A sad toast to the majority

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A sad toast to the majority

Post by admin » Wed Nov 03, 2004 10:04 am

The previously "selected President" Bush is now "duly elected President" Bush. It is virtually certain now that he has won both a majority of the electoral votes needed, and unlike four years ago, the popular vote as well.

Sad, sad, very sad... but true!

I recall a speech from Bill Moyers at the Inequality Matters Forum, New York University, June 3, 2004 [http://annpale.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=1237]. He concluded by saying:

"What we need is a mass movement of people like you. Get mad, yes -- there's plenty to be mad about. Then get organized and get busy. This is the fight of our lives."

In essence, that is what a great many of us have been saying all along. We are sick and tired of U.S. Foreign Policy. While, in my opinion, the U.S. domestic policy has been disastrous as well, in essence we have stuck to our global outlook. It is true however that those two perspectives are not disconnected: to continue to reward the very rich, American foreign policy needs to ruthlessly pursue its aims of world domination and global exploitation. Should the focus for change then turn inward to our grave domestic inequalities or continue to spotlight the worst of the Empire (not strictly American) 's orchestrated horror in Haiti, in Iraq, in Sudan, in Palestine and elsewhere?

For the majority of us who will care to read this message, the temptation is strong to simply continue to denounce U.S. Foreign Policy (and clearly, we must). However, let's be frank, the 2004 U.S. elections have clearly proven that the majority of Americans could not care less what the rest of the world thinks about them and are not moved by the injustices, of a massive human scale, occurring in Haiti, in Iraq, in Palestine, and elsewhere. I have come to the regrettable conclusion that while a great many Americans care and are moved, the majority however do not care and are unmoved. We have witnessed perhaps in the U.S. a fatal blow to idealism, just as we have witnessed its death in Haiti. True, the corpses are still rolling in their graves, but as we wake up today, November 3 2004, the depressing reality in both countries may well be summarized in Sweet Micky's lyrics: "I don't care. I don't give a damn" (or whichever four-letter word he may have used).

It always seems to come down to "What's in it for me?", "A Fistful of Dollars" or tax cuts, "For a few Dollars more", in a never-ending replay of "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly". So, we too will have to address those issues more adequately. We will have to make people see that what they don't want to know about will come back to haunt them. We will have to demonstrate that the tree that falls in the forest, unbeknownst to them, has indeed fallen and will never provide to them or their children the shade that they will seek one day.

American people will one day understand that the history of the world did not begin on September 11, 2001. They were many other "September 11" in years fore, when American bombs and guns killed thousands more than the number of theirs who regretfully lost their lives at the World Trade Center in Manhattan and at the Pentagon, in Washington DC. The blood of that fateful day's victims was red, but red too is the color of the blood of tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens killed by U.S. military might, red too is also the color of the blood of U.S. soldiers and international civilian workers that has been shed and will continue to be shed in the service of a bloodthirsty empire. Sooner or later, in Iraq as previously in Vietnam, the majority of Americans will come to realize that the price of U.S. foreign policy, of its crass inhumanity is simply too great to bear. But how many thousands more will die before we stop prostituting our conscience for a few dollars more?

Is idealism dead? Why are we then still rolling in our graves? May an army of zombies rise to defeat once and for all the victorious, selfish, and unthinking forces of George W. Bush, that is "the greater than half of U.S. Americans" to which we do not belong.

Guy S. Antoine
Windows on Haiti

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The glass is also half full!

Post by admin » Thu Nov 04, 2004 11:35 am

Lynnlinn, thank you for your thoughts.

In my expressed opinion, I bitterly looked at the glass that is half empty. I think that it was important for me to express my feelings at that particular juncture. However, I do not wish for anyone to give in to despair. Sure, a Bush presidency is an unmitigated disaster for those who aspire to more justice in the U.S. and in the World. Watch particularly whom he will nominate for lifetime tenures at the Supreme Court. The first occasion will probably come with the retirement or death of Justice Renquist, who has been diagnosed recently with throat cancer.

Remember these facts: 1) George Bush Sr. replaced Thurgood Marshall with Clarence Thomas!!! ; 2) this now legitimized President, George Bush II has openly stated on various occasions that his favorite Justices are Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas!!! ; 3) Looking at the ages of this rapidly aging Supreme Court, George Bush II may have the opportunity to nominate in the next four years at least three Justices in the image of his favorite Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas!!!

