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post #1 of 65 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2004, 05:18 AM Thread Starter
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Thoughts on the 2004 USA Presidential elections, and where I go from here

This was an interesting election for me. I voted for a Democrat for President for the first time in my life.

I sit back now,and consider the potential for damage of a Republican House, Senate, Supreme Court and President, and I realize that, in many ways, this is the 21 Century equivalent of the Dred Scott decision. A low point, in other words, but one that forces one to take a long view.

There's nothing to be done about the Anti-Christ occupying the Oval Office. What's done is done. The filibuster is the Dems last chip, and the Republicans are already talking about changing the rules of the Senate to eliminate that. I hope the Dems force them to do it, rather than compromise, but I don't hold out much hope.

Progressives need to realize that this is likely to be a very long, very hard struggle, with no certainty of victory. If as incompetent and dishonest a man as Bush can lie, steal, cheat and connive his way to 'victory' with so little outcry from the Democrats, I would not expect significant opposition of the Bush agenda from them.

Well, first things first. As progressives, we need to define what our core values truly are, the things that bind us together, and then find candidates with a consistent history of holding to those values. 'Republican Light' won't cut it. The we have to find a way to communicate with the rest pf the voters. That won't be easy.

Also, among oursleves, we need to discuss the last 150 years of race relations, how they've affected politics, and how we handle the topic in the future. We are not going to be able to have an honest discussion with Republicans about this issue, so there's no need to waste any energy trying. In the last presidential campaign, how often was race even mentioned by the candidates? Yet, it was THE subtext of Republican voter suppression efforts. We need a better way of countering those. Our sole edge is that Republicans won't admit in public they are TRYING to deny Blacks and American Indians the vote.

And MAYBE, just maybe, it's time to start trying to suppress the Republican vote. If the Republicans have proved anything, it's that lying, cheating and stealing leads to politicial success. We need to at least DISCUSS matching them dirty trick for dirty trick.

I'm in the middle of an adoption. And I think of how many rights I had growing up that my child will not.

I'll have to explain that the government didn't used to have the legal right to enter your home without notice or even admitting they were there.

I'll have to explain that the government didn't used to have the legal right to imprison you without notice, or even admitting they were holding you.

I'll have to explain that once upon a time, Americans didn't fear speaking out. They weren't afraid of being called 'unpatriot'.

I'll have to explain that once upon a time, the right to dissent was considered what the United States BETTER.

I'll have to explain that once upon a time, reason was the governed the legislative process, not religion.

I'll have to explain that once upon a time, for a few short golden years, the United States OPPOSED unprovoked aggression, rather than engaging in it.

We talk about leaving, my partner and I. But our families are here. Our friends are here.

Still are there 'freer' societies in the world? Once upon a time, I'd have said 'no'. Now I look a couple hundred miles north to Canada, and wonder if 'yes' isn't staring me in the face.

I look at a judicial system that send 10% of all Black males to prison, and I KNOW there are fairer, more just judiciaries in the world.

I suppose this is a 'watershed' moment. I DON'T see things reversing in the USA for the foreseeable future. The Republicans will NEVER field a worse candidate, with a worse record, than they did in 2004.

NEVER.

So .... this was an interesting election for me. I voted for a Democrat for President for the first time in my life. And quite probably the last. I think the future turns on more radical solutions.

Proud to be an American
Not blind. Not uninformed. We are party to atrocities. But the response of the world after 9/11 is worth noting. Even our most dire enemies offered aid. We should all be so lucky.
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post #2 of 65 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2004, 05:32 AM
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Volcana I just wish there was something I could do to help the feelings of utter despair you, me, and countless others across the GLOBE feel about the result...

My faith in humanity has really taken a huge battering... But then I think about the fact that it only came down to one or two states and the result could have been so different.

I really think the democrats need to infiltrate the church's and the whole bible belt community as the Republicans have done. I think there is the chance of stealing some of their votes there from TRUE christians.

True christians would look at the poverty figures and would look at POVERY as a MORAL issue - not just whether same sex couples are allowed to make a lifelong commitment to each other. These goddam christians that spout moral reasons for their vote at the same time as accepting big tax cuts is the definition of hypocrisy.

But there are REAL christians out there who do view poverty as big a social issue as gay marriage - if the Democrats can really infiltrate the church's and present themselves as a party that does value TRUE christian values, rather than wedge politics, maybe some of those votes can go over.

And they really do need to mobilise the black vote more - can anyone tell me what % of blacks actually voted? Are there enough black people to counteract the bible belt if they all turned out to vote?

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post #3 of 65 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2004, 06:26 AM
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Okay. As all of you know, a political thread such as this cannot be unresponded to by myself. It is important to put this whole election into the proper perspective. I am sure many of the more liberal minded people who post here will shudder at the thought of the likes of ILS,the conservative, trying to be unbiased politically but nonetheless I am going to attempt to do so here.

