The huge amount of energy that went into the Kerry campaign was a monumental drain on many well-meaning activists as well as on political party control freaks who thrive in the System regardless. For those who thought change would result by fighting for Kerry the Demopublican, we now have another excellent lesson on where not to put our energy. (More on that later and in future columns.) Think of how many local-based situations and causes that could have been successfully fought, but were not -- because people went off to work for Anybody But Bush.
Every chance was afforded the "two party" system to clean up its act and allow reform; Nader was not a factor in "spoiling" the election. The Democrats are now dead as a party and are nearly useless to those pushing for fundamental change. Although a "third party" (a real second party) sounds good, the movement to stop the war and save the ecosystem may not have the time or ability to put a Nader in power
Whiners, step aside and shut up
It is being said by election expert Greg Palast that vote fraud, especially in terms of not counting Kerry ballots in Ohio, stole the election for Bush. But even if this is true, Kerry did not get quite half the U.S. popular vote. Or, if he did, is it not vital to get quite a bit more than 50% so there is a clear victor and obtain a mandate for change? To the woulda-coulda-shoulda activists who failed, they deserve not a pat on the back for encouragement, but redirection: it is time to let go of the fixation on elections and the "two-party system." Our activism must be better focused.
Getting so focused on election-stealing is to forget our primary task of replacing the system or at least pointing toward an alternative. Similarly, trying to get to the bottom of the 9-11 conspiracy is a great way to get very little else done. People are going to be cowed, treated like sheep, and oppressed, as long as the rules most people play by include advancing materialism and non-sharing.
The gullibility of the masses of people had one of its best examples in 1972 when there was a chance for a real peace candidate -- George McGovern -- to be elected president. But even with his warning to the nation that Nixon was up to his ears in Watergate, it was still a landslide for Nixon. Lesson: people today are just as propagandized and unable to think independently.
As the Kerry and Dean activists managed to waste their time and everyone else's, and hog the opposition-to-Bush stage, we can now see clearly that they only got to sound off and dominate media and advertising for two years because they were participating in a corrupt system that does not present the truth. In any case, it is hard to overcome more than 50 million ignoramuses who do not think critically about their government or their dead-end materialist culture.
The distraction of the Kerry effort has been incredibly costly in time, money and energy, when we could have been doing more productive and constructive things to change society and help the Earth. Anyone who does not get started on that task, and instead continues to believe in the system -- perhaps to run another Bush Lite in 2008? -- deserves no forum and should be discredited.
If Kerry had instead won, the point I make about wasting time would be completely without foundation -- according to die-hard reformists who lament their loss on November 2. But it is up to each of us to create conditions for change, recognizing that a Kerry win could offer little more but complacency and further distraction; if Kerry won, the work would begin in earnest just as much as it must now. The good news is that we have no illusions about the challenge we face, when destroying the Earth for profit is the blatant raison d'être of Bush's "Haves and Have Mores."
The Democrat Party is dead -- or should be
Ahead lies serious confrontation over the war machine's illegitimate genocide in Iraq. Demonstrations in the streets and other direct action will harken back to the stepped up demonstrations against U.S. imperialism in 1968-'70. These mobilizations and tactics were mostly on hold while the "Kerry solution" was wasting our time. It would have been nice if Teresa Heinz Kerry had been in the White House, but that was like a silver lining for the same old Demopublican wing of the "Business Society" serving up plutocracy and oligarchy. I was criticized by some radicals for supporting her "election" to the post of First Lady.
The reelection of Bush showed that people -- at least 51 percent of them -- are fearful enough and swayed easily enough to be oblivious the rest of the world's desire for peace and freedom. In the opinion of many a Kerry voter and those who held their nose over the whole exercise, we may have just witnessed a disaster, but that does not mean we wait four years. The question is what activists for the Earth are to do as the unconscious 51% of the U.S. population continue to blindly consume.
The answer is organize. However, there is no published manual. The War for Independence that the 13 American colonies waged in their revolution had the support of only 1/3rd of the population; half or more of the population would have been more helpful, but was not necessary for the fight's success. Yet, we cannot even assume there will be a political movement gaining ascendancy. It will have to be more spiritual and lifestyle oriented, to help get us past the historic oil crash to come.
I look forward to heading from you.
- Jan, in Humboldt, Ecotopia
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Resistance here in the U.S. against the war machine, as urged in Jan Lundberg's Culture Change Letter #76.
It's up to us -- the song, by Spring
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