Ask Auntie Pinko
An election season twofer from Auntie to celebrate 150 columns
on Democratic Underground!
Dear Auntie Pinko,
Is Bush going to win? Should I be planning to move to Canada
or New Zealand?
Please do not take it personally if Auntie Pinko unloads on you
a bit in response to your questions. I have heard a lot of this
kind of talk lately from people who should know better, and I've
become very impatient with it, and perhaps a bit short-tempered.
First: Bush will NOT win, if every Democrat not only turns
out to vote for John Kerry, but gets one undecided friend to register
and go to the polls on November 2nd.
That's all there is to it. The plain fact is, there are more of
us than there are of them, and the only way we can blow this is
if we allow negativity and discouragement and "oh, what does it
matter, anyway" sentiments to keep us from doing our best to get
everyone to the polls. Boy, would Mr. Rove ever love that!
Nor does Auntie want to hear that tired old stuff about moving
to Canada (or wherever) if Mr. Bush wins. When the going gets tough,
the tough scarper? There will be a lot to do here in the next four
years, no matter who wins. America has been through some very difficult
times - times when things looked very bleak indeed for the things
we Democrats care about. We cannot halt the retrograde slide down
to a more inequitable, less just society by giving up and moving
So knock it off, okay? Get out there and vote, and then be prepared
to get out there and participate in the process of building hope
for a better future. Hope is a far more powerful motivator for change
than fear or anger. When people see a real chance for change, they'll
Sorry if that was a bit cranky, Worried, and thank you for writing!
Dear Auntie Pinko,
Obviously George W. Bush and the rest of his inept failures
must be removed from the White House this year. However, I look
at John Kerry and - while he's 10,000 times better and more suited
for the Presidency than Bush - I still don't actually like him.
I don't want to vote for either but I can't very well let Rove
continue to destroy the country and Ashcroft to nullify the U. S.
Constitution by throwing away my vote on some third party candidate
who has no hope of winning. A vote not cast for Kerry is a vote
cast for Bush and Americans can't face another four years of this
So I need some advice. I need a mantra, an idea for a happy
thought, some way to mentally hold my nose and pull that lever for
Kerry along with all other traditional third-party voters who will
also vote for Kerry this year because there's really no other choice.
Do you have any advice for usual third-party voters who will
be setting aside their third-party ideals to vote Democratic to
defeat Bush this year?
Auntie is puzzled. You say you need a "mantra, an idea for a happy
thought" to help you vote for John Kerry. But you've already told
me that you think he's "10,000 times better and more suited to the
Presidency," and you characterize Mr. Bush's Administration as "inept
Auntie agrees with you on both counts. So, why isn't this enough
to make you positively joyous (or at least deeply relieved) to be
able to pull the lever for Mr. Kerry?
I'll certainly grant you that Mr. Kerry has thus far demonstrated
the personal charisma of yesterday's cold oatmeal. And that his
refusal to make promises or espouse positions that he would be unable
to deliver has frustrated many. And that his persistent attempts
to keep the complexity of the issues confronting America visible,
is a problematic campaign tactic, at best.
All of these things combine to make Mr. Kerry (thus far) a less-than-ideal
candidate. Mr. Bush, on the other hand, is a wonderful candidate.
Always on message, always using very simple concepts, always trying
to exude that likable good ol' boy charm.
But a good candidate does not necessarily a good President make,
as Mr. Bush has so clearly shown these last four years. Mr. Kerry,
on the other hand, is a thoughtful, conscientious man with an intimate
knowledge of how the Federal government operates, who has clearly
shown his commitment to America's well-being both by risking his
life in military service, and by principled and firm dissent when
Mr. Kerry's experience of government, and his appreciation of
the mess he'll have to deal with once elected, not to mention his
keen awareness of the power of the frustrated opposition and the
lengths they'll go to in order to frustrate his every initiative,
make him very cautious about making promises for significant change.
Smart man, says Auntie!
The kind of cleanup that will be needed before America can return
to a progressive forward momentum and make real positive changes
cannot be completed in four years in the presence of the kind of
opposition a GOP-controlled Legislative Branch can muster. Mr. Kerry
is intelligent enough to know this, and also to know what a string
of unrealistic promises that would have to be set aside would do
to his future re-election chances.
That doesn't mean that he won't be able to accomplish anything
important in his first four years. Two words illustrate that:
If you need a mantra, Fredric, try that one. And thanks for asking
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