How will we counteract a Republican-dominated Senate, which will be eager to seed the Supreme Court with ultra-conservatives? That is a profound reason for my bitterness at "the greater than half U.S. Americans" who will predictably be pushing their intolerant Christian Right ideology on the rest of us. But believe it or not, I just wanted to introduce here a view that is different from mine, yet not truly in opposition. It is the view that the glass is half empty yes, but also half full!

[quote]The Great Divide Continues
By David Corn, The Nation. Posted November 3, 2004.

The Red-Blue battle – a war of culture, ideology, politics and psychology – will not end with the final tally in Ohio.

It's 3:30 AM. Ohio looks bad for John Kerry. He's down 180,000 votes. There may be 175,000 provisional ballots. But can Kerry win practically every single one and find other votes there? Kerry is losing by 1700 votes in New Mexico and 15,000 in Iowa. John Edwards appeared before Kerry supporters in Copley Square and promised that the Kerry campaign will fight to count every vote. But the Kerry ticket is behind in the national numbers, on the short end of a 51-48 split, trailing Bush by almost 4 million votes, with 93 percent of the precincts reporting. The election was close, achingly close. There may be an odd bounce or two yet to come. But the safe assumption is that George W. Bush will emerge the winner of the electoral vote and the popular vote. It's a sad morning in America.

The electorate almost engaged in a much-needed political correction. It almost undid the asterisk of 2000. Instead, voters legitimized the fellow who gained the White House against the will of the majority and who then pretended he had a mandate and subsequently pushed tax cuts for the well-to-do and launched a war predicated on untrue assertions. So there will be no good-bye to reckless preemptive war, an economic policy based on tax breaks tilted toward the wealthy, a war on environmental regulations, a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, excessive secrecy in government, unilateral machismo, the neocon theology of hubris and arrogance, a ban on effective stem cell research, no-bid Halliburton contracts, John Ashcroft, Donald Rumsfeld, and much more. Did I mention Dick Cheney?

Bush lied his way into office and lied his way through his presidency. His reelection campaign was based on derision and disingenuousness; he mischaracterized Kerry and his positions and touted successes that did not exist. And now, it seems, he got away with it. He was not punished for leading the country into a war that was not necessary. He was not booted for having overstated the WMD threat from Iraq. He paid no price for failing to plan adequately for the post-invasion period. Iraq remains his mess. And the United States and the world remains at the mercy of a gang that, no doubt, will feel even more emboldened to pursue their misguided policies.

The good news: America is a divided nation. Despite the pundit hand-wringing over this fact, it is a positive thing. Nearly – nearly – half of the electorate rejected Bush's leadership, his agenda, his priorities, his falsehoods. From Eminem to the chairman of Bank of America to 48 Nobel laureates to gangbangers who joined anti-Bush get-out-the-vote efforts in swing states. Nearly half of the voting public concluded that Bush had caused the deaths of over 1100 American GIs and literally countless Iraqis (maybe 100,000) for no compelling reason. Nearly half saw the emperor buck naked and butt ugly. Nearly half said no to his rash actions and dishonest justifications. Nearly half realized that Bush had misrepresented the war in Iraq as a crucial part of the effort against al Qaeda and Islamic jihadism. Nearly half desired better and more honest leadership. Nearly half knew that Bush has led the country astray.

Other good news: Second-term presidents often hit the skids. The last three second- terms were marked by scandal (Watergate, Iran-contra, Monicagate). And as top officials sprint through the revolving door to snag high-paying jobs (while their contacts are fresh), the job of running the government during the second administration often falls to the B Team. In the post-9/11 world, this is not all that reassuring. But the historical trend does suggest that Bush will have trouble enacting his various schemes. Yet – let's be realistic – the Senate results indicate that the GOP will expand its majority in the Senate, which means Bush will have more allies for his wrongheaded missions.

More good news; Bush will not be able to hand off his own wreckage – Iraq and the gargantuan deficit – to a new man. But this does not mean he will accept responsibility and deal with it. Bush has the ability to deny and defy reality. And if he cannot see that the trash has piled up, he will not be hauling it to the curb.

Okay, no more good news. I can't stand all this good news. Bush has bamboozled and frightened just enough Americans to gain the opportunity to flimflam them for another four years. And the rest of the country – and the globe – will be along for the dangerous ride.

As for John Kerry, he and his advisers looked like geniuses early on Election Day, when exit polls showed him ahead in the critical states There will be time – plenty of time – to critique Kerry and his crew and second-guess their various decisions. Had he swatted down the Swift Vets earlier would that have saved him just the right number of votes? Had he voted against granting Bush the authorization to launch an elective war against Iraq anytime Bush damn well pleased, perhaps Kerry would have presented a clearer picture for the electorate and inoculated himself from the trumped-up flip-flop charge. Perhaps. He, too, will have years to ponder all of this.

