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what does it matter if it was rigged? it's time for dialogue with our rightwing friends

Whether it was rigged or fair, a lot of people want George W as their maximum leader, and a lot of other people are willing to vote for a guy like Kerry who is willing to go gentle as a lamb into that good night.
Maybe for people who don't know anyone who voted for this bastard, the "Bush voter" is a pure abstraction, and they can get exorcised over voterigging and pretend that that is the heart of the problem. But for those of us with close relatives who voted for this guy, no such pretense is possible. The fact is, you can't rig an election in a country this big unless lots of people are happy about it, or willing to along with it. And you can't fight a rigged election when the OTHER candidate gives up without a squeak.

Sure, all the votes should be counted. But how do we even begin to get there, when people are willing to put their faith in the likes of either Bush OR Kerry? This is a country of competitive individualists: Winner take all, devil take the hindmost. Plenty of Democrats are not above rigging the results to get their way either, given half a chance. Look no farther than Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury for proof of that.

All the same, no one has yet seen fit to try and blame the overwhelming support for the most retrograde, noxious and reactionary initiatives on, say, the Oregon ballot on voterigging. And no one has yet suggested that Oregon SoS Bradbury, for all his swinish and unscrupulous partisanship, is responsible for THAT debacle.

It's time to acknowledge, given the overwhelming voter support for banning gay marriage in so many states this election season, that we are afterall living in an ultra-rightwing country. No amount of Diebolds and Wally O'Dells are needed to account for this reality. You can abscribe this to numerous factors: grotesquely distorted and sensationalistic corporate media, demoralization and inadequate turnout of young voters (though the total turnout in many places, including Oregon, was said to approach historical records), and on and on. The fact remains though.

I haven't heard, amidst all the frustration and outrage here, any practical discussions about how to bridge this gap. I think people half-jokingly talk about secession or moving to Canada. But seriously, those Orange County white flight refugees that have turned the Oregon Statehouse into a mini-Texas aren't going away. And I have to ask: are we going to be able to seriously address problems like rigged elections and blackbox voting, corporate controlled media outrages, or stemming the tide of the US government's increasingly mad and genocidal international policies, without somehow dialoging with and talking sense to these rightwingers -- many of them our own friends, neighbors, and close relatives -- who have given George W and crew their seal of approval?
is dialog possible? 04.Nov.2004 19:01

wishing and hoping

The Physicians's Assistant who works with us voted for Bush. He listens to Rush Limbaugh, watches TV every night, and on his vacations, he flies down to Mazatlan to lie around in the sun and let the "vendors"(Mexicans who live there)wait on him and treat him like a rich man. He is very unhealthy, eats pork rinds and can walk no more than 100 feet without panting. He has a teenaged daughter whom he cares about very much. He is affable and well-liked in the small coastal community where we live and practice(he was even the mayor of a small town near here a few years back).

He thinks the Iraqis are "damned bastards" who are killing our soldiers while they are just trying to liberate them, and hates John Kerry for betraying the military with his testimony before the Senate so many years ago. He has listened to Democracy Now a couple of times, and dismisses it. He refused to read the Pulitzer prize-winning story about the "Tiger Force" US soldiers who murdered civilians in Vietnam and fessed up a couple of years ago. The only time he has ever shown any interest in thinking about nonviolent ways to conflict resolution was the time right after we hired him, when he did a palm print to send to the Hands Around the Lab Hiroshima Day event at Livermore Labs.

He stuck an American flag sticker on his license plate a couple of months ago.

What is the way to dialog? And what is the most respectful, effective way to communicate with this man? Should we continue to employ him?

If you can stomach it, find your own common ground. I am not interested. 04.Nov.2004 19:08

MK

The summary issue is betrayal. The Republicans were absolutely right. John Kerry is weak. He has caved in to the neo-conservatives without so much as a whimper. He would not have made a good president. I base this on general tone of his concession speech.

"We (Bush and I) had a good conversation and we talked about the danger of division in our country and the need - the desperate need - for unity, for finding the common ground, coming together."

Common ground, John? WTF? These people want to gut Social Security, rape our natural resources, pollute the earth, invade sovereign foreign countries, and run up a deficit unparalleled in history! I have nothing in common with these goals. These are the actions of people who see no future worth working for.

"I would not give up this fight if there was a chance that we would prevail."

John, listen to yourself! You just gave up the fight that we needed and trusted you to fight. We poured out our hearts, our time and money without our giving up when the going got tough. You just did the worst flip flop of your life.

"We are required now to work together for the good of our country. In the days ahead, we must find common cause. We must join in common effort without remorse or recrimination, without anger or rancor."

