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Commentary :: Politics
US Presidential Election: Your views
03 Nov 2004
John Kerry has conceded the election, but did it ever really matter? Both men were of an elite ruling class that most of us will never have personal contact with. Both men were enthusiastic about war. Both men made many promises about their candidacies even the least savvy of us know were irresponsible promises.

So what comes next? Where do we go from here? Do we broaden the movement to once again include globalization, wealth inequality, and institutional racism? Or do we continue with this focused anti-Bush fight? How can we, as a movement, affect what is happening in the South and the Mid-West? How can we be effective against a growing morally conservative population that places pro-life abortion policies above health insurance for all? Enter your reactions and ideas here.
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Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
03 Nov 2004
I think we need to look at the elections and see that we are now isolated. We cant see ourselves as a group of radical thinkers trying to change society anymore. But we should see ourselves as a part of the millions of sane minded people in america (the blue states). We should harness the dispair and depression of the democrats and try to build a better political solution in our own local areas. We need to get Romeny and the GOP out of this state. We should work to abolish the Patriot act in our towns and cities. And we should try to strengthen 3rd parties such as socialists and Greens and try to get them into the House and Senate. We desperately have to do something now. Although a revolution and mass riots sound great, are they realy possible? We are the minority in this country now and we need to change our own homes, cities, and states, before we can change the nation. Its going to take alot more than protests and marches to get through the thick skulls of our rural budies in the south and mid-west.
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
03 Nov 2004
You are discredited. Despite your icons like Michael Moore, Barbara Streisand, Bruce Springsteen, Opra and the rest of the elites, President Bush won the greatest number of votes ever won by a US president. Your protests at the RNC meant nothing and probably turned decent people against your cause. You are dinosaurs. However, I disagree with D above. You are not isolated. You stand in the company of France, Germany and the Taliban.
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
03 Nov 2004
Well France, Germany and the Taliban all know that Bush is evil, so they must have more common sense than you and Im glad to be friends with them.
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
03 Nov 2004
Please don't let folks like "G" turn this into a flame war. This is our place for some constructive ideas. He/She does help illustrate what we are up against, these folks somehow believe we own the media. Kinda funny when they come on indymedia to tell us this isnt it? One thing I have been thinking about is the issue of corporations. If we can clearly illustrate that the lack of morality in the media is not the fault of any one side of the political spectrum but instead the mere fact that the corporations who own the media have made the dollar their idol to the detriment of all other considerations we might be able to persuade some republicans to see the light.

When you get rid of a few things like religion and racism the far left and the far right have a good number of things in common. And many republicans will listen to the argument that religion does not belong in politics, especially if they don't happen to be evangelical. Racism too is on the downturn on both sides of the political debate.

Maybe our focus should be the lack of morality in the CORPORATE culture...

[editor's note: The comment about "folks like 'G'" is in reference to a now hidden troll post.]
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
03 Nov 2004
"President Bush won the greatest number of votes ever won by a US president." We can also say that Bush received the most votes against him.

The democrats are rapidly becoming irrelevant. This might not be a bad thing. The best they could do was nominate a buffoon like Kerry. The dems either need a major overhaul or true progressives need to take their business elsewhere.
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
03 Nov 2004
U.S. Deficit and economy should be in such bad shape by the end of the next four years, that Wall Street will install a Clinton in order to achieve some fiscal responsibility. Americans are HYPNOTIZED by the commodity spectacle, however, and , short of a depression, might not come to their senses
Local Elections
03 Nov 2004
In other countries with multi-party systems, local elections are where third parties build their base. I think the Green Party has made a mistake going from top to bottom. It needs to be a grassroots endeavor.
PS
03 Nov 2004
WOW! tHAT'S ONE BIG F*** PLANET! ha,ha
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
03 Nov 2004
While I agree that Kerry was a little too much like Bush in his views, I am greatly alarmed at how both houses of Congress are now strongly Republican. The situation we are in is exactly like it was in Nazi Germany. Instead of Jews, we have Arabs in concentration camps where they are detained and tortured without any help from lawyers. Bush will undoubtedly continue his takeover of the world and his destruction of the environment by allowing his rich corportate friends to do anything they want. God help us all!
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
03 Nov 2004
We need to listen and adjust. The religious vote made a big impact because there was no one to challenge the Evangelical zealots exploiting Chritianity and peddling fear and damnnation. WHERE ARE THE RADICAL CHRISTIANS?? Jesus walked with the poor, denounced wealth and preached love and concern for your neighbor. Remind those influenced by the religious right of these facts, spread the truth!

