November 3, 2004


So, what now?

As a vehicle for change, the electoral process has failed us.

We love our country. We believe it’s going in the wrong direction. But we apparently weren’t able to convince a majority of people that Kerry could do better. At the moment it is not clear to me why that is so. But with record turnouts it is clear that people on both sides wanted their voices heard. It means that there was remarkable interest in the election and it also means that record numbers of people did not want this president re-elected.

So, what now? Get angry, depressed, and swear off politics? Withdraw, move away, abandon what we believe in?

I hope not. I hope we don’t avail ourselves of the opportunity to wallow in a post-election funk for more than a very brief time. Apart from some last minute counting that I am not involved in (I’m not hopeful, but it needs to be done for closure) the election is over. But we go on. And we have to find a way to be effective in its wake. We have to find a way to communicate better.

Or we could give up. But that would just suck. For my part, I’m going to go for a run with my wife in the cold New England air. Today is like yesterday, but without the hope. But so what? We’ll find new hope somewhere else in America.

Posted by James at November 3, 2004 9:12 AM
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My sister Sue said this morning: the best we could put up against Bush was Kerry?

I think the Dems were out-organized. We are up against the GOP who has marching orders. We have got to get it together. Be unified, in message and strategy.

The GOP started on the local level years ago, and they're building up from there. We need to do the same.

A serious reconsideration of the Electoral College needs to happen, and I believe we need to implement ONE method of voting in all states, rather than electronic here, lever there, and punch cards somewhere else.

Posted by: Patti M. at November 3, 2004 9:30 AM

the electoral collage ain't changing any time soon folks. It would take a change in the law to change it and who controls the house, senate and administration? People who want to leave things the way they are.

Communication alone isn't going to do it. Let's face it the reasons that the republicans are in charge is that they (the moral ones) have no problems with being nasty and the democrats (you know the godless heathens) are too nice.

It's time for the dems to get nasty too.

Posted by: B.O.B.(bob) at November 3, 2004 10:06 AM

I'm pretty nasty sometimes. Perhaps I should go to DC and kick some ass.

Posted by: Patti M. at November 3, 2004 10:13 AM

Kerry wasn't the problem. This election was a referendum on President Bush and we have to accept that more than half the country actually thinks he's the right moral choice to be President. I can't relate to it either.

Posted by: Mike at November 3, 2004 10:14 AM

Mike, it's because a huge chunk of the populace is, for the lack of a better word, Activist Christian ("activist" is such a popular word, I thought I'd throw it in).

This is Bush's base. Abortion is wrong, even if dad rapes daugher, etc. No exceptions.

Stem cell research is somehow murder, and thus, is bad.

There's even a movement that says birth control is murder (I am not making this up).

It's all about the God factor. Some people choose to believe what they believe without beating others over the head with their god. That's not who voted for Bush.

Talk about "with me or against me." You either worship my god or you're going to hell, and anything you say or believe is without merit.

Welcome to the new dawn of Bible-thumping America.

Posted by: Patti M. at November 3, 2004 10:25 AM

i'm left feeling like i didn't do enough - if this result is enough to leave me in tears (and it does, because another 4 years of the Shrub horrifies me), then i should have done more to help get someone else elected.

and since 'should have' doesn't amount to much, it becomes 'will do'. i'm going to commit to hands on involvement in local elections, going forward.

Posted by: beth at November 3, 2004 10:25 AM

22% of voters said moral values was the most important thing to them. 79% of those people voted for W. That means 17% of the voters in the country actually think that the alcoholic, murdering, coke fiend, deserter in the white house is the more moral choice! God Bless America! Lord knows no one else will.

By the way when they say morals they actually mean agrees with us. Just in case you didn't catch that. Hasn't got anything to do with actual morals.

Posted by: B.O.B.(bob) at November 3, 2004 10:45 AM

Once again the people who proclaim their Christianity the loudest are the ones who represent the fewest Christian values. People have been hiding behind the badge of morality for so long now that the word has lost much of its meaning. Arrogance is the new moral.

Posted by: Mike at November 3, 2004 10:52 AM

Patti M said:
"Talk about "with me or against me." You either worship my god or you're going to hell, and anything you say or believe is without merit"

Man that sounds like the babble you get out of the muslim terrorists... Is our country becoming just like them? Using god to denigrate all other beliefs?


