The morning after Election Day 2004 dawned foggy and humid here in this "red state" of ours. It was hard to get out of bed. Fortunately, my mom called from New Hampshire and reminded me of a few things.
"It's still a great country," she said, in her brightest League of Women Voters' voice, and, "Remember, only half the country voted for Bush." My mom's a lifelong Democratic activist who's been in the thick of the mudslinging and mega-media coverage you get when you live in a state "in play." She was amazed and delighted that New Hampshire went for John Kerry. She also wasn't kidding herself. By 10 p.m. last night, she considered it a very long shot that he would take office.
The most important thing my mom said to me had nothing to do with the results of the balloting, per se. It had to do with something she called "taking the long view." And that means not moving to Canada, not conceding any ground, not giving up on principles of peace and social justice.
"We have to figure out what happened in this election and keep talking to our neighbors," mom said. "We have to stay organized and keep fighting back."
So, for all those who worked so hard for a change this election season--here are 10 ways to keep fighting the Bushies:
1. Launch an economic boycott of all states that passed anti-gay marriage amendments.
2. Watch appointments to the federal bench and object loudly to candidates who don't stand up for principles of civil rights, anti-discrimination and open government.
3. Keep talking to all those people you met while driving voters to the polls or canvassing your neighborhood. We need to keep those networks alive!
4. Join every environmental cause you can and make big donations, if you can, to environmental groups.
5. Don't let Republicans frame the issues anymore; stop being guilty about being a liberal.
6. Find candidates for 2008 who can represent the issues in compelling ways. (What's Dr. Dean up to?)
7. Educate one voter a day for the next four years to vote for candidates who support democracy.
8. Put our Republican representatives' offices on speed dial. Call early and often to oppose right-wing legislation. (Let Richard Burr know we're on to the quid pro quo arrangement he has with special interests.)
9. If there ever is a draft, request that the Bush girls go first.
10. Keep marching to the polls and making sure every voice is heard.