The Hispanic vote had a major impact. Where were the Spanish-speaking activists? Let's learn from our mistakes, regroup and think of a way to reach the red states.
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
03 Nov 2004
Our religious brothers and sisters between the progressive coasts (truly a country geographically divided) want a moral tyranny, so they get a moral tyranny. Don't be depressed: take heart in the plain fact that almost half the country was against BushCo and many are organizing to have dissenting opinions heard. Remember that to despair is to conceed defeat. Take courage in realizing that the more we talk and encourage others to think for themselves and be heard, the better off we all are. You cannot force people to be tolerant and compassionate, they must find their own way there. This is what salvation, whether or the soul or politically is really about. Followers must emancipate themselves from leaders. The first act towards liberation is listening. Just by living by these principles you are a beacon of hope for others, and you give others courage to act similarly. Or so I believe. Your view is, of course, welcome.
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
03 Nov 2004
I think you've got a hard task ahead, guys... As an outsider to your society, I believe the key point is how to bridge the huge gap that you seem to have over there between the politically educated and aware people (a real minority) and the rest of the population (an overwhelming majority) ... the average U.S citizen is an absolutely maleabe target for all sorts of (political) manipulation maniuvres and great amounts of people seem to live completely disconnected from what's going on beyond their doorstep. From the outside it really seems a world of incredible contrasts over there...
I agree with one of the mates when s/he comments that the key issue is grassroots work. In my view, a very needed task and the only feasible way out to this is a thourough work on collective learning and building reflection skills on basic socio-political issues, at the grassrrots level, especially in the 'deep U.S.A'. Basic education, in one word, not for a tiny privileged minority, but for all. Promote access to alternative information ( I mean knowing how to access), make a point in reaching all those layers of population that live miles away (in every sense) of your discourse and practices. Maybe you've gotta establish settlements of sane minded people in some areas of the country to approach such a challenge, or lastly, you can always migrate... after all you only have one life, and it must be certainly difficult to be able to keep a mental balance in such an environment... I'm sorry I don't wanna be cruel but it's so amazingly outrageous that the discourses of 'educating', 'developing' and 'helping out' other countries (that is, invade them and literally colonising them, no one escapes the U.S boot. The ones that try establishing intelligent set ups are systematically smashed) come from the U.S...I am sorry but your country is a joke , and, which is worse, a very dangerous joke for all the people who inhabit this planet
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
03 Nov 2004
A few ideas:

• Unrelenting, creative, nonviolent action declaring our refusal to participate in this criminal government (including the military)
• Lawsuits, lawsuits, lawsuits.
• Become the professionals with power, lawyers, teachers, police, legislators, media, so that we can fight back WITHIN the system, as well as the usual fights from outside system.
• Stop scapegoating (Nader, Christians, "red" states, etc.) - it does no one any good.
• Embrace anyone and everyone, no matter what their political persuasion. Obama has the right idea, the more we exclude people, the more divided we will become. Respect differences in opinion, so that we can all come together and work for a common goal.
• Find the common goal! (Sit down at a table with honest republicans, democrats, and all others to find common ground, and you will learn that we all pretty much want the same things!)
• Breathe! (Take care of your own needs, so that you don't have a nervous breakdown!)
• Find your inspiration wherever you can.
• Love as much as you can.
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
03 Nov 2004
Never give up the fight against repression.
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
03 Nov 2004
I agree about both Bush and Kerry, but I had hopes for John Edwards. Here are my suggestions: support small business--no longer shop Target or Walmart, especially. I no longer have my bank accounts at banks, but at credit unions. Do not invest in the stock market in any way. I believe that is where the CEO crooks get their money, from all the individual investments. Finally, I believe we need to create self sustaining communities as much as possible and make them affordable to all. We have a growing class of poor young people coming up and the class is getting larger. They are between the ages of 20 to 30, with incomes of below 18,000 per year, while costs of housing and food continue to mount. We need to start focusing on this escallating problem and self sustaining communities could be the answer.
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
03 Nov 2004
Self sustaining communities eh? Reaks of isolationism to me. Face it, in the increasingly globalized economy no nation, let alone "community", can produce the incredible array of goods necessary for sustaining even modest living standards. The big banks, the stockmarket, Target... they are not your enemy. Anti-globalization activists (as most famously shown at seattle in '00), are deluded with naive fantasies about returning to a simpler time. Face it, it aint gonna happen. Why are "progressives" so reactionary when it comes to this?
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
03 Nov 2004
in the interest of fair disclosure, I am a Massachusetts resident and BC student who voted Bush
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
03 Nov 2004
I think the term "elite ruling class" is jingoistic and dishonest. Why not be honest and say outright that you despise the ruling faculty, hate the rich, and believe in the works of Karl Marx?

