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Have we woken up from our long nightmare?

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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:11 AM
Original message
Have we woken up from our long nightmare?
Below is something I posted on November 2nd, 2008. I talk about my passion for voting in general and how that grew after 9/11. I talk about how important it is to vote for Obama, despite polls predicting victory. And I forecast that once Obama is elected, we will wake up from our long nightmare and begin to repair the damage that has been inflicted upon us over the last many years. I say that we will have hope. I say that Obama will belong to us because of the unprecedented amount of small individual contributions that helped propel him to office. I say that I believe our democracy has enough working parts that we can have our voices heard and do good work.

I am a world class chump.

Have we woken up from our long nightmare?

Do we have hope?

What have we repaired?

Essentially, what the fuck?

I would like to work for Obamas campaign and I still understand the importance of opposing any Republican candidate. But my heart is not in it. I dont actually believe.

Nothing will ever happen within our political system that will displace anyone in the health insurance industry, the factory food industry, the fossil fuel industry, or the arms industry. Democracy is dead.

Please explain to me why Im wrong and what I can do about it thats legal and non-violent, cause, really, Im out.

Heres my pile of steaming bullshit from November 2nd, 2008:

On September 11, 2001 Primary Day I walked from my North Brooklyn apartment to the school that was my polling place to cast my vote. As I approached, I saw the children pressed up against the windows watching the black smoke mass above the carnage of the World Trade Center. I signed myself in, dripping tears, and although I knew the election would be canceled, I entered the booth and I voted because I was honestly afraid I may never have the opportunity to do so again.

As I left the building, I saw the smoke rise across the river and knew that I was watching a smokescreen rise for a regime that had little respect for the democratic process, and that this horrific crime would be used to grant legitimacy to an appointed leader and his ideologue cronies. This regime, whod been awarded power by eliminating votes and through a Supreme Court decision that unique in our history both had no precedent and set no precedent - would make this abomination into their opportunity. I knew, before Id ever heard Bush utter the word trifecta, before I ever read of the PNACs craving for a Pearl Harbor type event, I knew this days grief would be used to make drastic changes in our country and I was afraid. I remember thinking that whoever had orchestrated this attack had the power to destroy lives and property but not the power to destroy Democracy that could only be done from within.

So I voted, knowing that it wouldnt count and not knowing if my vote would ever count again.

Like all of us, in the coming weeks, months and years I watched our leaders use the most extreme fear tactics to bully Americans into believing it was crucial to the War on Terror to give up rights, to give up privacy, and to embrace torture and preemptive invasions of countries that had never attacked us. Like many of us, I became more politically active, researching, writing, networking, organizing, protesting and working up to the 2004 election. I believed that our democracy still had enough working parts that our voices might be heard and we might possibly be able to begin to make reparations.

2004 was disappointing on so many levels. How can a party claim to represent the people when it benefits most by not counting us? Widely reported incidents of voter purges, voter suppression, intimidation and tricks, along with many votes being keyed into machines with proprietary software and no paper trail, did not improve my confidence that election results were real. Still, Bush claimed mandate and he and his junta continued to hack away at the American dream in stubborn pursuit of New World Order and personal profits.

Its been a long 8 years.

Despite pre-election day polling, with the McCain/Palin campaign submitting to the same subversive forces that have so severely undermined our election process, how can we win? We need to come out and vote in such tremendous numbers that Republican operatives cant possibly purge, suppress or reverse enough votes to tip the balance. We need to arrive at our polling places in such unprecedented masses that a McCain/Palin victory would be completely implausible. We need to deliver on such a massive scale that we become tamper-proof. We need to be undeniable.

When we do this, and Barack Obama becomes President of the United States, then we truly will have hope. We will being to repair the great damage that has been done and finally begin to move forward. I dont think that Barack Obama is perfect and I dont think he has a magic cure for all that ails us. But I do think that he is ours. Hes where he is now because we put him there. Weve already voted in the one way we know still works - through unprecedented financial contributions. The bulk of Obamas campaign contributions have some from individuals giving $200 or less. Barack Obama is where he is now because we put him there. We are his lifes blood and he will be accountable to us.

When we wake up from this long nightmare, there will be so much work to do. I know were anxious to do it. Lets keep up this great momentum and make sure we have the opportunity.


P.S. In 2004, I worked for Kucinich.

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Buzz Clik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:13 AM
Response to Original message
1. "...there will be so much work to do." You were serious, right?
There is still work to do.
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:17 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. That's true - but we are not effective.
We vote, we buy fair-trade products, we take public transportation, we boycott, we protest, we research, we share information, we petition. No one listens. Nothing changes.
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Buzz Clik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Nothing changes? An African-American in the White House? Come on.
You may not like the way he is conducting business, but that's a pretty enormous change.

