Friday, November 05, 2004

Address to Minor Americans Everywhere

My Fellow Minor Americans,

It’s been difficult to get out of bed these past few days. It’s easier to sleep in a haze of strange, slightly disturbing dreams than to read The Times where the President says he’s finally earned the “political capital” and he’s going “to spend it.” It was easier when the presidency was stolen.

Yesterday I wrote an address to you but the bloggers were blogging so much, no doubt in despair, that my entry was swallowed by the server and never seen again. I can’t write the same entry today. Yesterday I was very upset. I was worried that somehow I was responsible for the outcome of this election, given the fact that I was overjoyed to see gay marriage at City Hall here in SF this year. But I don’t get it today. How is killing 100,000 civilians and letting 1000 of our young, poor people die in Iraq where there are no WMDs, where there was no Al Quada until our occupation less moral than banning gay marriage? I can’t answer that question. I don’t understand the tiny majority that put this delusional Christian into office. Last I heard Jesus didn’t dig tax cuts for the rich or war.

What’s important to remember is that only a tiny majority put this fucker back in. And it was fear that got them to the polls. What’s important to remember is that the cultural divide that everyone is talking about isn’t just separating the blue coast from the red middle. The red middle is divided in itself. There were very few huge wins in the red states. There are people there that feel more alienated than we do. Kate Pringle, Brandon Brown and the rest of Stacy Doris’ and Chet Wieners’ graduate classes at State went to Florida for the election. The counties they canvassed got the largest Democratic turnouts in history. What Kate tells me is that the people there are poor and know who the enemy is. Children followed her and Brandon down the street, threatening to beat up Bush and cheering for Kerry. One little girl claimed that Kerry had taken her to Pizza Hut for her birthday last week. They know what’s up more than us privileged blogging fucks on the coasts. They feel it in their belly.

I am angry at the Democrats. This coup has been in the works for twenty years. The slow take over of the media. The slow building of the base. What’s the Democrats plan? Where’s the build-up of their infrastructure? Why didn’t they see it coming? Where’s our Karl Rove?
I’ve been criticized for being so excited about the Democratic ticket this year, but given the low numbers Nader got, I’m not the only one who knew we shouldn’t split the vote. And I don’t feel safe working for the Green party or any other third party that is more progressive than the Democrats right now. There’s too much at stake. The Democrats need to realize that they have a progressive base and cater to it the way that the Republicans cater to the evangelicals. That’s the activism I want to be a part of right now.

But I think it’s really important that we all volunteer efforts during the next four years in whatever way we see fit. It’s important that we take time now and figure out where we feel most needed and dedicate a little time all the time to that cause. The nature of our country is at stake. We need to have the plan and the commitment that the red evil doers have. This is our country. We don’t need to be Minor Americans much longer.



very said...

dear maggie

"the people there are poor and know who the enemy is"

who is the enemy? when we use the language of george w to describe our, yes, FELLOW AMERICANS, we do no better than he does, and perpetuate ourselves the violent moralist divisiveness that has already taken firm root in this country. anger is excellent fuel for action but since weds morning I understand more clearly than ever the desperate need for each of us working towards a less divided state of the union to stop believing, and more importantly SAYING that an enemy exists, and work towards discovering the fellow inside of that which threatens and frightens us---as lisa jarnot said on her blog on weds, "get to know your midwestern neighbors and invite them to your happy gay marriage"---that doesn't just mean show them who you or we are, but find out who they are. last night chris stroffolino said he feels ashamed of the left-progressive-bicoastal condescension he's been haroboring towards this mythical "midwest", this mythical "ignorant voter" and feels in part responsible for the wild surge of (i'm paraphrasing or else elaborating) fanatic anti-intellectual voting practice.

as you pointed out so clearly that it isn't about the red states vs the blue we saw on the map tuesday night, but that in each state the people (that is, "we, the people") are divided, confused and frightened, and equally they, or we, are lazy. we aren't talking to each other enough, we aren't teaching each other enough, we aren't listening to each other enough. canvassing needs to be something else, and this needs to be more than a two-year plan or a four-year plan, it needs to be a life-long plan, and take shape in the form of moving away from the coasts and cities where we sit in our little liberal shelters eating our good bread and organic vegetables, and move into the heartland---wherever that is, as its in california also, and in texas also, and in ohio also and in wisconsin also, and in new hampshire also (i don't think it's in connecticut also, or is it)---taking our unfamiliar family structures and wild liberal values with us, and taking that giant risk of practicing what we preach by actually living the lives we believe in in a place where it isn't so easy to do it, where we have to face everyday---with measure with love with kindness with tolerance and with understanding---the possibility of hatred and violence threatening to one's individual person, as a way of saying i believe we can grow a mutual understanding, and grow a green party in arkansas, and regrow the kind of educational system we once thought we'd have here---the kind that makes thoughtful educated citizens who's not going to work, it's never worked, by staying at home in the academy, or just next to it, or even by staying home and phoning up florida, though that helps---we've got to put our bodies where our mouths are, and not for a couple of days or hours but for the long haul.

how, what, is it possible, will *I* do it? don't know yet, but i'm growing some sort of formulation that might make this a model of what's possible to act in...


my harried thoughts

Anonymous said...

great ..thanks for sharing.....

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