Sincerely, you use these jaded phrases all the time. It sounds like hokum every single time. Canned words. Given the choice whether to rule, or to complain about being ruled, every man with a backbone would opt to rule. Nothing will ever come of complaining, and very seldom does this complaining lead to social change.
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
04 Nov 2004
I think if we are considering protesting, we should plan it out better... I feel that a lot of the protesters out there don't represent me at all, and are making many liberals like me look bad (and no, it's not just how we are shown in the media, I know protesters who just protest and are not informed).
I'm pro-gay marriage, I'm pro-choice, I'm anti-corporation, and yet I feel that my voice is getting lost in these protests.
I think protests are scaring people. I think we are starting to look like young nutcases.

Here's a crazy idea. We should dress up like business people, look as polished as possible, be organized and silent.
I think this would be a very unusual protest. It would make people off guard. We should get millions of people to protest too, or do it at multiple locations simultaneously.

I do have to say that if we ever win this battle I don't know if we'll be better off...
I've sort of lost faith in ourselves after this election.
Why did he get so many of us?
Why are we still calling ourselves sane minded people?
There are crazy ones in our lines too...
I really wish some conservatives would step up and help us. They have the credibility we lack just because we've never been in power.
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
04 Nov 2004
I am a Texas evangelical Christian who voted for Kerry. Just thought I'd let you know we ARE out here.
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
04 Nov 2004
A2, you are absolutely right that we need to be better organized. We need a clear message just like the Bush Administration's well oiled (heh) message. The protests are usually so chaotic that there is no message that gets promoted. We need our very own talking points. There's no shame in using advertising tools to our own advantage!

Let's sit down with a broad contingency of "pissed off voters" and come up with a plan. George Lakoff, in his book "Don't Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate" is a good starting place for understanding why people believe what they do, and how to talk to them so they will listen.
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
04 Nov 2004
We need to get the global newscoverage on the truths of USA aired in the states on our regular stations. I really don't think protests are effective because stereotypes automatically evolve the second a bystander sees protesting. Like Jon Stewart(Daily Show) told Charlie Rose, we need to have a bold newscast with no bias, just straight up facts.
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
04 Nov 2004
On one hand, I ask how the exit polls could be so wrong. Was there tinkering? On the other hand, 3.5 million votes spread across the entire nation with diverse voting technologies is a hell of a tinker.

So assuming it's a legitimate outcome, who voted for Bush, why did they vote for him despite his approval rating, and where were they when the vote was so close 4 years ago?

And what about this huge turnout? How does that not help the Democrat?

CNN tells me that lots of new voters in rural areas came out to vote, they voted for Bush because they like and trust him, and I'm not sure where they were four years ago.

Something doesn't add up.
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
04 Nov 2004
...and on a personal note, four years ago I didn't do anything about the election, including exercise my right to vote. This time around I gave $1200, voted, and devoted 20 volunteer hours to urge others to do the same. Not that much in the grand scheme, but I heard stories of so many others doing the same.

