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Discussion in 'Elections' started by marylandred, Nov 6, 2004.
i cant wait till the arabic one is out.
As far as democrats are concerned, it's more accurate to say
"We F ourselves" and "We hate being outsmart"
I think those against the Bush agenda need some injections of possibility back into their lives. Have some interesting opinion to munch on:
It’s Wednesday morning...As I lay in bed, I remember something a friend said last night: “It’s not our country anymore."
As I struggle to get through the day, dragging around the weight beginning to settle on my heart, her words stay with me....It hurts! All this ink spilt on the sell-out Democratic Party, the incompetent media, and the future of a divided nation and not a word about the emotional reality of loss...
...This wasn't just another conservative victory. Lord knows, progressives have had plenty of practice losing elections in recent decades. And it isn't about partisanship. I'm not shedding any tears over Tom Daschle.
No, it's not about losing an election, but the fear of losing faith. Liberals have always believed that if we did everything right – got the truth out; got the people out – we would prevail. In the past, I could tell myself it was the wrong candidate, wrong strategy, wrong party – some reason why people didn't show up at the polls or vote for the "right" guy. Not any more.
On Tuesday, the largest turnout in recent history couldn't save us from defeat. Democracy won and so did George Bush...
...This is now their White House, their Senate, their House of Representatives, and very likely their Supreme Court. It's their country.
Or at least that's the message I get from all the talk of "unity" and "healing" in the media. Now that the Democrats lost the political equivalent of the Super Bowl, I just need to shut up and put up. Anything less would just be typical liberal whining and bitterness. That I am afraid of what will happen to my country in the next four years is dismissed as just sore loser behavior. That I care about what will happen to my right to choose as a woman; the healthcare I can afford; the air I breathe; the soldiers I've spoken to – all this is just partisan obstinacy?
James Carville says that if liberals like me want to win, we need to learn how to talk to white guys in pickup trucks who think my gay friends are a sin against nature. But what could I possibly say to someone for whom a ban on abortion is the single most important issue in their life? There's no point in trying to "speak my values," if the folks I'm talking to think those values are simply wrong.
John Edwards was right in a way. There are two Americas: one that values tolerance, justice, and equality; the other that believes in Divine Will. But now that the Democrats lost the election – and control over every branch of government – I get to live in their America. And Carville wants me to talk to these guys? Or is he really saying that I need to be more like them? After all, it's not like I have any values that might be worth holding on to. Why not just put my silly liberal preoccupations with choice or sexual freedom aside so we can all come together as one nation – one nation under God, Guns, and (hating) Gays...
...The end of World War II left two superpowers with their respective spheres of influence and control, vying for military and political power. Yet they were unable to control events, even in those parts of the world considered to be their respective spheres of influence. The failure of the Soviet Union to have its way in Afghanistan, its decision to withdraw after almost a decade of ugly intervention, was the most striking evidence that even the possession of thermonuclear weapons does not guarantee domination over a determined population. The United States has faced the same reality. It waged a full-scale war in lndochina, conducting the most brutal bombardment of a tiny peninsula in world history, and yet was forced to withdraw. In the headlines every day we see other instances of the failure of the presumably powerful over the presumably powerless, as in Brazil, where a grassroots movement of workers and the poor elected a new president pledged to fight destructive corporate power.
Looking at this catalogue of huge surprises, it's clear that the struggle for justice should never be abandoned because of the apparent overwhelming power of those who have the guns and the money and who seem invincible in their determination to hold on to it. That apparent power has, again and again, proved vulnerable to human qualities less measurable than bombs and dollars...
...Revolutionary change does not come as one cataclysmic moment (beware of such moments!) but as an endless succession of surprises, moving zigzag toward a more decent society. We don't have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world. Even when we don't "win," there is fun and fulfillment in the fact that we have been involved, with other good people, in something worthwhile. We need hope.
An optimist isn't necessarily a blithe, slightly sappy whistler in the dark of our time. To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places--and there are so many--where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.
Chicken Noodle Soup for the Liberal Soul
'Don't Mourn, Organize'
by Meteor Blades
Wed Nov 3rd, 2004 at 10:10:13 GMT
...Why were we in this fight in the first place? Because terrible leaders are doing terrible things to our country and calling this wonderful. Because radical reactionaries are trying to impose their imperialist schemes on whoever they wish and calling this just. Because amoral oligarchs are determined to enhance their slice of the economic pie and calling this the natural order. Because flag-wrapped ideologues want to chop up civil liberties and call this security. Because myopians are in charge of America’s future.
We lost on 11/2. Came in second place in a crucial battle whose damage may still be felt decades from now. The despicable record of our foes makes our defeat good reason for disappointment and fear. Even without a mandate over the past four years, they have behaved ruthlessly at home and abroad, failing to listen to objections even from members of their own party. With the mandate of a 3.6-million vote margin, one can only imagine how far their arrogance will take them in their efforts to dismantle 70 years of social legislation and 50+ years of diplomacy.
Still, Tuesday was only one round in the struggle. It’s only the end if we let it be...
