November 03, 2004

The Day After

Its been a bumpy 24 hours. Its all about highs and lows, right? While I've been absolutely working my ass off - no time for a coherent thought in my head let alone on the blog - I've tried to respond to as much email as is humanly possible given the circumstances. And I've heard from a lot of disillusioned people.

What I feel is sadness, disappointment and anger. I realize that I was more emotionally invested in this election than I might have thought. While I'm a flaming liberal - and quite possibly alienated a few readers in the process of extolling those liberal tendencies - I'm also an idealist. I like to believe that one person can make all the difference in the world. I like to believe that while there's always a good there's also a better looming out there in the firmament. I like to believe in what is fair, what is just and what is ultimately right. I like to believe that all these ideals, all these pie-in-the-sky values I hold so dear, ultimately triumph over the many unjust things in the world. Sometimes things just don't work out that way.

Never have I doubted that the United States is the most wonderful place in the world. Think about it and its truly remarkable. We are a vast nation, both in area and diversity. Regardless of politics, we're a nation that embraces diversity, that presents the world with a strange dichotomy which sometimes seems brash, sometimes seems unwieldy but somehow works. We sometimes trounce civil liberties and seek to limit personal freedoms. We trip and fall getting used to the gangly pair of legs that is democracy. Yet for the most part, it works. And in the past 24 hours, we've seen the system work again. The outcome might be unpopular and personal liberties and rights encroached upon, but no shots were fired, no buildings torched, no one jailed for rebelling against popular sentiment.

While I'm not happy, while I don't believe the president represents me or what is best about this country, I'll embrace the values I hold most dear - the just, the fair, the dreamy notions spawned only by living in a free society in which everyone has a voice - and continue to express what I feel to be right and what I feel is wrong knowing that ultimately these are the things that matter. These are the things that count for something.

Let this be a lesson to everyone - Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Communist, Socialist. Be who you want to be. Say what you need to say. Be disillusioned, be angry, be frustrated but donít let it stop you from using your voice to its fullest potential. Don't mumble - sing. Don't stumble - run. Don't tap your foot - dance.

Posted by Chris at November 3, 2004 05:44 PM

Nicely said Chris. It's important to remember what you hold dear in values and the ideals that make you who you are. It's been a heart breaking me time for me to. But, we'll get them next time.

Posted by: charm at November 3, 2004 06:19 PM

I don't think anyone could have voiced what so many of us feel any better, Chris. Thank you.

Posted by: Jade at November 3, 2004 06:23 PM

Well done. I don't think I could have said it better myself.

Posted by: Manda at November 3, 2004 06:44 PM

Well said, a lot better than I could've done right now.

Posted by: Mike at November 3, 2004 06:45 PM


If only I could be that eloquent. But you've hit the nail on the head, yo.

Posted by: Dawnie at November 3, 2004 06:57 PM

I will say that I am concerned as to where this will take our country and change our laws, what course our country will take. But I'm sure the McGovern kids felt the same sort of uneasiness. Do any of them blog? I'd love to hear what they think.

In the end, there was some name-calling and some slight violence. But I'm afraid of what will be done in our name, and although Kerry is saying for us to unite, I don't agree I should have to be "patriotic" and support a President I didn't want in decisions I find morally reprehensible.

Posted by: alektra at November 3, 2004 07:32 PM

*stands and applauds*

Posted by: Buzz at November 3, 2004 07:47 PM

Take your bow now please.

Posted by: Sweet N Sassy at November 3, 2004 08:07 PM

wonderfully written as always...but I still reserve the right to pout..

Posted by: debby at November 3, 2004 08:13 PM

I'll drink to that - a few shots of tequilla chased by some jack daniels. That oughtta ease the pain ;)

Posted by: RockStar Mommy at November 3, 2004 08:32 PM

I'm definitely disappointed & sad, but you're right--we should all be thankful that we live in a country where we have the right to vote & voice our opinions. It was inspiring to see so many people passionate about something, anything...even if it didn't always agree w/ my beliefs. From all of us who feel discouraged today, thank you for your post!

Posted by: naomi at November 3, 2004 09:42 PM

wonderful post, chris. Very well said. Thanks for helping us remember that though we may not LIKE the outcome, at least it was peaceful and the system worked.

Posted by: lady jane at November 3, 2004 11:37 PM

Encore! Encore! Seriously though. . .well spoken er typed.

Posted by: Colby at November 3, 2004 11:49 PM

thank you for not being one of the people who have filled their blog with "i hate bush!" good to see some people with a level head still. although we differ on political views, i still value your opinions, and hope you would do the same for those of us who go against what you believe. :)

Posted by: tiffanie at November 3, 2004 11:58 PM

Nice post, Chris. I enjoy reading your blog even when I don't agree with your politics.

And thanks for not saying "fuck you for voting for Bush". ;-)

Posted by: Kelley at November 4, 2004 12:04 AM

I *heart* USA.

Posted by: :: jozjozjoz :: at November 4, 2004 01:16 AM

Thank you for speaking your mind without bashing those who supported Bush--like me. Before cruising to your blog, I had written a post in my own blog about the trashing and bashing alot of bloggers are doing to those of us who supported the President. Thanks for being so kind. Itreally does mean alot. :)

Posted by: Retro Girl at November 4, 2004 03:57 AM

Cheers to that! Well said.

Posted by: Sweety at November 4, 2004 08:29 AM

Very well said! Thanks for putting everything in perspective. I am not thrilled with the outcome of the election, but at least it was all handled civilly and with dignity. Definitely different than 4 years ago.

Posted by: Krush at November 4, 2004 09:07 AM

Even if your candidate didn't win, learn from the mistakes, fine tune your ideals, and set site for the next mountain to climb. I have little patience with cry-babies. Instead of blaming and dissing everybody, analyze what went wrong and be better prepared for the next time. Many successful people made lots of mistakes in the beginning, but their true commitment to their cause kept them improving until they finally conquered their objective. That is primarily the difference between true winners and also-rans. My chosen candidates have sometimes won and sometimes lost over the years, but I have always respected the position of the President for whoever one, and put unity ahead of pouting. I wish more folks would do this.

Posted by: ken at November 4, 2004 10:04 PM