You and your friends have a lot to do the next four years. I would say that it’s pretty safe to say that Cheeny (intentional) won’t be elected president in 2008 (maybe), but I would say that it’s time to get to work and get things right this time.
1. It’s time for the Democrats to admit that Nader (or any other 3rd party) did not lose the election for Kerry.
This is very important. The dirty tricks they pulled to keep Nader off the ballot made me sick to my stomach, and it should have made every other Democrat sick, too. When I pulled the lever (pushed the button, really) for Kerry, that thought was foremost in my mind. This was the kind of maneuvering I would expect from the Republicans.
2. George Bush is not a moron.
Sure, he’s not too bright, but he and his appeal were vastly underrated.
3. It’s time to build real alliances with the real Left.
This election was not a referendum to elect Kerry; it was a referendum to beat Bush. If we’ve learned anything, that is not enough. The ‘somebody else’ message is not that powerful a motivator. Let’s face it; Kerry was not the man we needed to go against Bush; no matter what Al Franken says, Kerry voted for the war and the PATRIOT act. I saw your movie, by the way, and noted that NO senator had signed the petition to back the action Gore needed to challenge the election. That certainly included Kerry and Edwards. In fact, I would have been more motivated and excited if Dean (or Edwards) were on the ticket.
4. Educate the voter.
There was so much time and energy wasted on accusing one another about the voting irregularities that it seems no one made it an issue to make sure that people knew their rights and how to ensure them. Get in there and work on laws that make political advertising ON THE PUBLIC airwaves a required service of broadcasters. Shake a few cages, build up a real base, and make sure that the Republicans can’t pull another Florida because people know their rights! Imagine if moveon.org spent a few dollars in each state showing voters how to check their voter registration status?
5. The Democrats need to quit taking it laying down, or move out of the way.
There is a perceived race to the middle; it’s really a race to the right. Kerry wasn’t able to inspire the youth vote because he’s ‘one of them (politicians)’ and they know it. Clinton was able to inspire the slacker generation to get off their ass and into the polls.
6. Democrats need to truly embrace their liberal base.
The reason people vote Nader is because they believe as I do; the two party system is a sham. Bipartisanship is becoming to mean agreeing with the Republicans, and people see that for themselves. The only effort anyone made to the Nader folks was to eliminate him from the ballot in Ohio and try to in Florida. As I said before, it made me ashamed to vote for any Democrat. What the Democrats should be doing (and there’s no way in hell they are going to) is to talk to Nader and the Greens and pick up that undecided. The country was split down the middle with a great big bunch of registered folks still not going to the polls. I’m sure that some folks were just too damn lazy, but what if Kerry made a real effort to Nader to consolidate efforts and pick up those votes? If Nader got high minded and turned him down, Kerry could gain points by the effort alone.
7. Invite the 3rd parties to the debates.
Not all of them; just the ones that have 3% of the public’s ear. The Green Party speaks to people, and the Democrats basically told them to fuck themselves in a fashionable way. When I saw the write in results, I was a little ashamed to see that Nader got 0 votes, and Cobb of the Green Party got only 24. The Democrats knew full well that if Green or Nader were on that ballot in Ohio, they would lose the votes. So they fought hard to keep them off. The result? They stayed home
8. Stop lying about Nader and the Green Party.
I saw the Green Party web site; they sought (and even petitioned) Nader’s candidacy for the Green Ticket. When he decided to run as an independent, they indorsed their own candidate. The Greens did not keep their mouths shut to vote Kerry.
9. Get a message.
The Democrats are poised to be the new Republicans – it’s really time for a change. The left needs to get its message straight and stop looking to the Democrats for leadership. They have proven consistently since 1996 that they just don’t have it anymore to beat the Republicans. There should be a disillusionment scale – it could be used to measure the turnover rate of Democratic and Republican faith in their party. I am willing to bet that the slide looks a whole lot better on the Republican side. That’s because they pull it together when it’s time to go. They are willing to stand behind any dumbass to get where they want. The Left in general is too busy infighting, and when anyone starts making a little money, they forget who they are and protect their interests.
10. Drop the ‘Elitists’.
Okay; Kerry is probably less of an elitist than Bush, but not by much. Both of them are in that realm that makes real people strain their necks when they look up. And I’m sure you know this being from a blue collar family – people who have never had to want for anything don’t understand what it is to be poor, homeless, jobless, or laid off. I know that there are some senators and congress members that know what its all about.
That’s all I have. Usually, my rants never get any further than my blog, but this time, I had to say something. Everyone’s walking around scratching their heads and wondering ‘what happened?’ Bush should have gone down like a sack of doorknobs. Instead, his presidency was actually legitimized, despite everything he and his cronies pulled. We need to make sure this does not happen again.