November 12, 2004

A Letter To Liberals

Steve Gilliard writes what I'd consider to be one of the more important messages to send to the base of people getting ready to turn this election into another 2000. (Link thanks to Avedon, who had her own response to Steve's letter.)

Dear liberal,

It's time you put your ass where your mouth and money is. Stop the whining. You want to preserve abortion rights, defend them. Don't whine about Bush and his future judges.

You like your values, well you better defend them, and I mean for real, every day, in your lives. The free ride is over. I'm tired of the bitching and moaning. Time to do. It is simply time to do.

All you stolen election people: please, please shut the [****] up and listen.

...Let me explain how I feel about this: I don't trust or like how Diebold was implimented. I don't like the lack of paper trails. I strongly dislike Diebold's lack of accountability. But to make your case, you need hard proof. Indictable proof. If you accuse the GOP of stealing the election, you have to have more than suspicion. Just because Bev Harris says it happened doesn't mean it did. It would really help if she was a computer scientist or statistician. And if we're all waiting before making serious charges it's not because we sold out. It's because we're not idiots. It's one thing to be wrong about a Kerry landslide. Tucker Carlson and I can have a laugh over that one day. But to steal an election like this is basically treason. And you need a really sturdy standard of proof before you scream traitor. ...

Please go read the rest, where Steve talks about what will be the hard and important work of building a party that will have something important to say to disenchanted Bush voters come 2008.

Ticked off about the paper trail problems? Start a campaign in your home state to require voter-verifiable paper trails with every machine. In fact, look into your state election laws and start thinking about sensible ways to make the vote totals sacrosanct and the registration process free, fair, and uncorruptible, should there be any question on those points. Hint: you will have better luck selling this as a common-sense measure that everyone should get behind rather than something that should be done because the Republican party steals elections. It's politically difficult to oppose the former, easy and consequence-free to oppose the latter.

Frustrated about a poor local ground campaign? Don't wait three years to find out if you can do something about it.

Angry that opposition party candidates ran unopposed? Look into running for or recruiting candidates to that race. Make it a point to be sure that every race in your area is a real contest.

Feel like the party didn't do enough to reach out to a community you're part of? Reach out to your own community on behalf of the ideals of yours that you feel the party represents.

This is a time to strengthen our resolve, to look ahead, and decide that the next election isn't going to come down to a state or two with a sketchy electoral process. Decide that the next election will be as indisputably free and fair as you can possibly contribute to making it. Decide that for the midterms in 2006, and the election in 2008, you will not come out the other side wondering if some of the energy you put into frustrations over the past kept you from doing everything you could.

We didn't get killed in a landslide like when McGovern or Mondale ran. In spite of the fact that this is a time of national fear and uncertainty, despite the fact that our party still hasn't mastered the art of coming together to defend our standard bearer and put forth a consistent message, and that our media communication infrastructure is nearly nonexistent, very nearly half the voting public went with us anyway. To put it another way, even though Democrats have become terrible campaigners, our message still gets a decent reception.

This is a time to look ahead. This is a time to commit to affecting change at the state and local levels to mitigate the harm of another four years of Bush. This is a time to go back to school on these issues and figure out where there are any small ways we can contribute.

We must decide whether we want to complain or to win. There isn't enough time for both.

Posted by natasha at November 12, 2004 12:01 AM | US Politics | Technorati links |

Great paper article.

I'm somewhat moderate though I lean Republican. Frankly, I have a hard time even considering another party when all of its members I know can't agree and argue amongst themselves incestantly, claiming conspiracy at every turn. I've come to see the Democratic party as the people who hate everything so much that they just don't care about putting a foot forward anymore and want everyone out of government.

Your writing isn't like any liberal writing I've seen before. Its both respectable and intellegent while lacking wild accusations and conspiracy theory though still allowing for the possbility.

Within the Republican Party, many of us are discontent. However, a vote for Bush was the only one that was predictable. Though we do not always agree with Bush's policies, at least we knew what they were and how he would react when he encounters an issue.

Posted by: reofbl at November 16, 2004 10:55 AM