And here we are.
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
04 Nov 2004
adding... I think Americans are way to greedy and that we feel that we can do anything we want because we are the worlds' superpower. I am not a person from Colorado, USA, i am a person of this world. We need to somehow get more people to realize that our actions affect the entire globe and vice versa. How? like i said above, we need global news that is more bold. Instead of just knowing what is going on in Colorado, why not have a story from Ecaudor or Bolivia or Iran. Can't we get a cooperation with foreign news coverage (we have immense corporations) and get people to realize our actions global? These informed people(bush voters) are only going to believe the truths if they are covered on mass media. How on mass media? It will be tough? No worries, im going to email NBC,ABC,CNN,MSNBC and tell them the same thing. Hope that something positive will happen.
Is this a good idea??
04 Nov 2004
Ok, i have an extreme but interesting solution to solve some problems in the world. $134,791,507,200........imagine what we could do with that money....$$$$ 134 BILLION $$$$ We could build schools and public housing and protect our environmental preserves and build new technologies in renewable energy. We could research cures for diseases and create so many jobs. We did have that money, taxpayer money...but we gave it to Israel. So they could buy tanks and missles, Our tanks and missles...to kill arab people, innocent women and children. this $134,791,507,200 inturn, makes the arab world hate the US for supporting Israel, along with our influence on Saudi Arabia. We also send an extra $50 billion to egypt. Now look at it....we stop supporting Israel and two good things happen. We stop robbing the taxpayers and sending their money to Israel to murder innocent people, and we call a truce to the war with the terrorists. Lets be honest, there is no possible way to completely destroy them....it is true. we must make a truce with them.
Well...id like to hear what people think. I think this group of ideas by people have been the best i have seen on indymedia
The New Theory of Sudden Brief Extreme Incompetence - 9/11 and now the Exit Polls
04 Nov 2004
Suprise, suprise! The exit polls - which have functioned just fine for decades upon decades - suddenly can now be described as the 'big losers,' having experienced the same bizarre phenomenon as the FAA and NORAD did on 9/11, better known to anyone with a brain as the theory of "Sudden Brief Extreme Incompetence and Failure to Function on the Most Basic Levels, With No Consequences for Media or Anyone in Charge." And once again, an irreversible and aversive outcome has prevailed. Time to figure out how to shove this mess down the throats of the masses, boys! We've got a long night ahead of us . . . almost any excuse will do at first (like the fighter jets in DC weren't armed with any weapons), and later we can smooth it all out when the sheeple have forgotten. Chalk it all up to one big mistake . . . again.


Exit Polls Come Under Post-Election Criticism
By Steve Gorman and Arthur Spiegelman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Exit polling, long a key indicator of election trends, emerged on Wednesday as a big loser in the 2004 election after Internet pundits latched onto early data to mistakenly report a commanding lead for Democrat John Kerry (news - web sites) in key states.

Analysts reviewing a chain of events on Tuesday that triggered a brief but doomed wave of euphoria among Kerry supporters and a sharp drop on Wall Street, concluded the phenomenon was driven by several factors.

Incomplete results from preliminary exit polling were leaked to the freewheeling world of the Internet, where online political pundits known as bloggers misread or took the information out of context, creating the false impression of an early groundswell for Kerry in key battleground states such as Florida and Ohio.

That view was telegraphed to the public through the mainstream media but proved wrong.

While pollsters, who conducted the exit surveys and news outlets that paid for them blamed others for mishandling the information, some experts found fault with the data itself.

"We have an exit poll crisis," said pollster John Zogby, whose own Election Day predictions that Kerry would take Ohio and Florida proved wrong. He said he had used the exit poll data to confirm conclusions he had based on his own polling.

POLLS CRITICIZED BY ZOGBY

Zogby, in an interview with Reuters, for whom he conducts polls, added, "As polling professionals, we test and judge our samples based on exit polls.

"The first and second rounds yesterday were not good. It used to be that whatever came out in the first round generally held, but yesterday the first round made it look like a Kerry landslide was in the works and he was sweeping states he didn't win, and that is troublesome."

The origin of at least some of online reports giving Kerry a hefty lead in crucial swing states was data collected by pollsters Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International for the National Election Pool, a consortium of TV networks and other news outlets.

"Some Web sites had data that claimed to be ours. Some of it may have been ours, some of it may have been made-up data, some of it may have been misinterpreted data," said Joe Lenski, vice president of Edison Research.