I'm scared.

Posted by: Jay at November 3, 2004 11:09 AM

BTW... I don't mean to imply that what patti is saying is babble... I mean to imply that the people saying " worship my god or go to hell" are spouting babble.

Posted by: Jay at November 3, 2004 11:11 AM

Question: If Kerry concedes at 1 P.M. today, but the count in OH gives him those 20 electoral votes, does he still win?

What's the procedure here?

Posted by: Patti M. at November 3, 2004 11:13 AM

Jay, where have you been? If you want to find the answer for yourself, attempt to have a discussion with a "Christian" outside a women's clinic sometime. You'll be stunned.

Posted by: Patti M. at November 3, 2004 11:17 AM

I knew it was happening but I think because I choose to surround myself with people who believe as I do that I convinced myself it just wasn't quite that bad. I mean the muslim terrorists are way over the top but based on what I've seen over this election... the christian right is also way over the top... they just aren't using guns.... yet. :(

I don't know where i've been :/ but I think I'd like to move to Ireland :P Even tho they get taxed at nigh 50% and it's starting to get overdeveloped... the beer is real good there...

Seriously, after this whole election process I feel somewhat powerless... I chose to believe that reason and logic would win out over whatever Bush uses to convince people (lies, intimidation, etc). Obviously I was wrong. I hope that we can turn this around before the next election in 2 years. AT the rate things are going, having republicans controlling, the Executive, legistative and (potentially) judicial branches of the government is very bad. There will be no real checks and balances and I wonder how quickly things will degenerate (even further).

Posted by: Jay at November 3, 2004 11:28 AM

I don't know what the procedure is. But I'm mad at Kerry. I know it's not his fault. It's just that I'm so full of mad right now, it's splashing all over the place. I'm mad at my hands. I'm mad at my keyboard. I'm mad at the floor.

Posted by: Julie at November 3, 2004 11:31 AM

Don't despair. Use their methods to beat them.

Start small (your town or city) and support candidates who believe as you do, or throw your name in the hat.

Support them with your time and your money. Democrats have to get over the idea that money is dirty. We have to open up our wallets and financially support the people we want to win.

Do not go gentle into that good night. Be vocal in your town meetings, in your local and state elections, and let your voice be heard. We can't change things simply by wishing.

Buck up. We need to channel our anger, frustration, and sadness into the next elections, regardless of how small they seem.

Posted by: Patti M. at November 3, 2004 11:34 AM

Being vocal in MA isn't going to be very useful, so unless you plan on moiving to a red state or at lest a "swing" state what you suggest is not likely to have any effect. I vote that New England and New York seceed forming a new country. Ca, Or and Wa can also seceed and make their own country. The rest can all go to hell (sorry about that all you stranded blue states but your on your own).

Posted by: B.O.B.(bob) at November 3, 2004 12:18 PM

I second the motion.

Forget a culture war, let's have another civil war. We'll keep all the biotech, high tech, and universities. They can have all the rest.

Good luck getting treatment for your cancer, a new computer system, or a degree in higher learning.

Y'all can have Bob Jones University, we'll keep Cal Tech, MIT, and Harvard.

Posted by: Patti M. at November 3, 2004 12:23 PM

I bet Arnold would like that idea. He could become president of California.

Posted by: Julie at November 3, 2004 12:23 PM

"Being vocal in MA isn't going to be very useful ..."

I have to disagree there. Romney spent a lot of time and money supporting a bunch of Republican challengers but was defeated left and right. And Carl Sciortino, my local candidate for state rep won despite a very virulent write-in campaign by Vincent Ciampa, who had already lost the Democratic primary. It's not a big step, but it is in the right direction, and hopefully it'd lead to better things (like taking back the governor's seat in 2006).

Posted by: Ailsa at November 3, 2004 1:07 PM

Hey... new York isn't the end point for the blue states ya know. NJ, Del, Maryland, hell even DC did their part. AND we in NJ even had the intelligence to vote in a gay governer (so we didnt know then, it still happened)... god, if there is a civil war, i'd hate to be left behind

Posted by: beck at November 3, 2004 1:10 PM

Anybody read "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman? I'd like a fight like that.