Firstly, is the outcome of the election really that big of a surprise? When one looks at the present condition of the world, one must know that America is ill at ease. Most Americans, particularly here in the south, feel the need to have a leader which is going to speak with some moral clarity. Did John Kerry at any point really do that? Did he ever sufficiently define where he stood on any issue? I don't mean giving broad strokes and swipes at what he wanted to do, but actually clearly defining what he wanted to do and how he was going to go about doing it. Anyone can stand in front of a crowd of people and say what needs to be done or what they plan on doing without giving clear and precise explanations as to how he/she will do it.

Secondly,there is no doubt that America is in a cultural war. It is a,at least so far, verbal war. It is a war between Secularist and Traditionalist. It is a war between humanism and religion. I,myself, am basically on the side of the Traditionalist movement. I believe in religion;I am Pro-Life; I am Anti-abortion,to an extent; I believe that marriage is a union between a man and a woman; et cetera. Therefore,I am going to vote for the candidate which represents my values and moral sensibilities. America has got to re-develop morality. We have certainly lost any sense of it in the past 25-40 years.

Thirdly,Iraq. Oh,yes, the jubber wubber itself rears its ugly head. Now,I cannot honestly say that I was in favor of invading Iraq because I was not. However, since we are there we have got to see it through. There can be no backing away from this one,folks. America cannot run from this like we did Vietnam. Vietnam was a winnable war, yet, we chose to back away just as we were about to tighten the hangman's noose. We do not have that convenience in this particular conflict. If we back away from this conflict it will send the message to the world that we are weak and vulnerable to criticism. Many Americans, I certainly did, went to the voting booths with the belief that it would be silly to change horses in the middle of the stream.

With all of these issues being mentioned, it is pertinent that people realize that Americans are not obligated to change courses in the middle of a torrent stream. Does it make any sense to change coach's in the middle of a season when you are three games above .500? I don't think so. Politics is much the same way. Most people are not going to change leaders just because others cry out.

During the debates, I saw something in Kerry which irked me. He stood there and spatted out plan after plan without giving any clear account as to how he would accomplish that which he was promising. He just did not come across to American public very well.

What should the Democrats do? I don't really know. The Democrats do not seem to have any real potential candidates other than Hilary Clinton and possibly John Edwards. I personally would have rather seen Edwards run this year then Kerry, but that is just me. I think the Democrats should more clearly define what they stand for. Explanations seem to be hard to come by for the Democrats. They are good at laying out goals but not so good at explaining how they intend to achieve them. This is something they will have to work on if they intend to have any chance of winning in 2008.

Most likely the Republicans will have someone like John McCain or Rudy Giuliani as a candidate. So the Democrats will have to have a rather charismatic figure on their ballot to stand much of a chance. A John Edwards would be ideal. I don't think a Howard Dean or Dick Gephardt would fit the bill against the likes of a McCain or Giuliani. Gephardt or Dean would probably lose in a landslide against competition like that.

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post #4 of 65 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2004, 06:32 AM
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post #5 of 65 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2004, 07:29 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I Love Sharapova
Most Americans, particularly here in the south, feel the need to have a leader which is going to speak with some moral clarity. Did John Kerry at any point really do that? Did he ever sufficiently define where he stood on any issue? I don't mean giving broad strokes and swipes at what he wanted to do, but actually clearly defining what he wanted to do and how he was going to go about doing it.
Yes. Much more so than Bush did. If you want chapter and verse I'll be happy to provide it in another thread.

However, that battle lost, and the freedoms for government control that once defined America with it.

Bush and his minions can only be opposed now. And like the Ku Klux Klan that became the White Citizens Councils that became the Council of Conservative Citizens, all we can do is fight til they are all dead, and we have burned their houses down and salted the earth.

Bush has chosen, quite consciously, to make common cause withthose who oppose Black peple having the rights that generation after generation have bled and fought and died for. Faced with report after report of the denial of the right to vote for Blacks he did and said NOTHING, in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 or 2004.

In some ways, I suppose, I am much like Bush, in that I feel, about white supremacists, they way he CLAIMS to feel about 'terrorists'.

As far as I'm concerned, white supremacists, those that support them, those that fund them, those that make common cause with them, are all my enemies, to my last dying breathe. I am, of course, constrained by issued of legality. Were I not, I would, quite cheerfully, kill each and every one of them with my own hand. And of course, that would include EVERYONE involved, at any level, in the suppression of the voting rights of Blacks, including every false challenge of anyone's right to vote.

We ARE enemies, make no mistake. We are not disagreeing parties with the same common interest. We are enemies. And I will not make the mistake of thinking of current 'leadership' of the country as other than that. I shall treat then as they've treated me.

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post #6 of 65 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2004, 07:56 AM
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Good honest viewpoints!!

Not being from the USA can you explain something.
In the above texts you talk about the "black vote" and the "christian vote" as if they were two mutually exclusive groups.
I thought that the black community were well ensconced in christianity in the south, or is the "bible belt" predominantly white?

