I know that we would like to question the whole of democracy. I can’t believe Bush won either, but there isn’t time to despair. What is needed now is action, not hopelessness. What is important is that there has been tremendous progress in mobilizing people to create change. Remember, more voters turned out this year than in the last three decades. Although it might be said that we can’t expect change overnight, there really was a very rapid shift in the way we view politics. We have become unafraid of voicing our opinions, using our power, pooling our resources, and allowing our differences to aid us instead of keeping us apart.
These new ways of looking at ourselves politically redefine what it means to be an American. It takes what used to be a very passive identity and turned us all into revolutionaries. In a short time, we activated activism, something that lay dormant in many of us and had not been awakened until now.
The Bush administration will be sorry they won this battle, for they now look forward to losing the war. Ultimately, a government cannot defeat its people, no matter how much power they assume or how corrupt they are. Even though today feels like a defeat, there is no loss. There is only opportunity. Now we have the chance to challenge everything, fight everything. The possibilities are tremendous. All the polls, all the posturing, all the opinions that we endured during months leading up to the election provide us with a valuable education on how we think and act as a country.
There are a huge number of us that are on the same side. We had no idea how many of us there were before. We constitute roughly half of the nation, probably more. If we refuse to concede to apathy, then we can roll up our sleeves and get dirty. This is merely the third act break, when it seems like our hero is down for the count, but it just isn’t possible, because there is still half an hour to go before the movie ends. We have a lot more of our story left to tell. We need to wipe the blood off our lip and get up again for the last time.
My friend years ago had this joke, where he was talking about how he’d tell his girlfriend that he thought she was being a bitch, to which she’d reply – “Oh you’ll KNOW when I’m being a bitch.” Republicans don’t even know how nasty we can be. You think people are pissed off today, just wait until the inauguration. Can you imagine all the boos and jeers during Brooks & Dunn’s set? Just the radical uncoolness of their musicians compared to Democratic rock stars is fairly awesome to consider. Brooks & Dunn vs. Pearl Jam. Charlie Daniels going toe to toe with Bruce Springsteen. Leann Womack against Moby. Britney Spears facing off the entire Hip Hop Summit. If it wasn’t so ridiculously sad, it would be funny. If ‘these colors’ don’t run now, they will soon.
I think Bush is probably really scared, if he is smart enough to be. He should be, because he has an enormously difficult task in front of him. There is no way he will regain public popularity. All he can manage to do is not fuck up too badly, which will probably prove to be impossible, as he is the rare maestro of the fuck up. Look at it this way. We might have some fun. Life is a tragedy for those who feel, and a comedy for those who think. It is vital to mourn for the victims of this government but not at the expense of losing our sense of humor. Our ability to laugh coincides directly with our ability to fight. If we can make fun of it, we can transcend it. Just imagine the incredible storm of shit that Bush will have to endure. It will make Hurricane Jeanne look like a humidifier. The polarizing of the population has been a wondrous gift to debate, and we are more politicized and aware than ever before. With all this caution and attention focused on our ‘elected’ officials, we have a moment where we can grasp the brass ring of self-government. In the immortal words of DMX, “They don’t know, who we be.” but they will, and they will be sorry.
Well they tell me of a pie up in the sky
Waiting for me when I die
But between the day you’re born and when you die
They never seem to hear even your cry
So as sure as the sun will shine
I’m gonna get my share now of what’s mine
And then the harder they come the harder they’ll fall, one and all
Ooh the harder they come the harder they’ll fall, one and all
Well the officers are trying to keep me down
Trying to drive me underground
And they think that they have got the battle won
I say forgive them Lord, they know not what they’ve done
And I keep on fighting for the things I want
Though I know that when you’re dead you can’t
But I’d rather be a free man in my grave
Than living as a puppet or a slave
Yeah, the harder they come, the harder they’ll fall one and all
What I say now, what I say now, awww
What I say now, what I say one time
The harder they come the harder they’ll fall one and all
Ooh the harder they come the harder they’ll fall one and all
The Harder They Come