Friday, November 05, 2004
where are the purple states?
Have you ever heard of the divide and conquer strategy? It seems this 2004 election season we Dems and Progressives are too flagellate in asking what we did wrong. We didn't do anything wrong. We did most things right - organized, volunteered, advocated our values, voted and participated in a vibrant democracy. The problem is in assuming we have a vibrant democracy of, by and for the people. What we have is Socialist Republic of, by and for the corporations. Even our Supreme Court thinks the vote of the people shouldn't trump the choice of our legislative bodies. Er - Duh?
News Flash: Our voting system was hijacked again; though, not as ham-fisted as it was in 2000. They are getting BETTER at it - not worse, and now they'll be sure to legislate total voting process dominance. Get ready for a sweeping uniform countrywide voting reform courtesy of Diebold, ES&S, and Sequoia.
There are some exceptions to consider: we "blue" ignored 1/3 of the country, and basically failed our "heartland" who really needed our help... Hey, relax - we failed to focus on some crucial priorities, but it's not unrecoverable. If we could begin to practice what we preach towards all of the country instead of strategic bits of it, if repub and dem VOTES alike were fairly advocated for and counted, if there were an independent audit of our e-voting process, if we demand a critical MEDIA then the electoral map suddenly looks a lot different - PURPLE. We have been inundated by swathes of primary colors from corporate and independent news channels. Paid PR and political pundits have espoused a "deep division" campaign against us all, and they can't quit shouting or cashing in. There are scads of these "unprecedented" vote tallies and upsets - but, no one can seem to bring the sunshine in.
oops - I forgot to give a shout out to California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley...
One fact I know is that the so-called "red states" were some of the first folks to dip into their ever dwindling pocketbooks to send cash to the victimized families of 9-11. I also saw a conservative Ohio farmer sitting on the back of his truck in dingy overalls tell a cameraman, "Aww shoot - don't ask me about our farm bill - our country folk are in a world of hurt over there in New York." It brought a tear to my eye - it should to yours too.
Admit and apologize that we Moral Urban Americans failed to usher Moral Middle America into a burgeoning laptop crazy world; while, their children were failing basic reading comprehension tests. How were they supposed to start programming HTML that way? Wake up! Christ, Allah, Jehovah, Mohammed, the Pope, the Collective Conscious, the Goddess et al were expecting us to throw at least a bone of understanding and some good faith acknowledgement wheatward. We didn't understand what Bush meant by "21st Century Jobs" because we already had them. But they knew what he meant. We were too busy dancing at rave parties in Malaysian manufactured cargo pants, developing carpal tunnel, working 60 hour weeks at start-up companies, and waiting for Terry McAuliffe to deliver the message I guess. Well, that party is definitely over. So let's all get on with securing the vote and advocating for independence from corporate media.
When any portion of our great purple electorate is isolated and ridiculed by Paris Hilton or Ann Coulter - repubs, dems, libs, progs... we all suffer and become fodder for false political prophets. We are prey to messages at low and confused moments so that any con artist who tells us we are chosen or special (so long as you vote or pay for them) can rule. That's when we must turn to one another and sort through the hard stuff together. We all must chose to speak to one another instead of letting media speak out to us - telling us who we are, how we feel about each other and what we mean. We must all repudiate circus pundits of extremity on both sides. A hint: If someone yells twice on your TV - turn it off!
bravo Jon Stewart...
The hard stuff ahead is the dialogue over real issues that are upon us. All the issues. We purple people from all political spectrums need to secure our fundamental democratic process - free fair elections, and an independent informative media. I don't hear either side addressing that honestly. Our Fourth Estate is becoming increasingly guilty of betraying us all in favor of their phony "inevitability" polls, and their own consolidation toward a defense contract profit agenda. When Chuck Hagel is counting his own votes it's "Danger Will Robinson!" Just think what will happen when Howard Dean and Ted Kennedy start counting their own...
What do the "blue state" libs get falsely accused of? Answer: Calling people "dumb" who don't agree with them. Now we know that ain't true! In fact the only people I ever heard call our fellow countrymen and women"stupid" were Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh speaking on behalf of liberals. Now that's just rude and mean for no reason. I should know - I am an accused "blue state" person; but, when I review my values, issues, and compassion I realize I am TOTALLY PURPLE - just like those nice people I met in Arizona and Wyoming some years ago. The reason I use environmentally sound products and keep recycling is because I care - not, because I am a free market hating commie (gee whiz - Goebbels anyone?). Bush & Co. don't obfuscate facts and control their message because they are God's instrument, or corporate welfare fascists - they do it because 1.) they can and 2.) it's really lucrative, and 3.) it makes then feel really powerful and 4.) to circumvent pesky laws, seal incriminating records and help cronies skirt legal "damages" without prosecution. Okay maybe it's all of the above?
Purple people wonder: Why is a member of our Supreme Court "hanging out" with Cheney before the court deliberates his case? Why is Bill Frist allowed to move medical legislation when he owns a big chunk of America's medical industry? How can James Baker be an honest broker of US Foreign policy regarding Iraqi debt when he brokers a pay off deal with Kuwait for the Carlysle Group? Why can't we investigate some Pentagon budget items? Why can't we run a free and fair election in just one predominately black precinct of Florida? Why can;t we audit suspicious elections? Why didn't one single senator sign for the Congressional Black Caucus members over the 2000 election? Why still lie about WMD and Al Qaeda? Abu Ghraib was "morally" disgusting! How can campaign operatives be in charge of counting votes? Purple people aren't as concerned with the burgeoning myth of an "education gap" as much as they agree on a HUGE GAPING credibility gap.
If Moby and Eminem can get along then the rest of the electorate can too by gosh.
Purple state people are lot more alike than they are different. Nobody talks about that... We know what works for some states doesn't work in others, but primarily we all require good health, democracy, education, a job, some security, and a belief in something bigger than ourselves. Heck we don't even have most of these basics yet!
Neither I nor my cabal of brave progressive pals have ever said a word of disparagement about "red state" folks. We adore our country and all of it's electorate. Right now we're really concerned for our military constituents. Just because we don't agree with the Bush Administration on basically every issue doesn't mean we don't like or respect our fellow Americans who do. More often I hear chastisement from whining media babies who keep coloring us with their crayons. Have you ever tried to get blue or red crayon out of your clothes? It's hell (not in the Swaggart sense). Our purple mountains majesty, amber grains and fruited plains are really swell and aren't serviced by the pollster's sweeping generalities trying to define our "voting block." I tell you I am CONVINCED we have a PURPLE country. We purple state folks are a MAJORITY of really nice, patriotic and common sense people. We all vote for different parties, but we are a majority.
I suppose it serves someone's purpose to push the division strategy. Urban, suburban, red, blue, metro, retro, guy, gal, single mom, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, agnostic, atheist. Have we polled the purple Christian Nascar civil union security teens? In the words of the infamous verbal attack hack Bill O'Reilly, "Shut Up!"
I really don't think we have a deeply divided country. It's a myth. It would be more honest to draw that Electoral Map with fabric: California can be paisley, Texas can be denim, Vermont is wool, Massachusetts can be khaki, Kentucky can be muslin, Oregon can be plaid, Washington is flannel, Louisiana is eyelet, New York is pinstripe, Oklahoma is chenille. Give Bev Harris from http://www.blackboxvotng.org a few bucks and see what a charming purple quilt that will make!
I am taking your comments on which fabrics fit each state for this great quilt of US democracy we're sewing.