Saturday, November 13, 2004

We have to fight smart. 

As I said below, we have to fight the republicans tooth and nail, but we have to fight smart. Here is my prescription for change that I posted on Dailykos, and the one reply that was brilliant:

Folks, it is obvious now that we have let go of the wheel of our democracy. Wether the election was stolen, or wether we lost this election by popular vote in key states, we can point to the same cause: for too long, on too many issues, we have abdicated control of our democracy to those who don't have its best interests at heart.

I am asking for your thoughts on this issue, and please, no links. I just want to hear your thoughts, not joe blow's blog. I want to know what you, the true patriot, thinks and feels. Because I am assuming, if you blog on DailyKos, then you care deeply about the state of our democracy.  I want to hear your ideas on changes needed.

Let me assume that most of us see the need for change, and here is my prescription for change:
Diaries :: scorpiorising's diary ::

Number One Priority: We need to get control again of the wheel of democracy, by exercising our influence and control over the process of voting. We have no idea if this election was hacked, but we do know that it is a possibility. But electronic voting is not the only problem; the systematic disenfranchisement of our lower income citizens, living in the inner cities, with long lines to vote, intimidation and attempted supression of the vote,  must end. We need to get specific here. For example,  we need to demand an adequate number of voting machines for every precinct.

Number Two Priority: Set the tone and tenor of the national dialogue, by reclaiming our most important issues, using our language (in other words, let's discard republican lite...it isn't working) Example: Regarding the disenfranchisement of voters, wether through computer hacking or vote supression by long lines at the polls, here is how I would frame the issue: It is positively un-American to oppose paper receipts for votes, because access to free and fair elections is the basic tenet of  our democracy.

If you prefer a more positive angle, try this: It is positively American, and we are honoring our democratic forefathers, by requiring paper receipts for our votes to insure fair and free elections, which is the basic tenet of American democracy.

Let us frame the issues most important to us, and our democracy, with our language, and let "them" respond.

Third, and last, priority: Confront, confront, confront...
This is why we need Howard Dean as DNC chair.
We cannot sit passively by while the neocons continue their consolidation of power. We must confront them constantly, on every issue with which we disagree. We must raise our voices and rattle and bang our pots and pans. And...we need someone at the helm of the democratic party who will do the same.

The neocons, with Bush at the helm, are counting on our intimidation into silence with their "mandate", and we need to clearly and concisely raise our voices and let them know that with this defeat, we are anything but...cowed and afraid. If anything...we are more determined than ever.


OK, I'll Start...
I absolutely agree that the voting issue must be resolved.  We knew this was coming, and I could kick my own self, as well as the DNC, for not acting after 2000.

Values ~ This whole "moral values" thing has got me pissed!  I think the right has hijacked the discussion, and now we see prominent Dems out there trying to explain why we "failed" to address the values issue, and hand-wringing because we need to "learn" how to communicate in this way.  Bullshit, I say!  If you believe in God (I do), then surely you must think He values tolerance, inclusion, and caring for the least among us above bigotry, exclusion, and hatred.  It's a no-brainer.  Even Howard Dean fell for this crap, and Nancy Pelosi appears positively pious.  This election was not about moral values...that just happened to be one of the choices in the exit polls that allowed uninformed voters to give the "right" (or righteous) answer.  And of course the press ran with it so now it's dominating the discussion.  I'm not saying we don't need to learn how to connect with those in the flyover states...I just think we're making too much of this election turning on moral values.  We can't win by taking the debate to their turf (as you say, republican lite.)

Language ~ A few thoughts on this.  Somebody here said we should refer to Evangelicals as "Christian Funamentalists."  Excellent suggestion.  We need to learn the tricks of semantics as they have.  Have you noticed repugs referring to us as the democrat party lately?  Again I say bullshit!  We are the Democratic party, and there is a difference.  Rush says democRAT.  Democratic Party denotes action, democrat party sounds ineffectual.  I want us to be an adverb, not an adjective.  I think we need to nail down our rhetoric, as they have, and hammer away at it.  We keep falling into the trap of defending ourselves or countering them...we need to have our own manual, and the means to get it out to all who speak for us.

Liberal ~ Not a dirty word!  I'm sick of our leaders slinking away from this.  I'm proud to stand for liberal values, and when we try to tap dance around it we give credence to the notion that it's something shameful.  Busllshit again...how's that working so far?  How about we throw out the term neocon so often that it fianally sticks: "this president is a neocon, out of the mainstream.  Has a neocon agenda"...let's villify that word and see how they like it.

Defeatism ~ We have nothing to be ashamed of here!  Yeah, Kerry made some mistakes, but all in all he was a good candidate and would have made a great president.  We may have some tweaking to do, but we did an awful lot right.  People (on our team too) are acting as if we took an ass whoopin' when it really came down to one state.  We lost, but we didn't get spanked.  We have much to be proud of: GOTV, bringing new people into the process, phenomenal fund raising.  You can say we lost or you can say we almost won.  It's all in the attitude.  I say we don't let all the mojo we earned get frittered away.  Let's build upon it and come back stronger than ever.

These are just a few of the thoughts I've had over the past ten days...I'm sure I'll be adding more down the line.