Sunday, 31 October 2004
We have two days left before the election. I was so tired last night I decided I didn't need to take the stuff that helps me sleep, and then I woke up every hour worrying. So at 3 a.m. I took it, went back to bed, and slept until the cats woke me at 9. I am deeply worried. I mostly have that undying faith that things will happen the way they need to happen, that the polls are wrong. But every now and then I panic, wondering what else I could do to make it happen. What else can I do? Well, I can write to you about why I feel this way.
I did not start out the biggest John Kerry fan ever. I'm still not. But I've been listening, and reading, and thinking, and I believe. He's smart, he's got loads of experience, he's got a plan. He's the right man for all the reasons the other side wants to paint him as wrong. He's not rigidly inflexible. He listens, and he thinks, and he solicits other opinions before he makes up his mind. He sees what's wrong here, and he sees how to fix it. I think he's going to face enormous pressure from the instant gratification society we've got going here, but I really, truly do believe that John Kerry can get us back on the right path.
My biggest issue in this election is the separation of church and state. This is not a Christian country. That may be our heritage, but because we are a nation of immigrants, we are made up of all kinds of religions. The Christians may be a very large group, but they do not have an unimpeachable lock on this country. This issue covers a whole range of points that matter to me: reproductive freedom (which is NOT just about abortion, it's about health care and equality and privacy and more), stem cell research, free speech, prayer in schools, morals and values and the legislation thereof (I oppose), on and on and on. I would rather have a man who stated to the nation that he is a man of faith but does not believe in legislating that faith on others as my president than a man who has proclaimed to the world that he's on a mission from his god and he has a direct line to heaven therefore we can't stop him or even persuade him otherwise. This issue frightens me more than anything else: Bush believes he is the man appointed to lead us into Armageddon. He's trying to make Armageddon happen. This makes him the most dangerous man in the western hemisphere, in my mind.
As to the war, he lied. He lied about his reasons for going to war, he refused to work with other countries, and he has miscalculated immeasurably. He threw away all the goodwill we had around the world. We are no longer a shining example of democracy to the rest of the world. We're the third most dangerous country, after Iran and North Korea. How does that feel? We are a rogue nation and we need to stop.
Bah. I can't do this anymore. I've been reading both sides whenever I can and I see that people who support Bush, for the most part, honestly believe he knows what he's doing. I don't. I think he's the wrong man for the job. I think he's leading us in completely the wrong direction. So I am asking you to vote on Tuesday. Think long and hard about what matters to you, make your decision, and vote. Make sure you know your rights before you go, because there are people stationed at polls all over the country to interfere. This is so unbelieveably wrong I can't even start. Don't let yourself be disenfranchised! Take your voter registration card, go to the correct place, fill out your ballot, check three times before you hand it in.
I am feeling woefully inadequate here. I am not articulate, I am tongue-tied with too much information and no ability to distill and express. So I am giving you words that Heather Corinna quoted from the American Prospect (very good article on the attempts to disenfranchise voters, you should read that too). What it all boils down to, in the end, is this:
"The essential difference between them is simply that, as a matter of strategy and temperament, Bush seeks to exploit our rifts and Kerry to narrow them. That, finally, is the choice before us next Tuesday: between one candidate who wants to pry this nation apart to his own advantage, and another who seeks to make it whole."I myself would rather bridge our differences and regain our sense of community and plain old unity. Despite it all, we are ALL still Americans. And that is why, on Tuesday November 2, I will be voting for John Kerry. I have my voter registration card, I have my passport, I have my driver's license, I have armed myself with knowledge and made my decisions, and I am voting. I ask that you do the same.
If you want to: contact