I'll preface this by saying that I planned on posting this, or something to this effect, no matter who won.
If I had been journalling in 2000 I would have.... Well, maybe I should talk about that first. Election night 2000, I voted for Nader, and I was actually more afraid of four years of Gore than of Bush. It was too close to call and I think I posted the quote below to a usenet newsgroup.
When Bush ended up winning the electoral college under suspicious circumstances, and losing the popular vote to boot, I thought that it would be the best possible outcome considering the canidates. Note that I really really didn't want Gore to be President. I didn't want Bush either, but it seemed to me that without winning the popular vote, Bush didn't exactly have a mandate. Maybe that would force him to show some restraint.
Was I wrong or what? GWB has shown arrogance beyond what I thought possible in a politician, and I'm pretty cynical about politicians. Four years later, he wins the election by the skin of his teeth, and still is acting as if he has a mandate. I remember reading a headline that said "Bush reaching out to Kerry supporters." Well, Mr. Bush, I may have voted for Kerry, but I was never a Kerry supporter, so fuck you.
We are not saying "Don't Vote". Whether we vote or not, or who we vote for, is largely unimportant. What is important is realising that it is not a cross on a piece of paper which counts, but how we spend the rest of our lives. Real change comes about not because we vote for it, but because we fight for it, shout for it, work for it. Placing hopes and fears on who holds power, or who will gain power through voting, is wasting time which might be spent in creating alternatives, both for ourselves and for our communities. Whether you choose to vote or not does not interest us. But we ask you: Organise! Educate! Participate!
So now what do we do?
There is a possibility that voter fraud will be found, or that Bush will be impeached, but even if we got rid of both Bush and Cheney, most likely the replacement would be yet another scumbag politician. We vote for president once every 1461 days. What matters more, what we do on that one day, or the 1460 days in between?
Yes, I go to political demonstrations. I've had mixed feelings about that for the past few years. Are they really effective? I suppose that depends on how you define effective. If anything, I like to think that it helps preserve our freedom of speach. Use it or lose it. Another thing is that it lets people know that they are not alone.
I still wonder if there is something that would be most effective in getting out a message than protest, or a way to make protests more effective. These days protests are pretty much patronised by the mainstream media. A lot of times they seem to search out for the least intellegent statement from the least articulate protester for their soundbite coverage of the event.
A lot of times I think it is the little things that matter. Where do you shop for your groceries? How much do you drive your car? Heck, even how we treat each other, especially those that we disagree with.
I suppose there is letter writing too. Writing to our congress critter, writing letters to the editor. They haven't had opposing viewpoints on TV in years, but it can still help to write to the TV and Radio stations, especially if you say you are copying the letter to the FCC. (And do copy them.)
So, how does our country survive the next four years?
I can't think of much to say except make ourselves a pain in the ass to the politicians whenever reasonably possible.
Can anyone think of anything better or more specific?
Or, now that I've waited a week after the election, is everyone sick of this subject by now?
There are actually a lot of more practical things I could suggest here. I don't have the time right now, but maybe later, or maybe in discussion. Comments please?