Kerry was no top-gun campaigner. His rhetoric often meandered. More than once he shot himself in the foot with inartful language. But he did vigorously criticize Bush for misleading the country into war and for screwing up (big time!) the planning for the post-invasion period. He called for expanding health care coverage and for dramatic investments in alternative energy. He slammed Bush for ignoring the middle class crisis. He advocated raising the minimum wage and vowed to take on such special interests as the prescription drugs lobby. He excoriated Bush's assault on environmental safeguards and defended abortion rights. And he effectively used the three debates to counter the Bush camp's claim that he was a finger-in-the-wind pol and a weak-kneed opportunist with no convictions. Those encounters hurt Bush. Of those voters who say they decided in the past month, Kerry led 60 to 37 percent. All of this – it almost worked.

There was a clear difference between the two candidates. They disagreed on many basic issues. But – perhaps more importantly – they represented vastly different ways of engaging the world. One has adopted an ask-no-questions, nevermind-the- nuances, don't-look-back, tough-guy style of leadership. The other promised to consider and reach out before leaping. One said – practically boasted – that he read no newspapers. The other came across as a man who absorbed much information before rendering a decision. The voters chose the wrong man.

But not all is lost. The Red-Blue battle – a war of culture, ideology, politics and psychology – will not end with the final tally in Ohio. The forces of Bushism appear to have triumphed this day. But life – if we are lucky – is long, and history never ends. Let the great divide in America continue.

David Corn is the Washington editor of The Nation and author of "The Lies of George W. Bush: Mastering the Politics of Deception." He writes a blog at He writes a blog at www.davidcorn.com .[/quote]


Post by T-dodo » Thu Nov 04, 2004 1:10 pm


If you don't mind, I will remind you of a few things. Politics in the USA is cyclical. In 1996, republicans were feeling as bad as you are feeling now when Bill Clinton was reelected. And thanks to term limit, party has opportunity to change the leadership of the country every 8 years. Perhaps, otherwise, Bill Clinton would have been the one gaining reelection this year - well, we don't know how his helath problems would have played in this.

When Dukakis lost to Bush's father, I was devastated as a democrat that my party's guy did not win. Four years later, Clinton was reelected and stayed there for 8 years. Like I said somewhere else, we just lost a battle not the war.

Now, regarding the treatment of minorities at the polls or during the elections, we need to neutralize the republicans' actions by being as smart as they are. The USA is a very competitive country. Unfortunately, the dirty tricks of the republicans are legal. They target blacks because they feel they can outsmart them. We have to show them that we can't be outsmarted. That means that we have to educate our people so that they know the rules and the laws. While we can cry "Wolf" every time they try to outsmart us, as long as it is legal and we let them get away with it, we will continue to have difficult times. We have to do the work in our communities and in our homes so that together we can defend ourselves instead of having some our brethren being victimized by their dirty tricks.

We, democrats or non republicans, need to wake up. We need to sharpen our message so that our positions are clear. We need to stop letting republicans define us. Despite the fact that John Kerry was able to redefine himself as a flip flop in the debate, but it was already too late. Our message in this campaign was not clear and concise. It was too muted. We could have done a better job and it is time now to prepare us for the next election. If they asked me for my opinion, here what I would have suggested.

To me there is a clear difference between a democrat and a republican. We stand for people and they stand for money. In my opinion, all actions of a republican are motivated by the desire to accumulate more money. They are masters at disguising that motivation, because there is nothing wrong with wanting to earn more money.

In 1992, Clinton kept emphasizing in his speeches that we PUT PEOPLE FIRST. Voters had no problem getting that message and elected him. It is short and easy to understand. You can justify almost all actions of a democrat by these three simple words. It is time the party has no problem telling what it stands for. We all know what a democrat stands for but few of our leaders can tell it to you in simple words. Look at the republicains. In few words they can tell you what they stand for:

- No taxes
- No big government
- moral values

In reality, all these three slogans are euphemisms for PUT MONEY FIRST, inc
luding moral values. They use "moral values" to safeguard their dominance on women, minorities, other people so that they can earn more money. The reason is that historically the institutions of moral values, the church and law enforcers - police, army, the courts - had guaranteed and protected the privileges of the dominant group, white men. But, you almost never heard a national political figure telling you that they put money first. In order to know that is what they are doing, you have to look at their actions and the blind eye they keep at people who are suffering both in the United States and throughout the world.

