Productive Ways to Deal with the 2004 Election Results
The Rev. C. Joshua Villines
1. Go ahead and get it out of your system. In the long run, using words like “jack-booted”, “buffoon”, “addle-brained”, “lackwit”, “illiterate”, “tsarist”, “brain-dead”, “moronic”, “incontinent”, and “village idiot” won’t facilitate dialogue and it certainly won’t convince anyone. If the fifty-nine million Americans who voted for the unrepentant prat haven’t already figured it out – this won’t help them. In the short term, however, it really does blow off a little steam. You can even string a bunch of them together to make your own private nickname for the Chief Executive. I’m leaning toward, “Semi-literate, lack-witted, imperialist buffoon.” [At some point you have to realize that there may actually be a kind and caring person underneath the earth-despoiling, empire-building façade; but it’s what he represents we’re talking about here. If he didn’t want to be called names, he shouldn’t be working for the forces of darkness!] Get it out of your system, then stop.
2. Go to a national park with people you care about and take lots of pictures so that your grandchildren will know what the place looked like before the loggers and the oil wildcatters came through. Bonus points if you’re a same-sex couple and you have a wedding ceremony in a national park. You may also want to pitch in to help keep your national park looking nice. There’s no guarantee that our government is going to, so someone should.
3. Start making your retirement plans now. If you’re older than 4, it might be too late; but it never hurts to try. Look for socially conscious mutual funds that aren’t going to contribute to the pockets of the wealthy exploiters-of-the-workers (whose pockets are already lined by the tax cuts which will require you to update your retirement plans in the first place).
4. Buy and read at least one book on foreign policy, the economy, the environment, health care, or some other area where the President’s policies are weak. The field is wide open here. In fact, any book on any topic will probably meet the criteria. Remember that this book might put you on a “bad” list with the current Attorney General, but that’s OK. Pretty soon being able to read might do the same.
5. Make a choice, about anything. You’ll probably have fewer of them in the future; so enjoy them now.
6. If you’re a Christian, enjoy getting to be the top of the heap for the time being. If you adhere to some other religion, don’t worry. Now that the precedent for government-by-religion has been firmly established your turn may very well come. (Quakers can give up on this though. Religion that requires you to actually do things sacrificially for people will never catch on.) Just think, if you get enough bigots together, you can even write your religion’s peculiar prejudices into a state constitution!
7. Wait! Don’t go to Canada yet! Now El Presidente has to clean up the mess he created. He can’t and won’t, and we may see a Democratic Golden Age in response. Hang in there.
8. While you’re hanging, talk to some people who voted for the addle-brained nincompoop and find out why they did it. Not only does this help you reduce the list of people whom you’ll want to invite to your next Michael Moore screening party; it will help you understand why this travesty happened. Maybe they thought invading Iraq in response to an attack by a bunch of Saudis made sense. Maybe they only watch Fox news. Maybe they don’t really understand the threat a rogue Justice Department is to their civil liberties. Maybe every time they saw the words “Dick” and “Bush” on a TV screen their minds wandered. Whatever kept them from realizing that they were voting for possibly the worst President in the history of the office, we need to find out what it is if we’re going to keep it from happening again.
9. Shop Democratic! Spend a little extra and buy locally-produced items from locally owned stores. Buy generic drugs and organic food. Find companies which impose the kinds of regulations and obligations on themselves that our morality-challenged Businessman-in-Chief won’t impose on his cronies.
10. Set aside 8 hours a month to do some kind of work that makes your community a better place. Volunteer at a school or a literacy program. Build a Habitat house. Clean up a river bank. Take your elderly neighbor shopping (he or she probably won’t be able to afford a cab if they are relying on Medicare and Social Security). You don’t need to find an organization to work with. Just set aside a little bit of time to put energy into the place where you live. When people ask you why you’re so dedicated to making the world a better place and to taking care of those around you, tell them, “Because I’m a Democrat. It’s what we do.”