"A lot of this is whispered-down-the-line stuff, where someone grabs one piece of data and sends it to someone else."

Lenski said early results were more favorable to Kerry than they were for Bush, owing in part to the fact that more women then men tend to vote early in an election and that women in this race favored Kerry.

INFORMATION BADLY HANDLED

But he said the size of the Kerry leads attributed to exit polling was exaggerated by the bloggers, who also appeared to have ignored the caveats and analysis supplied with the data.

"You can tell that anything that appeared online was not interpreted by anyone that had a sophisticated understanding of the workings and limitations of early exit polling," he said.

Early exit polling can be by its nature heavily skewed to one side or another and is not intended to be used to project races or be reported to the public, especially before polls close, Lenski said.

Rather, it is used by news outlets as early guide posts to possible trends that may unfold later.

Harvard University political science professor Thomas Patterson said that for all the caution exercised by TV networks in calling races, they might be better off with scaled-back exit polling aimed more at assessing public opinion and demographics than predicting voting trends.

"I think they'd save themselves both money and headaches, but they're in love with this technique," he said.

While election watchers credited the TV networks with steering clear of early exit poll numbers in their own reporting, they noticed that partisans of the Kerry camp referred to those results in their on-air commentary, helping propagate the flawed information in the mainstream media.

Patterson said a similar pattern emerged four years ago, when preliminary exit polling gave an early edge to Democrat Al Gore (news - web sites) in numerous states where it never materialized.

Reuters/VNU

news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20041104/media_nm/media_exitpolls_dc
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
04 Nov 2004
"On one hand, I ask how the exit polls could be so wrong. Was there tinkering? On the other hand, 3.5 million votes spread across the entire nation with diverse voting technologies is a hell of a tinker."

Was 9/11 a doozy, or was it a doozy?

Cheney was in charge on 9/11. Cheney figured the tally in Ohio down to almost the decimal point well ahead of time (DN! today).

Look at the history of Karl Rove. This is how the scams and dirty tricks are done. Right in front of our faces. These guys have been caught lying almost NONSTOP since well before Bush was even in there. You're going to tell me they WOULDN"T HAVE rigged this???? You've got to be nuts.
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
04 Nov 2004
First, I'm ashamed to be a Floridian right now. I thought my beautiful state was a shining light of alternative thinking in an under-educated, religious, and backwoods cesspool region of the USA. Second, I'm ashamed to be Hispanic. I thought we could more effectively convice our fellow Cubans to not always blindingly support anything remotely Republican. And finally, I'm ashamed to be young. If we weren't so busy with our anti-depressants, corporate radio and television stations, and jobs that barely help us keep up with the cost of life, maybe more of us would pay attention to the big picture.
A few things to think about: Everything happens for a reason... he has to clean up his own mess now... maybe Americans need four more years to WAKE UP... it's not about who voted, it's about which company built the machines that counted the votes.
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
04 Nov 2004
This an excellent idea trade happening here! I give props to all those involved, even those on the other side who are being so civil all the sudden (smug bastards!) heh heh. So it is true that we need to "penetrate the thick skulls of our rural buddies" and I am very heartened to hear of an evangelical christian who is voting towards the left. Let me ask those who know, where is the weak link in a christian's ideological armor? I have talked to so many christians without ever penetrating that blind faith, and in this election that faith seems to have extended to a political candidate. For instance: do religious types understand the need for the separation of church and state? Also- Can the immorality of hollywood and the networks be reattributed to the corporations?

Also- to correct my dear sofiushka- countries that have multi-party systems do not build up in any certain way- their constitutions are fundamentally different. They elect people using Proportianally representative election systems and that is the reason multiple parties exist. Yes we need to work on local elections, but we also would need the visibility of a national election to give the party energy and popularity.

A really great site to learn about different electoral systems is idea.int . Take a look at any of the scandanavian countries or Bulgaria or something. All are PR. We have a two party system because of our election system and no other reason.

Another resource is a book by Pippa Norris "Electoral Engineering"

OK y'all. I'll be back in a few days I'm going to read some escapist pulp fiction to ease my mind so I can then reset it for "ballistic" and rip at this system with newfound vigor.

