Wednesday, November 03, 2004

This blog has become a rant

November 3rd, and it is one of the warmest early November days I can ever remember. Today, while sitting on the front stoop of the house before work, I was thinking about the last twenty-four hours and about this blog; I realized that when I started this blog, I had no intention of turning it into a political rant. I seem to have been driven, however. My original intention was to post about leadership and poetry and babies and, maybe, national security. My, how that intention has changed. Frankly, however, I yearn to be able to forget about national security, domestic economy, health insurance, joblessness, homelessness, and a degraded environment; I'd love to get back to organizational leadership and poetry.

It ain't gonna happen, is it?

Reported the AP this evening:
Bush didn't use the word mandate, but Vice President Dick Cheney did, and the president's intention was clear as he ticked off a familiar list of second-term goals: overhaul the tax code and Social Security at home while waging war in Iraq and elsewhere to stem terror.
Over at MSNBC, they reported:
“America has spoken,” President Bush said Wednesday as he claimed a second term and appealed to voters — even those who opposed him — to back his agenda. “I’m humbled by the trust and the confidence of my fellow citizens,” Bush told hundreds of Republican supporters who gathered two blocks from the White House after a long night of poll watching and uncertainty. “With that trust comes a duty to serve all Americans. And I will do my best to fulfill that duty every day as your president.”
He's humbled by a slight majority? I think America has, indeed, spoken, but Bush didn't hear what America said. As Kerry noted:
“America is in need of unity and longing for a larger measure of compassion,” he said. “I hope President Bush will advance those values in the coming years.”
What America has said is that we are a polarized people. We are coming apart at the seems.

Our friends over at True Majority dropped me a line today. They noted an important factor in this election cycle, for all political perspectives,
was the rise of a bunch of online groups like TrueMajority that make instantaneous nationwide conversations possible with the click of a mouse. This emerging online community was able to offer you ways to get involved, such as volunteering to contact voters, raise money, distribute information and create your own projects — all with a tiny staff and an efficient budget. Regular folks with an e-mail address have proven that they can pitch in what time and money they can to create a powerful wave of change. It really worked. Just look at the unprecedented get-out-the-vote efforts that produced record turnout.

We’ll need all of these new skills and tactics as we take on an ever-more-hostile environment in Washington. It’ll take a bit of time to rest and regroup, and then we’ll continue the struggle for social justice. For the first time in a long time, we’ve helped fashion a path that can lead to a real change in America. And that’s a reason for hope.
And, perhaps most importantly, the True Majority folks note
The next phase may well involve helping people build local initiatives and organizations around leaders who have the strength and commitment to champion compassion, justice, sustainability and international cooperation. Conservatives rebuilt their activist groups through devotion to a set of values they believed in and could communicate with passion to voters. It’s time for us to do that too.
There you have it. We need to focus on core values of compassion, justice, sustainability, and international cooperation. All else be damned.
  • Compassion

  • Justice

  • Sustainability

  • International Cooperation
And it needs to be real compassion -- not some conservative compassion that isn't compassion at all; it needs to be real justice that speaks to all people, not just the rich or the white; it needs to be real sustainability that provides not for the corporations but for our children; it needs to be true international cooperation, not cooperation of a paper coalition.

As the True Majority folks noted
There is a lot of bad news coming out of this election, and we won’t burden you with more of what you already know. Bush’s reelection and Republican gains in both houses will make the struggle for justice and peace in our country harder over the next four years. Yep, we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.
But note that it's not a done deal. And, note, that it is possible to be a church-going, educated, military officer and still be a progressive. Oh, and I'm one, too.

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