...Not a few people have spoken in the past few hours about an Americanist authoritarianism emerging out of the country’s current leadership. I think that’s not far-fetched. Fighting this requires that we stick together, not bashing each other, not fleeing or hiding or yielding to the temptation of behaving as if “what’s the use?”
It’s tough on the psyche to be beaten.Throughout our country’s history, abolitionists, suffragists, union organizers, anti-racists, antiwarriors, civil libertarians, feminists and gay rights activists have challenged the majority of Americans to take off their blinders. Each succeeded one way or another, but not overnight, and certainly not without serious setbacks.
After a decent interval of licking our wounds and pondering what might have been and where we went wrong, we need to spit out our despair and return – united - to battling those who have for the moment outmaneuvered us. Otherwise, we might just as well lie down in the street and let them flatten us with their schemes.[/i]
A more accurate map of votes cast and authentic sentiment should end talk of a mandate.
Here's the idea extended county by county...
And finally, and most poignantly, Mike Albert:
...Our population does have a mental failing of great proportion. It is greater even than its ignorance, which on many counts is profound. It is greater even than its racism, which is often very substantial. And it is greater even than its homophobia and sexism, which are still substantial as well.
This mental malady is that our population believes nothing better than the corporate system we now endure is possible and believes as well that the system we now endure makes most efforts at major reform largely fruitless by either cutting them off before victory or rapidly rolling back any gains they attain shortly after temporarily granting them.
This malady is not so dumb, it turns out. It has causes. To overcome this malady, which is often inaccurately called apathy, requires movements that convey informed hope by communicating how society could be different and how we could attain the changes and why they would then persist. The vision problem is therefore central. To convince significant sectors of the non-voting public to become politically involved, or of the voting public to change their views, will require dealing with it.
I was recently in Greece in part to give talks about the upcoming U.S. election. I had conveyed that there was a good chance Bush would win the election. Talking with a long time Greek activist I was told that things were quite hopeless. Populations were apathetic and it was part of the way people just are. They don't give a damn. Me first, and that's the end of it. Despair was in the air. I tried to argue by one route and then by another, but he kept returning to the U.S. How can there be serious progress when your population in such large numbers sits idly by and watches horrendous calamities unfold against others, meanwhile pursuing silly tiny personal gains, if even that? People, this activist felt, will get what they deserve, and it won't be pretty.
For those still mulling over the current mindset of the U.S. population, fearing that they are uncaring or worse that they are overtly callous, try this thought experiment which I offered others while in Greece.
Imagine that tomorrow God told us all that the just completed presidential election was null and void. A new one is to be held. Bush is running against someone new - let's say Zeke. Zeke puts forth an uncompromising program including everything a good leftist would want - universal health care, no nukes, drastic moves toward ecological sustainability, not only withdrawal from Iraq but dismantling the empire and implementing international legality, replacing the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO with real internationalism, implementing real affirmative action for gender, race, and class, redistributing wealth downward plus establishing truly just wages, vastly improved conditions and participation, and so on and so forth.
And God says, here is the thing. The election campaign is going to go on for six months. There will be universal discussion and debate of all the issues and facts throughout society - in workplaces, schools, neighborhoods, and so on, and I will make sure that everyone understands the true choices at stake. Information will be fully presented, with me, God, verifying truth in advertising at every stage. The election will then be held. And then I, God, will guarantee that the winner will get to successfully implement his or her program in the following four years, until the next election, to be conducted like this one.
How many people would vote in that case? 95%? 100%? 105%
And what would be the result?
It you think Bush would win, okay, you should worry about the underlying psychology and morality of the American people, or, in fact, of all people generally.
But if you think Bush would lose, Bush would suffers ignominious defeat, Bush would be obliterated in a hailstorm of insight and joy over the implementation of truly progressive policies, then you have to develop vision, develop strategy, develop clarity about reality, and fight on, because the obstacle to people participating that we must overcome is not that people don't care and not that people are callous, or congenitally apathetic, but mostly that people (quite reasonably) doubt the efficacy of participation...
IOW, remember that legend has it that Hope came out of Pandora's Box; she let loose all the evils of the world, and shut it just in time to retain Hope.
But if Hope was in the Box, hope can be evil.
That is, sitting around hoping things will get better will not solve the problem; acting will. Sitting around hoping, and not acting, allows evil to flourish in those things you could have affected, and what you affect through action may go farther through time and space than you will EVER know.
The same commitment to daily active citizenship, the same demand for actionable information from the media, the same lifestyle choice that places active citizenship above all other pursuits that would have been useful in this election and all elections.
Fix one problem, you've fixed the other.
Power, peace and perception to the people.
No one reads that stuff. But if it is cathartic for you, keep on keepin' on.
No, I'm good, but you're right. I'm done.
You're right, though, Mel - fighting back is the only thing to do. Because if we think we're f****d now, wait 4 more years.
I read the county maps, because it had pretty pictures.
And because I think it says more about the country. Both sides can point to positive things about it. The Hannityites can claim HUGE tracts of land, the Democrats can see where they can realistically make inroads. Without having to take advice from gay-bashers and snake-handlers.