Look at the democrats. Do they have three slogans that they all repeat that are so definable and easy to express like the republicans. What did Kerry use?

- I can do better in Irak by getting along with allies and properly administering the war. (too long and will be useless when the war is over).

- I can defend the country against terrorism because I defended the country well in Vietnam. (also too long and no match for Bush Afghanistan's performance - also limited in scope over decades. He could have emphasized more improving Americans' image abroad as a long term solution versus Bush's short-term solution with no long term goals.)

- We want economic prosperity for every American, not only the privileged ones. (Although this is a great line, he did not use it effectively. His message was muted in defending social security without saying how and by preventing the exports of jobs overseas without saying how either. He was not believale because, first, people on an average are not doing too bad and second, businesses export jobs not presidents).

If they asked me for my advice I would tell them to redefine themselves for not only the next election but the future of the democratic party. They would do this by redefining what they stand for, which are:

- Put people First
- Economic Prosperity for all
- Human Values

For human values, let me provide some examples (the born has priority over the unborn who is not human yet, you cannot kill the born - criminals or not - since you are not God, the poors, the minorities and the world deserve our help to reach economic prosperity because they are humans like us and will improve our image as a nation, etc.)

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The unvarnished truth, not slogans!

Post by admin » Thu Nov 04, 2004 3:01 pm

[quote]the unborn who is not human yet[/quote]
In my opinion, that message will not wash with the many who believe that human life begins at conception. And then you entrap yourself with having to define when human life begins, unless you would be willing to defend the position that killing a fully developed fetus, let's say the day prior the anticipated birth or just a few hours before, is not criminal. Is it the process of the baby coming through the vaginal canal or being taken out through C-section that gives it legal rights that it normally would not have? Obviously, at least to me, that's an untenable position. So, I would not say anything like "the unborn who is not human yet".

It's important not to let the Republicans exploit this issue in such political fashion. I have a hunch that of all women who have subjected themsel
ves to abortion for one reason or another, about half of them if not more will come from Republican households. The Conservative Republicans are, for the most part, a bunch of hypocrites. Their wives and daughters are having abortions too!! If one of Bush's twin daughters were to become pregnant and decide to have an abortion (assuming that did not already happen, which is well in the realm of possibilities), do you think that we would find out about it??? Of course not! And of course, we should not, as it is none of our business. This illustrates the point however that these professional liars can make all the pious declarations they want for political purposes, and generally get away with it.

The Republican Party were only smart enough to align themselves with the Christian fundamentalists for the (coldly) calculated objective of collecting votes. They do not believe in the sactity of human life more than any other party. George Bush, while governor of Texas, signed more execution orders than all other governors combined and for an entire generation. Now he has had over 1,100 U.S. soldiers killed for a lie about Saddam Hussein being in possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction, ready to be launched against the United States within 45 minutes. According to the latest study, reprinted on this forum, more than 100,000 Iraqis have died, when compared to the death patterns in Iraq prior to the war. One does not have to be pro-abortion (and Kerry definitely was not) to realize that George W. Bush has no great respect for human life, except when it suits his political purposes.

I don't think that you will find a slogan to express all of the above. But perhaps the Democrats should begin simply by telling the truth, loud and clear. Don't think about slogans, think about SPEAKING TRUTH. Kerry wanted to fight the Karl Rove minded Republicans with his gloves on. During the Democratic Convention, he specifically asked all of the speakers to refrain from criticizing the Republicans too much, especially on an issue as critical as the War on Iraq. He wanted to be diplomatic to the end. So George Bush portrayed him as a flip-flopper. George Bush portrayed him falsely as favoring abortion and gay marriages. Guess which candidate won?

I don't know about this American public, but I'll tell you this: I will likely vote, each and every time, for a candidate who has the courage to tell the truth and to call the bluffs of his opponent.

[quote]you cannot kill the born - criminals or not - since you are not God[/quote]
I don't think that this slogan or message will wash with the electorate either. You should realize that what you have expressed is a mostly Northern liberal idea. American electoral politics are dominated by Southern conservatives. John Kennedy was the last Democratic President from the North! And Johnson had predicted that the Southern conservatives would have a lock on the Electoral College for at least a century. If you say that "you cannot kill the born - since you are not God", they will simply deride you as a liberal. Clinton himself interrupted his campaign to go back to Arkansas and sign the execution order for a death row inmate who was a retarded man! Geoge W. Bush has no peer among politicians today for ordering the killing of a large number of death row prisoners. I am virtually certain that at least a few of those people were innocent of the crimes they were accused of, and the majority of them were black. Yet, George Bush claims to be divinely inspired!