Posted by: Patti M. at November 3, 2004 1:16 PM

"Even DC did their part"... actually DC almost always votes overwhelmingly Democrat so no surprise there.

Posted by: Julie at November 3, 2004 1:19 PM

I'm sorry, but I think some despair is in order. Maybe it's time to ackowledge that this isn't our country anymore. It's theirs. The fascists have won. Maybe right thinking people should leave and let the country become the moralistic shit hole it so obviosly wants to become. There are lots of other countries where liberty and freedom are not just words printed on money.

The only problem is that we have nukes. So we are extremely dangerous.

How can we continue to fight for freedoms and rights and the constitution when no one gives a rat's ass about those thinge? The enemy is not outside our borders. It's inside. The more I think about my countries history the more I see that we have always been borderline fascist.

I think this is the end of the American dream. The US is in decline, and I don't think it will stop. We are the world's bargain basement, and we will be sold off soon enough.

USA rest in peace. You will be missed.

Posted by: Rui at November 3, 2004 2:59 PM

Patti says "Start small (your town or city) and support candidates who believe as you do, or throw your name in the hat.

Support them with your time and your money. Democrats have to get over the idea that money is dirty. We have to open up our wallets and financially support the people we want to win."

I'm sorry Patti, but that isn't going to help. See, Massachussettes already knows. It's the middle of the country and the south that are the problems. And those guys don't change for anyone.

Annexation, anyone?

Posted by: Rui at November 3, 2004 3:15 PM

For whatever it's worth, Rui, I agree with you.

It's ironic that while Bush only talks about freedoms and values, other nations actually take those things seriously. The majority of Americans prefer the talk to the walk. The only "choices" that matter to them are Coke vs. Pepsi and Reebok vs. Nike.

They have a choice not to be airheads, but it's a choice they don't seem to feel strongly about (until you try to tell them something they don't want to hear). Their empire is falling and they don't care. I don't feel any responsibility or sympathy for these people.

I feel plenty of responsibility and sympathy for *me*, but I think a better way to avoid getting squashed by the fall of the American empire is to go someplace else. Unfortunately I'm not crazy about any of the places software jobs are getting outsourced to. :-P

Posted by: Julie at November 3, 2004 3:36 PM

I wish we had let the south secede. That would have solved a LOT of problems. :)

I wish I had better answers for how to save America. But from my vantage point, America has been replaced by Amerika, land of the cross, home of the scared. Orwell appears to have been off by a few years, but frighteningly prescient nonetheless.

I realize this thread is supposed to be about fixing the system. I guess I'm still too upset about it to do that.

Posted by: briwei at November 3, 2004 3:42 PM

It's not just the south. Have you seen how red this country is? I always heard "better dead than red," and now I can agree.

The distant sound of thumping bibles is becoming more clear and closer.

I listened to a pastor of a church in Kansas this morning on NPR. He said the galvanizing issue was "traditional marriage" and having an amendment on the ballots of 11 states to outlaw gay marriage got "Christians" to the polls in record numbers.

He talked about members of his church, and those of similar mind, felt that their morals were being discounted; they were pushed to the edge of a cliff, he said, and the options were to jump or to push back.

For his part, Bush uttered yesterday the tride and true phrase of his base: family values.

Plus ca change, plus le meme chose.

So I ask you: which will come first, a reversal of Roe v. Wade or an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to codify discrimination against homosexuals?

The Religious Right juggernaut has arrived; be prepared to be crushed. Fuckers.

Posted by: Patti M. at November 4, 2004 8:23 AM

As I was ironing my pants this morning, I heard Arafat had slipped into a coma. I thought, "I'm glad Bush will have to deal with this mess." The possibility of further destabilization of this region of the world will test him mightily.

He wanted the job, now he's got it. As my friend Linda would say, "Have at it."

Posted by: Patti M. at November 4, 2004 9:18 AM

Actually, Arafat's coma helps Bush. He said he wouldn't negotiate with Palestine as long as Arafat was in the picture. This opens the door for them to go back to the table.

And my vote is on Roe v. Wade. I think that will happen before his second term is up. The constitution is much harder to amend. I think it will take a few more elections before they have enough nutjobs in the Senate to pass it.

Posted by: briwei at November 4, 2004 5:18 PM

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