Forgive me if this sounds stupid.
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post #7 of 65 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2004, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jelena4me
Good honest viewpoints!!

Not being from the USA can you explain something.
In the above texts you talk about the "black vote" and the "christian vote" as if they were two mutually exclusive groups.
I thought that the black community were well ensconced in christianity in the south, or is the "bible belt" predominantly white?

Forgive me if this sounds stupid.
Jelena, the "black vote" tends to be very liberal. They tend to vote Democrat,while the over-all "Christian vote" tends to be very conservative and votes Republican. That is where the big difference is in my opinion.

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post #8 of 65 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2004, 10:32 AM
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Its frightening that the Republicans have harnessed the support of groups that are not merely Christian, but fundementalist Christian...I don't for a moment believe that such peoples objection lies solely with issues like Gay Marriage, but rather it extends to the whole swathe of progressive legislation that arose out of the 1960's...

Of course they are too smart now to fight publicly on that platform...so instead they focus in on narrower issues...e.g Gay Marriage, 'Partial-birth abortion'...trying to chip away, gain a foothold for their cause, then push through the rest of their agenda.

When I see a man like Jerry Falwell, then I see an evil man...to borrow the terms the Chrsitian fundmentalists like to use. It is a battle with evil, but in the opposite manner in which they think!

Frankly the Democrats too often have been a letdown, lacking fire, conviction, to eager appeal to the few listless people in the middle who can't make their minds up about anything.

In the long run, America needs a more proportional voting sytem where smaller parties can take hold, where a truly radical party can develop and have a voice, be it green, socialist, or libertarian or whatever.

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post #9 of 65 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2004, 10:54 AM
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Volcana, all minorities need to stick together: blacks, jews, latinos, native-americans, gays. Everyone.

Bush asked for unity. DON'T GIVE HIM THAT. Unite AGAINST his conservative movement.

Also, I read on another board, and I'm not too familiar with American history but that Lyndon Johnson lost an entire generation of white conservative voters due to the Civil Rights of the 1960's.

Those white conservatives are still around and so are their children. The core Republican base that's built around racial hatred will still be around for awhile.

I mean there are even some posters on this board who voted Republican because "Democrats give out hand-outs to blacks" and some say that "Abortion is most common amongst blacks and blacks would be extinct in some 30 years" --> That's what I read on another board. Can you believe the excuses and reasons they come up with?

They don't like to admit it and they hate that word - Racist - but keep shoving it in their faces because deep in their hearts, they know they are.

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post #10 of 65 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2004, 11:06 AM
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Being the optimist that I am, liberalism and conservatism in the US go in cycles. We'll see another liberal period.

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post #11 of 65 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2004, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tennis Fool
Being the optimist that I am, liberalism and conservatism in the US go in cycles. We'll see another liberal period.
Actually I was going to post a thread on that. But I'll comment briefly here.

I read a scary article about Karl Rove, will post tomorrow, and it said about how America under Bush is heading back towards the 1950's morals and values etc.. I was just going to say that in that case the 1960's offered a complete opposite in thinking. And like I've said since the election, progress will always be made on social issues it's just that is presents an obstacle and it will slow that progress down but it won't stop it and it certainly won't reverse it.

They can't do anything unless you allow them to.

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post #12 of 65 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2004, 11:18 AM
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Volcana !

Plz stay in the US. If people like you leaving this 'once upon a time country' what's left ? Another McCarthy era ? Blacks have to stand up again if a white enters the bus ? Non-Christians and dissenting people are non-patriots ?
No, plz stay. I just thought to come to the US - and if I'm not imprisoned just from the airport - there's one more liberal vote then ...

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post #13 of 65 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2004, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam L
Volcana, all minorities need to stick together: blacks, jews, latinos, native-americans, gays. Everyone.

Bush asked for unity. DON'T GIVE HIM THAT. Unite AGAINST his conservative movement.
Everyone who hate Bush and his Christian fundementalism should note that!

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post #14 of 65 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2004, 02:58 PM
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Hey,I have an idea!!! Let's turn everything into a racial issue!!! Great plan.

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post #15 of 65 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2004, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Czechfan
True christians would look at the poverty figures and would look at POVERY as a MORAL issue.
Mark Chapter 14:

3 And while he was in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, seated at table, there came a woman with a bottle of perfumed oil of great price; and when the bottle was broken she put the perfume on his head. 4 But some of them were angry among themselves, saying, For what purpose has this oil been wasted? 5 We might have got more than three hundred pence for it, and given the money to the poor. And they said things against her among themselves. 6 But Jesus said, Let her be; why are you troubling her? she has done a kind act to me. 7 The poor you have ever with you, and whenever you have the desire you may do them good: but me you have not for ever.


These words were spoken by Jesus himself to his disciples. Yes, Christians should do what we can for the poor, but Jesus is to be the primary focus of a Christian.

In my church, we have a food closet and give food to those who are needy. In this way, we show the love of Christ.
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