[Reader-list] No Time to be Defeatist

avinash kumar avinash at sarai.net
Sat Nov 6 12:59:43 IST 2004

These are couple of responses to the election results from the U.S., one 
representing an organisation and the other is an individual response, 
both from the same side but make interesting reads.


Date: Thu, 04 Nov 2004 13:52:03 GMT
From: Greenpeace <usnewsletter at activism.greenpeace.org>

Subject: [ISO-8859-1] No Time to be Defeatist

It's hard to know what to say.  To see Bush re-elected with the first 
electoral majority since his father's first election is an emotional 
blow.  He seems to have secured a mandate based on his policies of 
pre-emptive war, war on the environment, crony capitalism, veiled 
racism, homophobia and a fundamentalism that would make the Taliban 
proud.  This despite the largest "Get out the Vote" effort in the 
history of progressive causes in the United States.

I can't tell you what went wrong.  The political analysts will be coming 
forth with their thoughts over the next several weeks.  What I can tell 
you is that our country is split down the middle creating a cultural 
civil war that is not going away any time soon.  It is a fight over 
values in which there is very little middle ground remaining.  The 
stakes are extremely high for all we hold dear.  I do not write to offer 
answers.  I know that we must find ways to inspire ourselves and our 
allies to strive for a greener and more peaceful world.

I also know that in the history of social movements there have been 
setbacks and sacrifices far higher than we have yet paid.  There have 
been causes that have taken generations.  When you listen to President 
Bush and feel disenfranchised, when you feel like your government 
doesn't represent you, when you feel like it is no longer your country, 
savor that feeling.  Before Gandhi, King, Lewis, Parks, Muir and Thoreau 
went on to do great things, they all felt that way.  They felt it, it 
made them angry, and then it motivated them. Now it's our turn.  Feel 
pissed off.  Then together we will turn it into something.

I know that yesterday's setback will weed the summer soldiers from the 
ranks of the movement.  But I also know that the sweetness of a victory 
is in direct proportion to the enormity of the struggle.  I know that 
our Greenpeace mission is the struggle of our generation and that George 
Bush is symbolic of all that we oppose.  And I know that this struggle 
is going to be long and bitter, that we will have to work harder and 
smarter, we will have to make greater sacrifices, and ultimately, the 
cause for which we fight will be the envy of future generations.

We all need to spend some time being pissed off.  Feeling shock. 
Mourning. Then we have to act.  Our cause is just.  We can not afford to 
be defeated, or to be defeatist. Too much is at stake: our planet, our 
future and the legacy we leave to our children.

John Passacantando,
Executive Director
702 H Street, NW
Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20001
(800) 326-0959
Please support us.  Go to: 

  >Date: Wed, 03 Nov 2004 12:13:26 -0500
 > >To: "Deines, Lara" <lara at eckitchens.com>
 > >From: Fred True <ft at sophist.org>
 > >Subject: alas, don't despair
 > >
 > >
 > >Well babe, we won the battle (NJ/PA) but lost the
 > war.  Nobody but nobody can say we didn't do our
 > part or that we let this asshole slide to an easy
 > victory.
 > >
 > >Don't despair, though.  Even though we invested
 > heavily in this struggle, and I certainly felt my
 > heart sink and blood pressure rise when I heard that
 > Kerry had conceded, one good thing is going to come
 > of all this: more people than EVER before are going
 > to be galvanized against this administration and
 > what it really stands for.  They may have connived
 > their way into the seats of power for another 4
 > years, but they're going to find it increasingly
 > difficult to press on with their secrecy, lies, and
 > reckless deception without being questioned,
 > confronted, badgered, and resisted at every step.
 > >
 > >I also believe that many of the scandals that have
 > been bubbling up behind the scenes (like the ones
 > mentioned in John Dean's book "Worse than
 > Watergate") are going to be accelerated into the
 > open.  We're now the cornered rats, and we all know
 > what cornered rats do.  It's going to be a messy 4
 > years, and I wouldn't be surprised if GWB will be
 > forced to retire early despite his apparent victory
 > today.  With good chances of continued failures in
 > Iraq, another terrorist attack on home soil, or any
 > number of scandals waiting to burst forth, it's not
 > hard to see how this administration could fall like
 > a house of cards.
 > >
 > >And if you're trying to figure out why the majority
 > of people out there voted for GWB (a depressing
 > thought, to be sure), just think of the media for a
 > moment.  Think of what your mom has been influenced
 > by.  Think of how the "emotional" issues like gay
 > marriage or abortion have risen in the national
 > consciousness thanks to the "Infotainment Industry"
 > and the Bush administration, and how the meaty
 > issues like America's foreign policy hegemony, or
 > the failures in the Middle East, or the erosion of
 > the middle class at home have gone almost
 > undiscussed.  Is it any wonder the sheep have been
 > brainwashed?  Baaaaa!  Deep down, I'm actually kind
 > of surprised Kerry did as well as he did, given the
 > vast tide of misinformation and blatant omission
 > that has dogged these last four years.
 > >
 > >We'll shake off this setback, as utterly
 > distasteful as it is, and when all is said and done
 > this anger is going to help us.  I know I can
 > already feel my anger petrifying into resolve (some
 > might say... a "steely resolve" :-)
 > >
 > >Let's remember the defiant response of
 > Revolutionary War hero John Paul Jones, asked if he
 > would surrender as his ship "Bon Homme Richard" was
 > sinking into the Atlantic under the guns of the HMS
 > Serapis: "We have not yet begun to fight!"
 > >
 > >xo
 > >me

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