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Reclaiming Our Voices
Thursday, November 4, 2004
Our Next Step . . .
Mood:  bright
Now Playing: "I will not go quietly" Don Henley
Topic: We accomplished a lot!

"I will not go quietly" Don Henley

No Surrender comment by Paul Krugman, NY Times, 11/5/2004

Will we ever know the truth . . .
Go to Kerry Won! Greg Palast and Thom Hartman offer their theories, not necessarily conspiratorial, for the election result.

Our Next Step . . .

WE LOST! (or did we?) It is still sinking in for me, but I am determined not to let this get me down. I encourage you to do the same.

We can participate in a call for healing, through mutual understanding and respectful dialogue. But in a true democracy, a call for unity does not mean surrendering to another's point of view. Last spring, President Clinton said that democracy is not just majority rule, but also respecting the rights of a minority.

Robert Kennedy once said "Don't get mad, get even." I choose to interpret this quote, not as a call for revenge, but rather, a call to win, to succeed over our opponents.

We face a very committed set of believers, who have signed on with a President, who represents wealth & power in the hands of the few. Perhaps, they are blinded in faith, from seeing any hyprocracy in their chosen leader. Is this more of a cult phenomena? It is not for me to say.

Clinton says not to judge them, but rather to challenge their policies & positions, and show how ours work better, are more fair, are more reasonable, and are more compassionate. If we win that debate among the more tolerant, we can pull together our own coalition.

Before 2006, we must develop a grassroots network that exceeds the organization and numbers of voters of the grassroots network, that ultimately gave George W. Bush a second term.

We cannot afford further erosion in Congress. Their next goal will be to have a super majority, IE over 60 Republicans in the Senate, so they can end a filibuster.

They used many state amendment initiatives, banning gay marriage (and sometimes, civil unions), to mobilize their morally intolerant base in their favor. This played upon fear and misunderstanding, and did not unify us.

First, we need to develop an even more effective grassroots network of moderate to progressive citizens, in order to beat them. Part of the reason the race was as close as it was, for a war time incumbent, is due to the massive efforts to get out the vote for change. If we prevented a "landslide" perception, we accomplished a lot! We just have to get the media to responsibly report the result, and ask them not to call it a mandate.

Don't get discouraged, and don't give up. I was a McGovern supporter, and we survived the 1972 blow out by Nixon, only to see him resign in shame, 2 and a half years later. This year's result was not a landslide or a mandate, it was, by traditional terms, a close race. True, it has been a while since anyone got more than 50%, but 51% makes for a close race, in what amounted to, a 2 way race.

Also, voting irregularities, especially with the touch screen machines, missing absentee ballots, and other irregularities, cast some doubt on the final tally. We may never know the true outcome of the 2004 election.

We do have to keep holding this Administration & this Congress accountable for what they do, and what they fail to do.

Second, we have to find a way of getting our points expressed in the media.

Third, we have to demand reliability, fairness and accuracy in our voting process. It is fundamental to democracy that we can completely trust how are votes are recorded and counted. WE ALL DESERVE A SUSPICION FREE ZONE AT ALL OUR POLLING PLACES. This would include a paper trail for touch screen voters, and independent bipartisan oversight of the voting process, including recording and counting votes.

I will continue my blog for now, and make weekly to monthly entries, plus I will send out alerts about important issues, like writing our US Senators to ask them to vote against any radical judicial nominees. We may experience this soon.

Now, a message from Howard Dean (taken from the website "Democracy for America").

What You Won't Hear on TV Today

Governor Howard Dean sent this message to Democracy for America supporters today, Nov 2, 2004.

Montana, one of the reddest states, has a new Democratic governor. (Bill's note, they also passed medical use of cannabis.)

First-time candidates for state legislatures from Hawaii to Connecticut beat incumbent Republicans.

And a record number of us voted to change course--more Americans voted against George Bush than any sitting president in history.

Today is not an ending.

Regardless of the outcome yesterday, we have begun to revive our democracy. While we did not get the result we wanted in the presidential race, we laid the groundwork for a new generation of Democratic leaders.

Democracy for America trained thousands of organizers and brought new leadership into the political process. And down the ballot, in state after state, we elected Dean Dozen candidates who will be the rising stars of the Democratic Party in years ahead.

Tens of millions of us are disappointed today because we put so much of ourselves into this election. We donated money, we talked to friends, we knocked on doors. We invested ourselves in the political process.

That process does not end today. These are not short-term investments. We will only create lasting change if that sense of obligation and responsibility becomes a permanent part of our lives.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

We will not be silent.

Thank you for everything you did for our cause in this election. But we are not stopping here.

Governor Howard Dean, M.D.

Posted by pencandle at 12:36 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, November 6, 2004 12:17 PM EST

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