Thursday, November 11, 2004

Stages of Grief

Denial: What about all those provisional ballots? Surely, something must have gone wrong in Broward County! I can see the headlines now: “Election Fraud Annuls Results: International monitors investigating.”

Anger: All right, America, you got what you deserve! Obviously you do not pay attention to what is really going on in this country – probably get all your information from talk radio and Fox news! I’m outta here…

Depression: We worked so hard – and what good did it do? It makes no sense to try and bring about positive change – with so many who just don’t care! It’s so depressing – with attacks on both Fallujah and Social Security announced just 2 days after the election.

Acceptance: OK. We know that Kerry was not going to be our Saviour. ( But he was SO “Not Bush”!) So nothing’s changed. There remains a lot of work to do. We have to keep informed, network, unite when necessary to take a stand, and keep working on our own areas, in our own ways to make this American democracy – as Bruce Springsteen put it: the country we carry in our hearts – a reality.
We have to look beyond the daily patter of the mainstream media – all about the red states and the blue states and that the election was decided on moral issues. Hogwash! What is moral about people working hard and being too poor to pay for shelter, food and health care? What is moral about 1448 (so far today) American soldiers dying in Iraq to make the country safe for economic exploitation?
Nor was the election a referendum on gay marriage – as analysis of the results indicates. Bush gained no more points in states with a referendum on gay marriage than he did in other states. Also, as regards to a “mandate” to move toward theocracy, Bush gained more among less religious voters than he did among those who identified themselves as most religious.
The reality is that the election was darned close. And more people passionately cared about the outcome than any time in recent history. And they aren’t all red and blue states, either – they’re purple, (unless you live in Idaho, Utah or Wyoming.) Progressive causes gained ground as a result of the election process and the dialogue about real issues like the widening gap between rich and the poor; lack of health care; and the moves to limit civil rights, damage the environment and basically become an immoral, imperialist power.
This is no time to give up – or even to rest – just time to keep on keeping on.

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