City of Roses
|Yesterday, the election results were made final. This time, Bush won fair and square, all has been said and done, and let us all accept that.
With that said, for the health and sake of this wonderful nation, let us move on and lean our attention to what must happen these next four years. Let us not treat each other as political rivals, but rather as friends, neighbors, siblings in spirit, as Americans, for America is the land of opportunity, it is the home of the free.
Today, in his first press conference since winning this election, Bush said, "With the campaign over, Americans are expecting a bipartisan effort and results. I will reach out to everyone who shares our goals and I'm eager to start the work ahead,"
Being a Christian and believing in Christian values and fundamentals, I believe in forgiveness and second chances. Though I will continue to protest this war which I still find "senseless", as well as my unshifting opinion that he had a lame record the first time around, let us give him the opportunity to give America a fresh start before jumping to ultimate conclusions.
During Bush's second term, let fellow Democrats, liberals, progressives, etc. judge him by how true he is to his vow to managing a "bi-partisan effort" and "reaching out to Kerry voters". Knowing that the GOP now has strengthened control of the government, with 55 Senate seats and 231 House seats, it is up to the people to see to it every American is represented and not just the majority party. Let each and every American together make this administration accountable and responsible for the rights of each citizen, regardless of political affliation, religious affiliation or stance.
Bush won a majority of the vote, but when over 55 million Americans voted differently and an electoral graph is closely tied, not to mention an additional 400,000 who voted Nader and thousands more for Cobb, they can't be wrong either. This nation remains polarized and we must see to it we respect one another, and in the meantime our rights are respected as well and we remain a democracy by definition, "of the people, by the people and for the people", not solely by name.
We need to build communities and kinships between one another. Bush said at his victory speech, "We have one country, one Constitution and one future that binds us. To make this nation stronger and better, I will need your support, and I will work to earn it."
We must stop playing this nationwide "Red Blue Game". You never earn a positive score in this game without trust, without communication, without understanding others viewpoints, and are left in nothing but this prisoner's dilemma. This "boss vs. client", "quantity vs. quality" salmagundi. We must remember that the 59 million who voted for Bush's judgement of what quality, morals, values are may differ from the over 55 million who voted Kerry. We must find the trust and in finding it be collaborative and supportive. We must talk to one another.
I ask all of us, regardless of your political positioning, for all of us to get along and work together to seek a common ground.
Bush also said today, "We are continuing the war on terror and every American has a stake in the outcome of this war."
Bush is right. What must also be understood is that about half of Americans have a stake in the outcome, that this war must be stopped now. Let us work to see both sides are equally represented.
I will continue to march and protest against this war, and encourage all who feel this war is wrong as well to follow their conscience and join the movement if they believe it is wrong.
I will continue to promote the progressive ethics of non-violence in foreign policy. Grassroots democracy, so that we can build communities and get people involved everywhere through local campaigning, through the Internet, through creative, intuitive organizing like Howard Dean was great at early in his campaign.
Social justice and equal opportunity, so everyone has the rights and opportunity to benefit equally from the resources given to us in our society, and see to it ethnic barriers such as racism, sexism and homophobia don't draw lines in the decision-making process, which is exactly why I continue to protest the constitutional amendment on gay marriage.
Ecological wisdom, so we can move toward an energy efficient economy, maintain a balance in life with nature, and live with the understanding that we are part of nature, not seperate from it.
Decentralization of wealth and power, so social, political and economic institutions can work for the people and not solely for the most fortunate.
Economic justice, so each American family gets paid a handsome living wage in the near future and regardless of barriers or stereotypes, everyone is paid and protected equally, so women for instance can now get paid exactly the same as men, and not 24 cents less on average as some reports suggest.
The celebration of diversity, so all cultures, races, sexes and religious affliations are accepted in decision-making and organization-building, for in building relationships such as this, we form much stronger and healthier leadership capabilities.
And finally, sustainability. See to it we rationalize the distribution of our natural resources and see to it companies and corporations take responsibility for the good of the people and not solely for short-term net gains.
Fellow progressives, let us work each day to promote these values to our communities, and hopefully, to our government and see to it at least we're heard. We must take into account and remember in our judgement what Bush did wrong in his first term and keep that in mind, but in the process, let us try and find trust in this administration that they can fulfill their word to the good of Americans beyond their own conservative party interests and see to it we are all represented, see to it by the end that there still isn't the lingering result that over half believe America is heading in the wrong direction.
The people who showed up at the exit polls to vote have spoken. 68% of Americans believe changes must be made during Bush's second term, in contrast to his first. And it is up to the people to see to it this term is not just "more of the same".
Fellow progressives, let us continue to protest this war, let us continue to make this president take responsibility for the concerns of this nation, let us continue to speak our minds out loudly. I also ask that we find some respect in what they're doing, be open, hear what they have to say and understand their viewpoints. Let us not make discrepancies over every single thing Bush says or does, and be sure we listen before we react. And, Mr. President, we count on you to do the same and listen to us.
The revolution will not be televised....it doesn't mean the revolution isn't being recorded, for we are making history as we speak. It is the people, it is democracy that makes history happen, and the sight of Americans gathering together in front of city hall to preach their hopes, desires and yearnings to the general public, this is what democracy looks like.
As to those whose politics differ from mine, this fellow progressive independent is happy and delighted to work with you, to talk to you, to find solutions in which we both can live by, in which our interests are represented together. I am a Christian who reads the Bible every once in a while in the desire to seek spiritual wisdom and enlightenment, and take some psalms to heart and live by them. I have friends who are Republicans and conservatives and I love them very much. My grandparents are conservatives, and though we disagree and dispute very much on issues like abortion, stem-cell research and gay marriage, we love each other very much and they are two of my most loved people in the world, because I know we can live together and the differences only make us love each other even more if we can accept and recognize them.
It's true I was heartbroken hearing the election results, and I was sad and cried for a while, but though my candidate was defeated, my passion and optimism and hope have not. I look at the November 1st Oregonian, where my 15-year old sister Ellie made the front page of the Metro section where she helped out with Trick Or Vote, which now has been pasted happily in my scrapbook!
I look to my fellow PPRC friend Richard, a veteran from the Gulf War, who has an abnormal heartbeat rate from the uranium contamination in his body and fights cancer, yet despite the adversities he still can smile and speak his mind!
I look back on the almost 10,000 who marched behind me at the Rally For Peace And Justice on October 3rd, seeing dozens of children lindy-hop around in peace capes giggling with radiant sun-shining smiles, seeing a number of veterans from Vietnam, the Gulf War, even World War II speaking on our podium, seeing teachers, union workers, and college students making up a large part of our march.
Abraham Lincoln said, "The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time." Let us live for today, not for each and every tomorrow. For Paul Wellstone said, "The future belongs to those who are passionate"!
Let us move beyond the aggressiveness of this election season and look to the future. For, I believe with all my heart, the sun is rising, our best days are still to come!
And we are all God's children, who carry the sun in the palm of our hands!
God Bless You All, and God Bless America!
"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20