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The Day After
by david   November 3, 2004
election 2004

I've been pleased to hear a lot more liberal optimism this morning than I expected. From all corners -- my work, friends, blogosphere -- I hear calls to action, to volunteer, to gear-up and not give up the fight. For that I'm glad. My current misery, my current sense of failure, of "how could we let this happen," aside, I am in full agreement: we must move forward, redouble our efforts and continue the fight for equality and justice in our society and the world society at large.

One thing I've been hearing that I don't like is voice here and there blaming Kerry for this loss. Kerry, while not my first choice, would have been a damn good president. He's a fine man -- brave, strong, smart, measured and compassionate. We didn't lose because Kerry wasn't good enough. We lost because, at this point in time, Kerry's (and our) priorities do not match those of 51% of the American people. Kerry, and 48% of us, wanted to make certain everyone got their fair share. Kerry, and 48% of us, wanted to try to close the gap between the rich and the poor, and bring social justice to the downtrodden.

But Bush, and 51% of us, want to make certain fags don't marry, women don't make their own biological decisions, and that brown people in other countries feel the business-end our our military muscle. And that's what it boils down to. Last week I said I think this will come down to ideology, and I was right. In the end, an ideology of fear, hate, and shortsightedness won the day. I don't know how else to put it. Right now, as you can tell, there's a lot of anger oozing around the edges of my vision.

As the days wear on, my bitterness will flake away. Underneath that crusty shell is a renewed desire to make things right in our country, not just for me, but for everyone. I will find a place to volunteer, a place where my skills can be put to good use moving our society forward. I urge you to do the same. I will continue to write and speak my mind, and to do everything I can to protect the idea that we can make this a better place, a more perfect union, by embracing all people, by preserving justice for all, and by holding onto my optimism. I urge you to do the same. That 51% of us --- they're scared. They react based upon what they know, and what they know is fear. I'm not a religious person, but I know what, according to Luke and the King James Bible, Jesus said from the cross: "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."

That's how I feel about this election. The people have made their decision. The next four years we will have to live with that monumentally flawed decision. But that is no reason to give up on the people. Perhaps, in these next four years, eyes will open, and people will begin to understand why this decision was wrong. And we must be there, to help them understand why justice is important, why equality is a necessity, and how they can help make things right as our country moves forward. Remember, we are not alone. 48% of us agreed yesterday that it is important to try to make things beter. Just because election day has passed, those 48% don't go away. We are all still here. And we remain a powerful force for change.

This will be a tough four years. I fear for my gay friends, my female friends and my minority friends. They will bear the brunt of this failure. And inside I will long feel that I somehow failed them. I'm sure many folks feel the same. But we must take what we have built this past year and move it forward. We must band together, begin fighting and planning now, knowing that while we may not have won today, a new opportunity is just around the corner. We remain Americans, and because our government is based upon democracy, there will always be another chance.

John Kerry just finished his concession speech. He and John Edwards feel the same. Today is hard. It's hard to understand, it's hard to believe, it's hard to accept. But, if we hold on and continue to believe, there is always tomorrow.


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