There is one certainty: change stops when we quit, and the GOP would love to have us roll over and die.
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:29 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. I have to thank you.
You are doing what I asked. I wouldn't have posted if I wanted to quit. What I want is a kick in the ass. Maybe several hundred kicks in the ass. I'm seriously very depressed and uninspired, but I know it's important that I find a positive take. How can I inspire other people if I have lost it?
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RegieRocker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:13 AM
Response to Original message
2. You're alright!
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Kurmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:15 AM
Response to Original message
3. Don't give up now, last thing this country needs is a return to NeoCon policy.
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. I know.
I'm just so disappointed. All that work on health care reform and what we ended up with, the budget...

The reason I chose to support Kucinich in the 2004 primaries is because I really wanted to work FOR something instead of AGAINST something.

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Myrina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:15 AM
Response to Original message
4. I feel ya'
:hug: It gets harder to believe every day. Hell, every hour.
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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:34 AM
Response to Original message
9. This feels like Clinton 2 -- A Democrat in the WH but liberalism left out in the cold
Better than a republican in the WH, but in some ways more frustrating.

That's not very inspiring, I must admit.

But better than a Republican in the WH and a GOP Congress
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CrispyQ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:52 AM
Response to Original message
10. You are not wrong.
The system is as corrupt & compromised as it's ever been. The presidency is only an icon - sort of like Oz. It's the man behind the curtain who really runs the show. Citizens United will make that more obvious. Obama doesn't even have to make a show of going for the left this time around. He'll get his billion from the corpos. No president is going to get us out of this mess.
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. I feel much better.
sigh

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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. If you had to focus your efforts on one thing...
...which one thing do you think would make the most difference?

Media reform
Campaign finance reform
Overturning Citizens United
Fair trade
????

I think part of my frustration is that there are so many things that are so dangerously wrong, we can never gain ground, and we're constantly re-fighting the same fights over and over again on a totally unfair playing field. It's just so overwhelming. Maybe if I just focused on one issue for a while.

I don't know.

I can't even afford to buy myself new shoes. I'm so tired.
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CrispyQ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:51 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. First off,
Edited on Thu Apr-07-11 10:35 AM by CrispyQ
:hug: I'm tired too. So many of us are.

If I had to put my efforts into one thing, it would be this: Engage the non-voters. There are millions & millions of them & they don't vote for a variety of reasons, but one oft cited reason is, "there is no difference between the two parties." Either the dem party has to go back to it's FDR values or we need a People's party that represents the working class. If we can re-engage these people in the political process, the elected officials could not ignore us. The corpos may have money power, but we have voting power.

Remember when the bailout talk first started in the early fall of 08? CNN reported that the phone lines in DC & at the local offices of our senators & representatives, were ringing off the hook. Fax lines were busy, & email boxes had thousands of emails from angry constituents - registered voters. That's what we need on a weekly basis. We need to be ringing the hook off the phones, faxes & email boxes in DC & local offices. We should start with demanding voting integrity - no more electronic voting/tabulating. Paper ballots counted by community members. I can think of a slew of other things we should demand - like you said, "so many things that are so dangerously wrong."

But first we have to engage the apathetic. Only in huge numbers will DC listen to us. I believe we are quickly approaching a point where we will not get our country back through (mostly) peaceful means.

Do I know how to engage these people, you ask? I don't know, but I think the Joe Conservative essay might be a good place to start, although I would neutralize some of the conservative/liberal references. We're trying to reach out, after all & break through label barriers that a lot of people have. I think that if you changed some of the language, people who generally think of themselves as conservative would agree that most of the regulations listed in that essay, contribute positively to "the American way of life."

I'm open to other ideas. ;)

on edit - some heartening threads: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. You are great.
Thanks for giving me this message in a way that I could hear. I seriously just have to buck up. How can you be fighting to engage the apathetic if you're fighting to re-engage me?

Thanks so much.
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Wait Wut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:49 PM
Response to Original message
14. You never give up...
...you just take a break. I know from experience. I spent 20+ years as an activist. Some would have labeled me a Progressive. I eventually got to the point you have and gave it all up. Decided focusing on my own personal life and my son were more important.

One day I realized something. Things had progressed without my help. What I never saw in my 20s was the progress that had been taking place since the founding of this country. Small steps. Easily managed steps that won't frighten the tribe. I looked back at my own life and how things had improved. A single teenage mom, high school drop out and all around black sheep had become semi-successful. I wasn't denied jobs. I was paid more than my male friends with college degrees. Besides my own life, the world around me had moved forward while I wasn't looking. The environment had finally become a "real" issue. Equal rights wasn't just a talking point anymore, but becoming reality.

Don't get me wrong. There were plenty of times during my sabbatical that truly sucked. I survived two Bushes, a few "wars", loss of friends in those same "wars", and plenty of steps back. But, the world was improving.

That's when I discovered how truly selfish I am. I don't want to just be watching the progress of our country, I want to be partially responsible.

Take a break, if you need one. Just try to get back in it before the campaign is over. :hi:
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Thanks.
I need to fill my well, as I've heard it put.
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