Darryl Cramer
November 4th, 2004
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An Open Letter of Encouragement to Democrats and Liberals

Given the result of the presidential election, if you are anything close to being liberal,
compassionate or freethinking, then there are many reasons for despondency. George Bush
might have stolen the 2000 election, but this year his victory is unquestioned. The American
people have spoken, and the effect is irrefutable encouragement of this administration's four
years of hubris and recklessness. Regardless of the customary rhetoric in Bush's victory
speech yesterday, the next term will inevitably witness a continued, if not strengthened, assault
on civil liberties, the environment and personal freedoms, all while cutting taxes for the wealthy,
continuing to run up the deficit, ignoring healthcare and, of course, waging a nebulous war with
no exit strategy against an enemy that is somewhat difficult to define and even more difficult to
locate.

The prospect of having to endure another four years of this regime, especially given the
apparent mandate in the popular vote and the strengthened Republican control in the House
and Senate, is enough to make any liberal weep. The mood across the Democratic Party, and all
those blue counties throughout the country, is undoubtedly one of sadness and perhaps
depression. While liberal causes still live, so much time, energy, and money was devoted to an
effort that was ultimately squashed in a single day. However, for those of you who refuse to
succumb to the melancholy, who refuse to let the deluded, uninformed, hidebound majority
dictate your disposition, who refuse to sulk in the darkness of defeat, permit me to do my best
to humbly offer a silver lining for this dark cloud.

Before the election campaigns even began, one had to ask, who in their right mind could
possibly want to inherit the geo-political disaster created by the last three years of arrogance
and incompetence? One had to empathize with John Kerry as he attempted to rationalize his
position against attacking Iraq with his desire to effectively administer the mission to a
successful conclusion. Whether you thought we should have invaded or not, we are now there
and something has to be done. Should Kerry have been elected, he would have spent the
entirety of his term attempting to fix the chaos and ultimately would have been held
responsible for the outcome. Four years from now, whatever that outcome may be, no one will
be able to point a finger at anyone but George Bush.

While many economists and pundits would argue otherwise, the economy is looking
exceptionally precarious. Over the last year we have seen some growth in GDP and jobs, but
the nation is sitting on a housing bubble propped up by unprecedented levels of consumer and
corporate debt. Whereas the equity markets have been reflecting some enthusiasm as of late,
stock prices continue to be inflated by historical standards. As for corrective measures, interest
rates cannot go lower and given the current levels of deficit spending it is unclear how fiscal
policy could be expanded any further. It may not be a ticking time bomb, but it is probably best
that the Democrats are not sitting on it.

The Supreme Court, and many other courts across the country, will not look the same in 2008.
Everyone knows that Bush's favorite Justices are Thomas and Scalia, so we can expect that he
will attempt to make his inevitable appointments look the same. Nevertheless, before you bid
farewell to Roe v. Wade, consider that packing the court has proven very difficult for previous
Presidents; Justices have an uncanny knack for unpredictable behavior. Truman once lamented,
"Whenever you put a man on the Supreme Court he ceases to be your friend. I'm sure of
that." It will be bad, just perhaps not as bad as your creative, sinister imagination.

"I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree" - Joyce Kilmer. The Bush Administration
will continue to wage its war against all things green in the name of big business, but nature is
strong. One of the great things about the environment is that it grows back, albeit slowly.
Things will be worse in four years, no doubt, but we will not quite be on the brink of anything
approaching "Blade Runner." It may take years, hopefully not hundreds, but what is broken can
be fixed.

Of course there are still more issues: gay rights, health care, social security, America's
reputation in the world and on and on. All of these important concerns will continue to be
punished, but hopefully not beyond repair. Bush's smirk, swagger and brutalization of the
English language are all things that you are going to continue to have to bear. For that, the
best solution is the "off" button on your TV. Furthermore, make sure to never, ever, ever
watch Fox News.

While it is very important to not root for the Administration to fail - we are, in spite of
everything, all on the same team - after an eight year mandate with accompanying control of
both Houses and the Supreme Court, no one, anywhere, will be able to stick the resulting
blame on the Democrats. If everything you believe about the Bush Administration is mistaken,
and all of his policies culminate in peace, security and prosperity for the world, then you will just
have to admit that he was right and you were wrong; the only resulting damage will be to your
pride. If you are right, on the other hand, you will be looking at a Democratic landslide victory in
2008, and perhaps many years of Democratic control thereafter. That will be important, as it
might take a long time to fix the mess.

In the meantime, no one is going to give up; Democrats and Liberals will continue to fight the
good fight for the betterment of humanity. While I know that everyone is focusing on the
microcosm of the "here and now," let us not forget that the human struggle to liberate
mankind from narrow-minded oppression, deceit and powerful self-interest has endured
thousands of years and will continue to endure long after we have all left this planet.
Nevertheless, this is an ugly step back before a great leap forward. I told you it was only a
silver lining, but try to cheer up anyway.

Darryl Cramer