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I have to say I am rather disappointed, but not surprised, by the amount of people who want Kerry to continue to fight Bush on the election results. The conspiracy theories are already flying around and disgruntled democrats are eating them up like heroin coated m&ms (melts in your mouth, not in your veins).

The most prominent theory is that states with electric voting all gave Bush a mysterious 5% boost. Of course, these results were gathered using exit polls, which are ALWAYS 100% ACCURATE (/ sarcasm). Interestingly enough, MSNBC apparently reported that the reason the exit polls were so off were that some people were ashamed to admit that they were voting for Bush (which is a whole other post for a different day. 1. How could you vote for a man that makes you feel ashamed? And 2. Our society makes people feel bad for voting their conscience – that’s not a good sign).

But to all your conspiracy theory, tin hat wearing, die-hard fighters for democracy, I beg you – please let it go. I can understand that the wounds are still fresh and you need time to lick them. But please, please don’t spend your time on this. Kerry conceded the election. Of course, he did concede before all the states counted in, but he also understood that America cannot afford another 2000/Florida debacle. Do you think that was an easy choice for him? Do you think he was prepared to have to do that? Did you listen to how hoarse and how tired his voice sounded when he gave his speech? Badgering him to continue a fight (a fight that he was well prepared to face if there was good cause) is just cruel.

Someone on my friends list said that “THere is no "good fight left" It's merely waiting for the next four years to end.” And that is not true at all. First off, we have 2 years to prepare for the next senate race. Instead of using your energy towards mean-spirited and destructive endevours that would send this country into months of confusion that we can’t handle, channel it into changing the senate. Work on getting more democrats in office. The more democrats who represent your ideals in office, the less chance Bush has of damaging any of our rights.

Secondly, become more active in your local governments. State rights have more power than we give them credit for. A prime example of this is California who, despite Bush saying that the federal government will never give money to stem cell research, passed Prop 71, which grants the state THREE BILLION DOLLARS to stem cell researchers over the next 10 years. That was done by people acting locally, and you can bet that it will change the world.

I have seen the work that many of you have done already. People came out in DROVES to vote, and that’s largely due to you guys. I know it’s hard and I understand how disappointed and dejected you must feel, but look at the power you have! Look at the ability you guys posses! The efforts of so many have motivated me to NOT give up hope and work to make sure that your issues, your rights, your freedoms are not taken away. Don’t fight against one man, but look for ways to succeed.
Whether we like it or not, Bush IS our president, and it would behoove us to support him. That doesn’t mean we have to AGREE with him, but it does mean we should hold his feet to the flames and make sure that he is representing us the way that he SHOULD.

We could spend the next four years huddled in bomb shelters, praying that some how, a lone candidate will come a long that will solve all our problems for us and erase the damage that Bush has caused, or we could actively look for our own solutions. We get the government we deserve, after all.

People have been calling me delusional for having hope. But if you believe that one mortal human can magically solve all of our problems and all you have to do is vote for them, well…Hi pot! My name is Kettle! YOU’RE BLACK! Our nation needs a president, not a savior.

In closing, I would like to quote from Emerson’s third essay, “Compensation,” which is a truly inspiring read at this time:

The wise man throws himself on the side of his assailants. It is more his interest than it is theirs to find his weak point. The wound cicatrizes and falls off from him like a dead skin, and when they would triumph, lo! he has passed on invulnerable.

We do not believe there is any force in to-day to rival or recreate that beautiful yesterday. We linger in the ruins of the old tent, where once we had bread and shelter and organs, nor believe that the spirit can feed, cover, and nerve us again. We cannot again find aught so dear, so sweet, so graceful. But we sit and weep in vain. The voice of the Almighty saith, 'Up and onward for evermore!' We cannot stay amid the ruins. Neither will we rely on the new; and so we walk ever with reverted eyes, like those monsters who look backwards.

So let look to the new – let us look to the future with hope and determination that by working together, we can get the government we deserve and have earned.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Great post. I'll admit that I am a little bitter (and I feel that is fully justified because yes, the wounds are still fresh), but there's no use in staying angry. Instead, we all have to work together and come up with SOLUTIONS rather than bitching about the problem. Totally true about local politics -- I am really disturbed how little attention anyone is paying to any of the other issues. When I recieved my absentee ballot in the mail, I had already made the decision to vote for John Kerry for president. However, I spent SEVERAL HOURS carefully reading through the information for every single proposition and elected position to make sure that I was making an informed decision. If you look at the results of the election in California, the state remains fairly progressive (for example, Senator Boxer, who is liberal even within the Democratic party, got reelected by a landslide). On a national level, I am more troubled by the fact that both houses of congress are Republican now and that 11 states voted against gay marriage than I am by the fact that Bush got reelected.

By the way, when I made the comment about a 3rd year of JET or grad school in Canada in my LJ, I was not being serious. I am definitely considering grad school in Canada (and am toying with the idea of a 3rd year of JET, but probably won't do it), but only because there is an amazing program at one school at which I can't find an American equivalent (there aren't many scholars who specialize in what I want to study, and I am down with the idea of living in Canada because the culture is so similar to American culture, especially when you compare the two to the cultural setting in which I am living in now). What I do next year will not be affected by American politics. Living my own life is too important to me for that.
THere's a big difference between going to Canada to fulfill your education and going to canada simply because of American Politics. I think going to grad school is a good reason to move! I'm more upset with people who are leaving because they don't feel that America is worth anything any more.

I think the reason why you and I are in agreement about local politics stems from where we were raised. You remember how big city politics in Davis were (even though some of them were REALLY crazy).

I, too, am upset with 11 states baning gay marrages. But what's important is that State Law can be changed by the will of the people. I think a lot of people neglect that part. I think those laws will change in time. I have a feeling that the reason they passed was because of the atmosphere - there's a lot of fear going around towards people who are different. As long as people continue to push for what's right (but do so in a manner that is non-threatening) those laws will be changed.

And congrats on making progress in your gradschool search! :) I know it's stressful, but I also know you are VERY qualified :)