Common cause?! What is this shit? I have no common cause here. These are people enacting a script to engineer Armageddon! They don't give a rat's ass about the future of this planet, they are all convinced it is a scrap soon to be abandoned. I am angry and rancorous and by God it is just and true to my principles.

"I pledge to do my part to try to bridge the partisan divide."

Yes John, you should cross that bridge. In fact, I think you may have been on the other side of it all along. I am not following you.

It was as though he had just lost a tennis or chess match and with good mannered sportsmanship shook the hand of winner. All I can say about that is WTF happened to the imperative issues of the day before!? Where the hell was the gumption to say "Mr Bush, we are not through with you." As far as I am concerned, the Democratic Party has been thoroughly killed, gutted, and stuffed. I have no faith it can mount and sustain a credible resistance to the debilitations that are now breaking down the USA.

Good dialogue 04.Nov.2004 20:17

Migratory Bird

I am always trying to find a middle ground with active clan memembers. I mean we can probably find some middle ground can't we? Nazis and Jews should have just tried to find middle ground. When great atrocities and madness rule a country it is better to sit down and talk to your child molesting, beer guzzlin, gmo eating, black lynching neighbor and try to see if you have commonalities rather than taking action. After all you can probaly get along, you live next door to each other! Take comfort in dialogue.

reaching out 04.Nov.2004 23:54

.

Right now I can only think: the Bush administration and the Republican agenda demeans my value as a human being. Therefore, they are my enemy. They would not be in power if it weren't for the people who voted for them (and regardless of fraud, roughly half of the nations's voters did). Why should I reach out to supporters of my enemy? Us vs. them has never been such a clear-cut distinction. Republican voters are motivated by A. greed B. fear C. clearly hypocritical "moral values," or all of the above. So fuck 'em. Better yet, fight 'em. Jesus himself said, "I did not come to bring peace, but to divide with the sword." It's time to fight back.

now that you're backed into a corner, maybe... 05.Nov.2004 15:48

dare to evolve

maybe you'll begin to allow yourself to see that demystification is the answer, not continuing to play these little war mobilization games of Left Vs Right.

We must demystify propaganda (re: Edward Herman, Chomsky, etc.) in a way where the "followers" of each different fortress of belief begin to see their common ground.

We don't waste our time talking "truth to power" because, as Chomsky has pointed out (amongst others) that tyranny, er, power, already knows the damn truth! (Really, people who call themselves Leftists are going to have to begin understanding the game, or continue to be tooled!)

The situation may well be like the indigenous people trying to challenge the invaders of this territory. Indigenous people got caught in the trap of trying to communicate their excellent truths to a kind of person that categorically could not hear; simply could not hear! Ideologically challenged, I call it.

Whereas, people who follow the status quo, believing that they are "winners" and such, are merely strategically challenged. They often haven't even HEARD OF info that speaks to their humanity. Hell, the Left, being so full of propaganda itself (like the Right)--i.e. in its continual attack of "the right wing" while never demystifying that concept--actually alienates people who are not saavy in the meta games of political elites! So, of course they won't read Z Magazine or The Nation--IF they can even find it.

So we need media that escapes these tit for tat stupidities and mystifications. We must speak to each other as fellow human beings who have been socialized into different social communities!

I really see this as one of the biggest things bogging down the excellent potential of critical thinking in Left-controlled communities.

We're ALL stuck in our armors, our fortresses, and we're all being PLAYED. Those who are naive and gullable buy into the dominant paradigm because every institution teaches them to buy into it. Then they identify with relatively small parts--i.e. the Constitutionalist movement--of dissent, and get corralled.

Look at this line of reasoning and take off with it yourself. We're all resources for elites to play war--foreign and domestic, while they make great profits and call us stupid. (Really, their profits are empty surfaces, and their "privilege" is chock full of fear--can they even trust their own kids???)

So, we're all stuck in a perpetual war. We're all being fooled and tooled to serve the interests of people themselves fooled and tooled!

Time to escape this bullshit game. Time to evolve! Time to understand the ways institutions work, to understand ideology, to understand the psychology of those who own and rule us. If you like Chomsky, read him, he's very articulate about this kind of stuff. He and Edward Herman. Other demystifyers include: Jason McQuinn, Raoul Vaneigem, John Holt (_Freedom and Beyond_), Thomas Szasz (_The Theology of Medicine_ and more recent works), and R.D. Laing (_The Politics of Experience_).

Understanding is the basis of action. Next comes getting in touch with your visions, the beatiful "ideals" that brought your into these communities in the first place. Get in touch and go into your fear and you will see that there is TONS of space still open to us to interact meaningfully with fellow human beings!