Here’s a long and serious post, friends. Please read it, think about it, and get back to me.
I may cry bitter tears into cheap whiskey on Nov. 2 remembering these words, but I now believe that (barring catastrophe) Kerry is going to win the election. So now I’m mostly worried that it will be close enough that the inevitable voting screwups will tarnish the win–in which case it will be pain to watch the Bushies argue the exact opposite of what they screamed from the rafters in 2004. But my money is actually on a 20 EV margin by Kerry. (Some people are way more optimistic.) I’ve read more than I really care to America is going to let the incumbent off the hook, and a lot of these supposed “battleground” states (like Oregon) will fall blue with 5-7% margins.
Great, you say. We can go back to normal. Whoopie!
No. Hell no. To relax our pre-election posture for more than a moment would be as dumb as my least-favorite horror movie cliché. Because The Monster Is Never Dead. Especially if that monster is the American Right. There are enough think tanks and policy foundations and pressure groups to keep monsters like Neoconservatism, Neo-Imperialism, and a whole host of Christofascist ideas alive almost indefinitely. (Who thought supply-side economics had survived the 1990s? But here it is, alive, well and eating us in to a trillion dollar debt!)
So we have to keep doing what we’ve been doing, and then some. We have to win back the House in 2006, and the Senate–assuming we don’t get there sooner. We have to attack the state and local groups that are pushing anti-choice and anti-gay legislation–even in Washington. And we have to keep raising money to support a truly diverse and representative grassroots on every major policy front. We have to reach out around the world and try to undo the damage done to our reputation. Oh, and by the way, we probably have to re-invent or flat out innovate around the Democratic Party. Clearly, left to its own devices neither it nor the Kerry campaign could afford to be this hopeful. Finally, we have to figure out how to wake up the media so that they will, and I quote, “stop hurting America.” (Alternately, we could just use the Super-Size ray to make Jon Stewart 50 feet tall and let him eat all the hacks).
I don’t pretend to know what this effort will look like, but I think the 527s offer a pretty good model. I have a laptop and even a little bit of time on my hands. (I have a couple of URLs I quite like, too.) Anyone interested in getting formal about this? What I want to hear is what you think, friends. What can we all commit to doing to ensure that this become the “It’s Not Over” election? Because I want this to be a real turning point in American history, not just a bump in the road of continuing national decline. There are a lot of great new organizations doing important work, and we have to continue supporting them. Maybe that’s the best course–just opening our wallets. But I’m not convinced that the people who make up this community don’t have something unique and worthwhile to offer as well.
No mincing words here. I want the head cut off the snake. I want the ring thrown into the volcano. I want the ideology that has gotten us to this terrible place to become as discredited as Stalinism, National Socialism, and belief in spontaneous generation. I want to sow salt in the fields of the Right and to fight them on any soil where their pernicious ideas take root. No more of this “we are history’s actors” bullshit. Nobody gets to create their own reality–there’s just one, and we all have to share it.
In short, I want my country back. For good. So that David and I can live here in peace with you nice people. Because it’s not just about this election, any more than the WWII was just about the Battle for Britain.
So talk to me… what are we going to do? Because we can’t afford to assume that everyone else has it covered. Because nothing ends on November 2, and if you stop for even a moment to gleefully kick the corpse it will grab you by the ankles and start in again.