Don't forget to make a donation to indymedia folks, the button's right there. If we can scrape together $5,000 we will be in the newspaper business, jumping the media gap and finding the million or so folks who dont use the internet in boston.
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
04 Nov 2004
Bush won by almost 4 million votes despite the efforts of the democratic party's organized attempts at voter fraud.....Get over it !!!!!
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
04 Nov 2004
It's Thursday and I think I'm starting to get over my funk. Four more years of Bush can be depressing. Right after the results, I was mad and resentful. I told my wife (who is african-amer.) that I wished the north had lost the civil war because the north has been dragged down into moral ignorance ever since. Something changed my thinking yesterday afternoon when Brenda and I stopped at a food store to pick up something to eat. We had an opportunity to speak to young afr.-amer. deli workers who were also depressed about the elect.. They told us how difficult it was for them to get student aid and loans and how they had deferred their dreams at higher education. As the parents of four college age children we personally know their trials. How do we approach this dilemma? We have to become involved and militant. We have to get into the faces of liars and closet racists and challenge them where ever and when ever. This is the first election in thirty years that I have taken to the streets and met the public standing on my street corner and I came away feeling hopeful. People really want change. They really want people to stay out of their lives. They really want health care and education. What they lack is a voice. They lack someone who looks and talks like you and I. I'm a forty-eight year old, bald white guy who's sick and sometimes ashamed of all the other middle aged white guys who listen to these rasict talk show yerks. I've made a promise to myself that I will challenge these people and force them to say exactly what is in their hearts. This society needs more honesty not bumper stickers and code words. Sincerelly, Patrick (Milwaukee).
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
04 Nov 2004
the problem with the democrats is their leader...Terry McCauliff, he was appointed because he could raise alot of money for the party...nice qualifications right? If the democrats could step back, figure out what their base wants, and stay on message, they will come back. They could use the lessons taught by carl rove....STAY ON MESSAGE!
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
04 Nov 2004
I have noticed more of what Patrick said. That people are wishing that the civil war never happened, and we would be a seperate country now. And also, that people now wish that the northeast and west coast could break away from the rest of the country. Its funny because if you said this before the election people would have thought you were a wacked out communist. But now, there are alot of people that share that idea and I think its hopeful for us because more people are thinking with an openmind and its sad too because we dont have anyone that represents our ideas
Voting Is Futile So Stop Being Defeated
04 Nov 2004
I had written a caustic rant on the uselessness of voting and attacking Kerry supporters from many directions but in light of the outcome, I’m not one to kick ‘em when they’re down.

On election day, I was supposed to go canvassing because I needed the money but missed the deadline for training and thus spent election day in line for 5 hours. I wrote some “Don’t Just Vote” stuff because I thought the stuff posted online only catered the radical community and got into extensive discussions on why I think voting for president doesn’t matter. All day I posed the question of what would have happened if everyone working on Dean and Kerry campaigns had spent their time working on the issues they actually cared about instead of compromising their morals for “the lesser of two evils”. I would suggest that the system is the evil, not the person. The most classic conversation was with my sister who just turned 16 and is a cheerleader at the 3,000 person public school I also attended. She was upset because she learned in school that Bush was involving his religious beliefs into government policies, fancy that. We progressed in our discussion and I tried to explain to her what Food Not Bombs did. I told her about legal repercussions and she started laughing, “why can’t they feed the homeless?”. I mentioned the fact that the government wants to pretend homeless people don’t exist and one way bus tickets to get them out are just one of the many ways they do so. “Well, where do they go?” That’s the point; they don’t have anywhere to go. “Why don’t they do something about this? Don’t they like, have a plan or something?” This is how most of my conversations went today and yesterday.

