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this is a response to an entry on the Couch.

2004-11-04 - 11:06 a.m.

Luis--

I was going to call you last night and weep with you, but I drank a glass and a half of wine and passed out on the couch instead. What this tells me is that my first order of business is to drink more--a LOT more.

Second order of business is for Dems to figure out how to reach into the pews without sacrificing our core values and beliefs. We need someone new and fresh to come out of the woodworks--maybe Obama will present himself as a strong candidate in '08. We need to stop talking about plans and start talking about what our moral obligations are. I'm not a Democrat because I think it's a gas to give up my money to the government. I'm a Dem because I believe in supporting the elderly, in giving every child adequate health care and a free and equitable education, in revering our environment, in a woman's inalienable right to make her own decisions about her reproductive health, in taking care of the mentally ill and those unable to take care of themselves. I'm a Democrat because I believe I have a moral obligation (tikkun olam) to take care of my neighbors and those less fortunate, and I'll put my money where my mouth is. That's the spin the Democratic leadership needs. Democrats and liberals need to stop defining ourselves based on what we aren't and start defining ourselves based on what we are. Kerry needed to stop trying to deny he was a "flip-flopper" and start saying "Yes, I am perfectly willing to change my mind and my course of action when presented with new and compelling evidence. I don't believe in plunging a nation into war based on rumors and fear, and I promise you, I will always be ready and willing to analyze all the facts and change my plans accordingly. My opponent cannot say the same."

Third order of business is getting the 18-30 vote out. Voter turnout was abysmal. We need to figure out why our peers aren't voting, and correct the situation. Next presidential election I'm considering taking the day off from work and driving people to the polls. We need to take our children with us to the polls so they can see their parents voting. We need to call our brothers and sisters and cousins and friends and remind them how crucial it is to vote. We need to educate young people on the reprecussions of a massive national debt, and show them just how it will affect their lives.

What really scares me is the thought that none of this will be enough. I've seen this country shift to the right in just the past ten years. Maybe the majority of American citizens want a nation that is run from the evangelical churches, a nation that will legislate morality. Maybe a majority of Americans no longer believe in separation of church and state. Maybe the majority of Americans believe diplomacy is dead, and we no longer need foreign allies. Maybe the majority of Americans believe our leader not only needs a mandate from the people, but a mandate from Jesus, and that the latter is more important than the former.

It's been a cold, scary couple of days, but I'm not ready to give up yet.

 

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