Why, oh why, can't the Democratic Party pick a candidate who is not afraid of being combative, who is not afraid of speaking truth to power? Is this simply reserved for Black politicians who are not electable (by a wide safety margin)? Is it reserved to the fringe Larouche type of independent candidates? Why can't a candidate come along who will expose the association of the Republican Party with the Christian Right for what it really is?

The closest we had in that regard was Howard Dean (among white politicians) and Dennis Kucinih (Dennis who?). And look what they did to Dean, just because of a scream??? I wonder whether the Republicans did not outsmart the Democrats and somehow arranged to torpedo Howard Dean, because they feared him more??? Well, that's just idle speculation on my part. However, my main point is that in order for the Democrats to regain power at the national level, they are going to have to be much more aggressive in exposing the dirty deals of the Republicans. Nice slogans will not do the job.

At least, that's my opinion.


Re: The unvarnished truth, not slogans!

Post by T-dodo » Thu Nov 04, 2004 6:59 pm

[quote]Nice slogans will not do the job[/quote]
Unfortunately, it did the job for the republicans in the past 25 years. Even when they were loading the country with debts to enrich their weapon manufacturers' allies and themselves, they were able to use slogans like "big government" to deny financial help for the poors. From what I see in the USA, politics is the art of convincing people that you can lead them. To do it, you have to be consistent. A lot of the people who voted for Bush did not like some of his performance in the past four years. They voted for him anyway, because his message touched them, even when it was an unjustified criticism of John Kerry or a cover for his misguided decisions. The reason is the message was clear, easy to remember, and apparently right. Kerry failed to do that. Even when he was right, he sometimes failed to convinced the people.

[quote]In my opinion, that message will not wash with the many who believe that human life begins at conception. [/quote]
Guy, remember that Bill Clinton got elected twice even though he was not against all abortions. He was for abortions in certain cases, such as when the life of the mother is in danger. I believe we can get Christians to support democrats if our policies are in line with other Christian values, and that abortion is not the litmust test. There are other Christians beliefs that compete with the abortion issue. Evangelicals had exploited this even though their position on the death penalty was inconsistent with their position on abortion and even though their position towards money was inconsistent with Christian's belief in charity and compassion. That's why the Bush dynasty came up with "compassionate conservatives," another effort at justifying their inconsistent positions.

[quote]So, I would not say anything like "the unborn who is not h
uman yet". [/quote]
Perhaps, there is a better way to say it. That's exactly the point. Clinton and Reagan showed us there is a way. Reagan was for claiming to be Christian while at the same time showing no compassion for the minorities, the underprivileged, etc.

[quote]I don't think that this slogan or message will wash with the electorate either. You should realize that what you have expressed is a mostly Northern liberal idea.[/quote]
By using the word "liberal" regarding opposition to death penalties you just made my point. In many European countries, the label "liberal" is a good thing, which means that as a good politician or communicator you can manipulate words and ideas to the desired results, without breaking the laws or even lying. By using human values together with compassion policies, strong deterrence policies to criminal activities, and other things I mentioned before, you can sound believable in your opposition to the death penalties that you
make converts. The proponents to the death penalty had made a better case, which is why the opponents are called liberals. The beauty is that the republicans had coined a characteristics to the label "liberal." That is what the democrats did not do, which is having their own dirty words to depict the actions of the republicans, instead of bla bla bla in complicated concepts.

[quote]my main point is that in order for the Democrats to regain power at the national level, they are going to have to be much more aggressive in exposing the dirty deals of the Republicans. [/quote]
True! But, it will have to be done using a few words.

[quote]Why, oh why, can't the Democratic Party pick a candidate who is not afraid of being combative, who is not afraid of speaking truth to power? Is this simply reserved for Black politicians who are not electable (by a wide safety margin)? Is it reserved to the fringe Larouche type of independent candidates? Why can't a candidat
e come along who will expose the association of the Republican Party with the Christian Right for what it really is? [/quote]
There is a certain protocol you must maintain in the USA as a politician. You can denounce an opponent while maintaining control of your emotions so that people can feel comfortable you can be trusted to defend the people interests and not let your emotions be in the way. No politician in recent memory has been able get away with uncontrollable display of emotion. Leadership in the USA is a privilege that is granted only to those with above average talents. People will not accept your leadership over them if they feel that you have no special qualities that they don't have. Speaking the truth sometimes offends people. You don't make friends by offending those you are trying to befriend. And you certainly don't offend those you want to vote for you. Societies take time to change. Until you change them, you have to be careful how you characterize things that are dear to


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