It's as simple as this: we have to continue to fight. If Bush wins, and they're starting to call it for him in Ohio, we do not walk away, we do not quit and we do not surrender.
Whether that's marching, or in court or in the next election cycle, we learn from our mistakes, and there is no Nader to blame this time, and move on.
And Kerry did his best, just like we all did. But sometimes your best will fall short. Remember, Nixon won in a landslide and he was was gone in two years.
I don't know what happened. Whether there was chicanery or not. I can't say. I watched it like you did. But we did our best.
Now, we build. When Goldwater lost, he didn't quit, he built a movement. And win or lose, that is what we will do. We will build and we will fight. If we win, we'd have to fight anyway. And if we lose, we have to fight.
Am I depressed? A little. But I am also encouraged. We had a lot of good, hard working, dedicated people who we will need to see again. We will need to stick together and hold these people accountable for what they have done.
When Jean Moulin was arrested by the Germans in 1940 for protesting a massacre of African troops, he slit his wrists and almost died. They let him go, and eventually became head of the French Resistance before he was betrayed and murdered. He gave his life for his country without hesitation.
George Bush may have gotten the better of us, he may have managed to win, but he did not break our spirit or change what we know is right.
In your despair, some of you may think of leaving, but you are who we need the most. We need people who care and think and feel. We need that in America, now more than before. Many of you thought Bush would steal the election. So what do you do now? Run, or stand up for the America you believe in? Because you will not find it in Canada or Holland or Australia. It is only to be found here, and where you make it here.
But this is a democracy. If they messed with the ballots, we will fight them, and if they won fairly, we will oppose them.
What would have happened if the people who fought Nixon left the US and went to Canada? Who would have stood up for us then?
Americans have survived a lot. We will survive Bush as well. And we will fight and we will win. We have tremendous tools at our disposal and we will use them.
Let us say something else. We will not do to John Kerry what we did to Al Gore. He ran a fine race, he is a fine man. We will stand by him and support him. We will not take out our disappointment on him as we did with Gore. He fought with us, and will fight with us again.
I was wrong. Kerry fell short. It looked good, but in the end, they may have won. We cannot always be right. But that is politics. There will be more elections and more court cases and a Supreme Court to fight and Congress in two years.
What do we do next? Where do we go from here?
To end that damn war in Iraq. We HAVE to end it. It is our moral imperative. They will not draft our kin to fight there. They will bring our troops home. They will care for our veterans.
We will build our movement and fight until we win. And that starts in the morning. And it would have no matter who won.
What we can do is what we have done, watch these people, expose their misdeeds and hope that we can regain the respect needed for this country to thrive. Do I agree with the choice Americans made? No. I think it is self-indulgent and will end badly for us. But it was a democratic choice, and we must live by those rules.
This wasn't the night I imagined, but there is always tomorrow.
posted by Steve @ 2:00:00 AM