote for Palin, whose husband wants to secede from the US, a woman who consults a witch doctor, and who, quite obviously, doesn’t READ. Vote proudly for the campaign who has people at the rally who yell out, about Obama, ‘Kill him!’ and ‘Terrorist’. If you want to associate with those people, go ahead.

But I want to let you know that I don’t associate with those types of people. I won’t let my kids be around people who say to anyone ‘Kill him’. I will not allow my children to be around people who don’t believe in the greatness of Martin Luther King.

I had to swallow a lot of shit for the last eight years with Bush, but I am letting people know where I stand during this election.

Best wishes,
ZZ Packer

 

EMAIL #2
Heckling voters
From: zzXXXX@hotmail.com
Sent:
Wed 10/29/08 7:00 AM
To:
(boXXXX@yahoo.com); bXXXX@yahoo.com

I am desperate for someone to show me that Republicans are sentient human beings and not reactionary non-reading, non-thinking, anti-democratic people who can’t digest more than a few abstract thoughts at a time: please, someone, show me. I am not being facetious – I really mean it.

Every day I make a point to watch something on Fox news to see if I’ll gain some new insight. The only thing I get is an inability to understand how someone can watch such complete distortion and outright lying and actually think they’re watching the news. Perhaps I’m biased because I went to good schools, where facts and objectivity are prized – certainly not on Fox.

All the intellectual conservatives, George F. Will, Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens, David Brooks, etc., are with Obama, or simply deciding to avoid siding with McCain. These are people whom – even before their split with McCain – I admired, though I rarely agreed with them. They are the good, thinking conservatives. None of them can brook a McCain/Palin administration, particularly the smug, idiotic, unlearned, untutored, incurious Palin.

I hate to say this last bit, but since I know it to be true, I feel as though I DO have to say it. I cannot pretend to respect anyone who votes for McCain/Palin. Obviously, I believe everyone should vote with his/her conscience, but that said, I won’t be speaking to people whom I know have voted for McCain. The Bush years were disastrous.

 

EMAIL #3
Why I won’t be talking to you
From: zzXXXX@hotmail.com
Sent:
Sat 11/01/08 5:12 AM
To:
bXXXXX@yahoo.com

S, K,

I’m sorry, but if you’re voting for McCain/Palin, I (unlike a lot of people) won’t pretend to still respect you. I don’t, and won’t respect you. I believe you have the right to vote for whomever you wish to vote for – and I obviously won’t stop you (nor should I). That said, intellectual conservatives have jumped ship on McCain/Palin, precisely because this team is bad for the country. Look, you voted for Bush – twice – and in doing so, essentially fucked up our country.

Had McCain chosen, say Christine Todd Whitman, or even Mitt Romney or even the eerily prescient Ron Paul, I would have been upset, but I would have sighed and gone on with life. The fact that this idiot of a woman passes for ‘vice-presidential’ material – and thus ‘presidential material’ – in anyone’s eyes is frightening. No, not offensive, frightening. If you consider this woman to be a potentially credible president, and would allow your and my children to live in a country under her, you need to get checked out. You either believe in her because you’re like her, or – I don’t know what. Please explain it to me.

I feel sad saying all this – in your heart of hearts, I’m sure you are good people. I know right now you’re thinking that in my heart of hearts, I’m not a good person, because I wrote this email to you, but I assure you: my vote goes towards making sure my sons (and yours) don’t die in a useless struggle in a foreign land in a war with no purpose. My vote goes toward securing economic security after a period of wanton deregulation. I’m sure you think your opinions just as valid as mine, but, quite frankly, they’re not – you’ve been wrong twice in the last two elections – your track record, therefore, is awful. When you are wrong too many times, you lose validity. It’s that simple.

I’m not trying to convert you to Obama – obviously, you aren’t going to change your minds. What I am trying to do is to give you an explanation of why I won’t be talking to you. The reason: I won’t respect you.

I do, however, hope all is well with you,
ZZ

 

EMAIL #4

FW: western pics
From: zz packer (zzXXXX@hotmail.com)
Sent:
Sun 11/02/08 2:43 PM
To:
bXXXXX@yahoo.com

Bcc:
michael bXXXX (bXXXX@yahoo.com)

S,
Glad we talked on the phone. I’m so glad you’re seeking out information other Fox ‘news’. If you are staying informed then you surely know Palin’s charge that Obama is a socialist is preposterous. A major two-party candidate in the United States has as about as much chance of being socialist as he has of being a Nazi. I’m sure you agree that it’s a little preposterous that people actually believe her.

And, I watched carefully to see if Fox news reported how Palin got fooled by someone passing as Sarkozy, saying France is a good example for the US (does she realize one of the major French parties is the French Socialist Party? That they have essentially universal socialized medicine?). She (or her aides) apparently don’t realize that Sarkozy famously doesn’t speak English, and she didn’t seem to understand, even at the end of the call, that Montreal (where the comedians were from) is in CANADA, not France. She said she’s been speaking to ‘someone in France’ even after they told her they were from Montreal… Why would Sarkozy call her BEFORE the election had taken place? And why would she think a head of state would declare he admired ‘Nailin’ Palin’, a ‘documentary’ done about her? She could not even recognize he’d (deliberately, obviously) given the wrong name for the prime minister of Canada – a country which BORDERS Alaska…

THIS is who will take over for McCain in the likely event he passes in the next four years, should he be elected.

McCain was great, eight years ago, and though I was for Gore, if McCain made it over Bush, I would have been infinitely happier and certain we’d be in good hands with McCain. But now McCain is a lackey for Bush/Cheney, and is he’s so changed from the responsible, honorable McCain I once admired, and Palin is simply stupid. If they get into office I will actually leave the country, as I cannot live in a country where the right candidate is so obvious, and yet a swathe of the American populace refuses to vote for someone who looks like my sons; that nauseates me.

But it seems as though that won’t be the case. Let’s hope so. ALL the intellectual conservatives have repudiated McCain and can’t help but vote Obama – George F Will, Peggy Noonan, pro-Iraq war Christopher Hitchens, David Brooks, Colin Powell.

I know you’ll make the right choice; even if you don’t, you’re still beloved family.

Best,
ZZ & Mike

 

Photograph by John Havelund

Polling in New York City
Detective Story