Wednesday, November 03, 2004


Where Things Went Wrong (And How We Can Fix It)

First things first: This is not John Kerry's fault. He did not let anyone down. Kerry ran a noble, issues driven campaign worthy of the Presidency. Unfortunately, the issues don't mean as much as they used to. If anyone is to blame for John Kerry's loss, I blame the American population. Their lack of commitment to true American principles not only failed Senator Kerry, but the entire country.

The pundits have been saying all day that George W. Bush won this election on "morals." But what they aren't telling us is what those "morals" really are. Is it moral to purposely mislead voters about your opponent's record? Is it moral to purposely mislead voters about your own record? What about sending 1100+ soldiers to their death to defend us against a threat that didn't exist? How about gutting environmental policy? How about underfunding education? Do any of these qualify under the heading of "morals." Of course not.

Truth be told, we were done in by the three Fs: Fear, Fags, and Fetuses. A majority of Americans (apparently 51%) are either afraid of being attacked by terrorists, afraid of gays marrying, or are opposed to abortion. And according to the Republicans, liberals are obviously soft on terror, homo-loving, baby-killing heathens. I can't decide what's worse about this situation; Bush's intentional misrepresentation of our views or the bovine level intelligence of the American electorate that believes him. It's truly disheartening to know that over half of Americans are intolerant of basic civil liberties. I guess it's no wonder it took a hundred years after the Civil War to pass the Civil Rights Act.

I have to admit that I, like most Democrats, honestly felt like we had a chance to win this. As the night progressed I kept telling myself that things were alright. We were looking good. As long as we could win Ohio, we were going to be fine. Clearly, that didn't happen. So as I sat around today thinking about what happened, it occured to me that I, along with many others, have been approaching this from the wrong direction all along. We've been trying to decapitate the Republican Party just like we tried to decapitate Iraq and al Qaeda. (We know how well that's all working out.) But instead of trying to win from the top, we should be focusing on the bottom. When demolitionists bring down a building, they don't blow up the top floors, they blow up the foundation. We need to look at this situation fom the bottom up instead of the top down. That's the way you bring something down and ironically it's the way you build something up. When you build a house, you don't start with the roof, you start with the foundation. Without a good foundation, your house will not stand. As my grandfather used to tell me: "You can't build a mansion on the foundation for the shithouse."

You see, I've been looking at George W. Bush as the cause of our problems, but the truth is, he's only the symptom. The problem in this country isn't George W. Bush; the problem is the group that put him in power. They're the ones with the control. This is where we have to focus our energy and wrest away their power. We've heard all the talk about "grassroots" campaigns, but the true "grassroots" are right here in our local towns and cities. So let's look at this issue of the Presidency and try to solve a simpler problem. Break it down from one huge problem into several smaller issues. We get so focused on the Presidency every four years that we tend to forget where we get our real power. It's local. There are local elections all the time that get little to no attention. Get involved! Vote! Don't just turn out for the President, turn out for everything! Start by electing Democrats to your city's local positions like county board, clerk, mayor, city council, etc. Volunteer or run for these positions yourself. Local gets leverage within the county and from there we can focus on the state. Get involved with your state representative or senator. Donate money and time. This is where you get your leverage with the bigwigs. Without the states, the Federal government is limited. Next look at your federal elections like House and Senate races. This is where the national power is. Without the congress, the President is impotent. Then, and only then, can we focus on the top. If we take away the President's power, he's harmless. We have four years to work on this.

Just a couple last points tonight before I wrap it up. First, I want to respond to Mr. Bush's acceptance speech today. Mr. Bush, you said:

Mr. Bush, I say fuck you. You are not my President and from this day forward, I refuse to address you as such. You will not get my support and there is nothing you can do to earn it. You have lied to my country for the last four years and I will not stand for it any longer. You have shit on our Constitution and have destroyed our civil rights. It is my duty to restore my country to its once-great status and that can not be done while you occupy the lands highest office. I will fight you and your party tooth and nail for the next four years. I will do so in ways that you can not see but that you will feel. This is my promise to my country. I will not allow you or your party to tarnish my country's image uncontested. This is my country and I will defend it from you.

And finally, I am going to take a break from blogging. Over the last several months, I have devoted a great deal of time to staying atop this endeavor and I have done so at the expense of my family and my job. So for the rest of this week and all of next week, I am going on a blog-vacation. I plan to spend time with Mrs. kissfan and the little kissfans. Who knows, I may even decide to do some real work around the house. We'll have to wait and see. So until November 15, I wish everyone well and I urge you to get involved at the local level. Start small, we've got plenty of time to grow.


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