I currently think the sky is falling and will continue to fall if all the Kerry supporters and everyone left of them don’t harness their anger and channel it into a productive and personally fulfilling outlet. Voting doesn’t inherently accomplish anything. If you voted for Kerry because he claims to be pro-choice, why not go do clinic defense to ensure that women in your community are able to receive safe abortions without being harassed? If you voted because you want to protect same-sex marriage, why not trying to get children’s books with same-sex couples in school libraries so this isn’t such a foreign concept to those who will be voting in the future? The list goes on… I refuse to take a defeatist stance, if I did, I would have a long time ago. I couldn’t keep being politically active if I didn’t think there was any hope. I challenge everyone to use their sadness and depression, turn it into anger and channel that anger to fight back in creative, productive, and effective ways. Why did you vote?
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
04 Nov 2004
I thought we had a new President on Nov. 2nd! But like almost half of America I was disgusted at the results. I just don't understand WHY? Everytime I start thinking about this matter I am wallowing in my sadness that this country is no divide down the center. After September 11 this country was so unified and somewhere between now and then it has disolved. It's ver y dishearting. As much as I don't want Bush as president we need to come together as a whole and fight/address not only world issues but also national problems. We should start with local areas before taking on the world.
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
05 Nov 2004
Modified: 12:17:13 AM
For those people who support a complete and immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, the re-election of Bush may not be as bad as it looks. Had John Kerry been elected, he would have NEVER withdrawn U.S. troops from Iraq.
This is a likely scenario of a Kerry victory as it relates to U.S. occupation of Iraq:

Year 2005: The anti-war movement is paralyzed, waiting for president Kerry to formulate his policy regarding Iraq. In the meantime the U.S. occupation drags on. Liberals say that Kerry has a "secret plan" to get out of Iraq but any criticism of his lack of action regarding Iraq would sabotage his "secret plan", and play into the hands of the Republicans.

Year 2006: It's mid-term elections year. Any abrupt change regarding Iraq in this year might play into the hands of the Republicans. Sorry folks.

Year 2007: What? The U.S. military is still occupying Iraq? This is no longer news. The U.S. military has been there for four years. Who cares.

Year 2008: It's presidential elections year. Any abrupt change regarding Iraq this year might play into the hands of the Republicans. Liberals say that Kerry has a "secret plan" for pulling out of Iraq if he gets elected for a second term.
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
05 Nov 2004
The other almost certain scenario in a John Kerry presidency would have been the resumption of a military draft. The Democrats have been calling for a draft since September 20, 2001. Kerry, without an original thought of his own, would have been brow beaten into the Democrat plan for conscription. Against the wishes of every sane person in the Pentagon, the military would have been flooded with unwilling conscripts. The result would have been the degradation of the greatest military in the world just as what happened during the days of L.B.J. Of course, this would have all been overshadowed by the endless amusement that Theresa Heins Kerry would have provided!
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
08 Nov 2004
As an Englishman I find it baffling that Kerry is seen as 'left-wing' in your country. As far as I can tell he is peddling the same policies but without the anti-abortion and -stemcell lilt. They're both Yale and Skull and Bones boys, The US is enslaved by complete hegemony and anything slightly out of tune is portrayed as radical. Most western nations now are in an Iron Cage of bureaucracy and Capitalism, and only a change in the way the Dollar rules your and our lives can things really change. And why you see yourselves as the leader of the free world I don't know, your two party system is completely undemocratic, and I don't want to rehash all the vote rigging allegations. I have to admit I would rather Kerry had won however, I have lost all faith in humanity now that the most powerfull nation on earth has voting in a monkey to lead them!
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
08 Nov 2004
Two things - Given that I was never thrilled about Kerry, I still think we need to be careful - the country is not necessarily moving to the right - Kerry may in fact have won what votes people managed to get cast, most folks who could not get to vote or get their vote counted were more progressive, polls don't show opinion moving right on our issues.
second, the issue is not really about Kerry, its about disenfranchisement and apartheid. And that matters on all our issues
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
08 Nov 2004
First of all, it's hardly a simplistic dichotomy between "pro-life abortion policies above health insurance for all". You can have either or neither but you'd better be careful how each is done because "the devil" as they say, "is in the detail". I t would also be helpful to not always adopt the rhetoric of reactionism. Just because you favor abortion on demand does not mean you are 'anti-life' or 'pro-death'. We all know the contradictions of partisans who are strident opponents of abortion but fiercely support American foreign policies that result in wholesale death and devastation. Fallujah is about to become the next installment in this endless pattern of state terror. As far as the election itself goes the candidates were obviously of, by and for an "elite, ruling class" but the corollary to that is that American society is comprised of a very large working class that not only doesn't care, by and large, but has come to accept it as the natural order of things; perhaps, in many cases believing literally as well as theoretically, that it's "divinely decreed". In fact, the term "working class" has been banished from American political discourse - but not the reality - and it desperately needs to be revived in a non-marxist ideololgical context. Many American social commentators in the past have used the concept - indeed it's unavoidable in any incisive analysis - but without a dreary marxist political party or agenda affixed to it. You can have an American working class conciousness and platform without the unpalatable marxist drivel. Ralph Nader was headed in that direction and his efforts and inspiration should be continued, with him as long as possible, and along the same precepts even when he no longer himself has the energy. It's that kind of movement that hold up a viable and credible alternative. But not just at election time but throughout intervening years : a permanent campaign. Politics changes quickly and unpredictably and unexpected events can alter percections in unanticipated ways and it requires an everyday activism to capitalize on new openings and opportunities. It's slightly absurd to ask whether you should continue the "focused anti-Bush fight" or "once again include globalization, wealth inequality {i.e. class issuues}", etc. Once again? The two have always been inextricably linked. Such struggles existed before Bush and will continue after him. How can you say on the one hand that both candidates were nearly identical and then on the other, turn around and reduce it all to nothing more than "anti-Bush". It's not a personality issue, it's an issues issue. You don't tailor it to one region or other, you aim it at specific class, you confront the issues head on and you stay the course and don't fall prey to superfically clever marketing gimmickry.
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
08 Nov 2004
Let's hire Obama to work with George Lakoff, to extend the work of Lakoff's book "Don't Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate"
Maybe we could hire the writers working for 'Westwing' while we're at it.
Pressing for mainstream attention to paperless and other ballot fraud, seems timely. Maybe this can be done locally, then spread from there.
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
09 Nov 2004
wow- what alot of ideas!! trying to take it all in. . . well, i belive in what someone said, that we need to STOP putting our MONEY into the organizations that are messing us over. Target, corporate banks, the stock market. alternatives to these are fast dissappearing. however, they DO still exist, and if enough people went over to them, it'd help them continue to exist. starbucks ONLY exists because people invest in it and buyh coffee there. if those things were to cease, there would be no more starbucks.