(Obligatory insincere "Not ALL Republicans are bigots" disclaimer here)
(Obligatory "I'm kidding, I really do know not all Republicans are bigots - hell, Dubya has three black Cabinet members" disclaimer here)
(Obligatory "Although all Republicans really are bigots, you do know that, don't you?" disclaimer)
Spare us your pity! We have none for you! Kennedy, Dean, and hundreds others in your camp spent two years hurling unfound accusations toward the GOP; the last six months your liberal machine spat out lie after lie... the American people weren't interested!
Better to admit your mistakes, fall in with the rank and file, and support our President and the national agenda! Be patriotic and forget for a minute about the liberal propaganda you seem to swim in... we need to come together as a nation and work toward a more moral and religious nation... don't stand in the way! Come join the big tent of patriotic America and those millions that reaffirmed our trust for our great leader: George W. Bush!
Save the sore grapes for 2008!
Mel, you have to admit that the above is very disingenous. The problem with the liberal ideas is not that people dissagree with their good intentions. Of course the majority of people want world peace and prosperity for all. If God would garantee that it would happen, yes, I am for it.
Let me give you some examples:, if God garanteed that removing US troops from Iraq would result in bliss for Iraqis and the end of terrorist activities I would be for it. If God garanteed that raising the minimum wage would result in more jobs and more wealth for all Americans I would be for it. If God garanteed that signing up for the Kioto agreement would result in a clean envirnoment I would be for it. But God does not garantee it and I don't think that is what will happen.
I happen to believe that the way the liberals think and many of the ideas they propose will take us down the wrong road, and will result in less peace and less prosperity for our world. The way I see it, (absent the garantee from God), candidate Zeke's ideas will result in failure and will endanger our country.That is why I do not support many of those ideas and that is why I am unlikely to support with my votes any candidate who does.
I voted for Kerry, but if it were Bush v Zeke, Bush would have my vote.
"No nukes...real affirmative action..." - come on Mel. This is the 21st century. Explain to me why anyone would support "affirmative action" ?
well I guess they'd have to be cause they get shoved up your ass so often along with the little gerbils.
Mel - Sometimes I agree with you, sometimes you just trigger the ADD in me.
chocolate - any particular reason why Jamie Farr is your avatar.
If you were within striking range I'd puke all over you.
That upset over Kerry's loss? Gee wait till Hillary looses in 2008! That'll fix ya!
Excellent thread, Mel. Great work and even better maps.
I'm typing with a hairline fracture and a bone chip in my right thumb, so excuse any typos, cause I ain't going back to fix em.
Imagine that you and I are competing for the same job, BS moderator.
Let's say the both have generally the same relevant experience. Let's say we both go to the first interview, do well, and neither of us shoots ourselves in the foot. Let's say we both make it to the second, group interview, and Huss loves us both. We both submit blins salary requirements, and we are both asking for similar numbers.
But there's only one job. How do you choose? Affirmative action comes into play here, for me, and remains relevant, thus, in the 21st century.
If everyone working at BS, or, more specifically, every BS moderator, springs from the same background and ethnicity and gender and/or combinations thereof as I do, maybe adding you to the team creatres a richer background, a more diverse moderator team that, one hopes in a progressive society, can more effectively engage its diverse userbase.
Only those who ave not hired lots of people think that this scenario is fiction and does not come up. It comes up all the time. All the time. When I was co-op-ing at Drexel for Fox, Rothschild O'Brien and Frankel, in Attorney Recruitment, they werethe third largest firm in Philly; I went through 7500 resumes in a month; that resume weeding out process, along with the intensive interview process, left us with 35 candidates who were essentially the same for 4 slots. How do you choose? Fox Rothschild, in fact, did not seem to choose an affirmative action approach totheir resultant efforts at choosing folks, and I think it hurt them in the longer run, particularly in litigation, in Philadelphia, where high-profile cases with minority clients, be they individuals or businesses, would wonder where the non-white-male attorneys were; I actually heard this criticism levied at them on a conference call.
My own experience as the GM of WWF New York also bear this out; with a staff of 300, going through rigourous application review and interview processes STILL left one with fairly similarly qualified candidates for limited slots. How do you choose? I chose to have a diverse team alone race and gender lines, and I think that we were better for it, until I left for CONCACAF and the VP committed felony larceny...
In addition, you seem to want to engage the "no nukes" thing. Why, specifically, do Sweden and Japan not need nuclear weapons and we do? What, exactly, are we doing in the world that we are right now currently actively threatened by or must deter nucelar attack such that we need to retain a world-ending arsenal (in the command of BUsh, btw)?
It seems we all watched the day after, or threads and decided to just get over it, but these remain legit questions, IMO
We may not like it, and the rest of the world may not like it, but the circumstances of history placed a burden on America, (not Sweden or Japan) and at least in this century the future of humankind is in our hands. We have the most powerful weapons, and we can thus influence events more than any other country. Those are the cards that this generation of Americans were dealt. They must be wise in how they play them.
America must remain strong, in order to avert the possibility of a dangerous power (such as fascism in the last century) to emerge and become uncontrollable. America must remain true to its values, (freedom, opportunity, democracy and so on) so that it does not use such power to threaten freedom, but only as a deterrent against those who would threaten freedom.