but people feel really disempowered. i learned this in frotn of a starbucks, trying to get people not to go inside. i was being just as respectful as i can be, and i learned that way, that people DIDN'T like it, didn't really want the starbucks there, but they'd whip out their wallets, sigh, and say "but there's nothing i can do" WHILE buying!! so how might we educate folks about the power of their own money, as small as it might seem? at all events, this set me thinking. ..

now here's a case study, if the list if willing to put up with it. A- why, *why*, WHY did you vote for bush? i'm sorry, i just do NOT get it-- and if i understand WHY you voted for him perhaps i will be more effective and respectful in my communications with folks when i try to prevent such a man from coming to power in this country again. . . and who knows, maybe you'll convince me(though i doubt it, its always possible)-- without raging or making fun, can you explain in the most rational terms possible why?

and finally- god help us all. how do we take back teh language? right wing people have protrayed us as "anti-life", "imorral", and so forth by manipulating language through sophism. dont' kwow about you, but i try to follow a pretty strong code of ethics, and it has absolutely nothing to do with what is being held up as "moral" in this country. And since when is beoing "pro-choice" being "anti-life"? If you talk abotu community, you get called a "liberal"- how did this become a dirty word? how do we stand up and take some pride in what we believe in without it gettiing all twisted around into some else?

and how do we educate the public with respect?
P.S.
09 Nov 2004
sorry for the typos, i have some trouble with that. . .
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
22 Nov 2004
I am a Christian and a Catholic who voted for Bush. Religion had very little to do with my choice for President other than the abortion issue which we simply can not allow to continue.

I realize you folks of the way left are terribly depressed. Perhaps I can help you out with a paraphrase from one quote: "Actually, we conservatives all voted for Kerry before we voted against him.

Take Care Lefties,

Jack
Re: US Presidential Election: Your views
22 May 2006
hi,
my views on the president he should leave
office and do not make promises...