Friday, November 05, 2004

You Will Be Missed
For what it's worth, this man would have been a decent, humane president, a man who would have stood up for the values of egalitarianism, humanism, strength, hard work, and the American dream, a man who would have stood up for the New Deal and advanced the cause of progressivism like no president since the Lyndon Johnson of 1964-65. It simply breaks my heart that he won't be leading this country for the next four years. It hurts so much that I've hardly been able to do anything since Wednesday morning but wallow in this catastrophic defeat.

I was originally a Dean supporter, and it took me some time to warm to Sen. Kerry, but when I did I fell hard, and it makes the loss all the more bitter for me. Looking back, I now truly believe he was the strongest of the nine candidates the Democrats had to offer this year. America passed up the opportunity to elect a good man as its leader, and we we all have to live with the consequences of that fateful decision. He didn't run a perfect campaign, but he gave it everything he had, battling illness, fatigue, and the most vicious smear campaign I've ever seen to win the votes of 55 million Americans. He deserves better than to be yet another footnote in presidential history. Unfortunately, a bare majority of my fellow Americans fell for the absurd notion that Sen. Kerry would not have prosecuted the war on terror, and voted with their fears instead of their hopes.

John Kerry made me believe in politics once again. He did not fix the Democrats' primary deficiency -- that our political messages and ideas remain unconnected by a coherent and compelling ideological vision -- but he advance a number of policies that would have helped America and its citizens. From the sniping, defeated Democratic party of mid-2002, cowering and beaten by a popular president, he led us to a near-victory over an incumbent, despite a structural disadvantage in the Electoral College and despite a media echo chamber which repeated and gave credence to the ridiculous slurs hurled indiscriminately against him by notorious charlatans like John O'Neill, men who have been after Kerry since 1971, when he sat before Congress and courageously declared the Vietnam War a terrible mistake. The way a fractured left united around this man is still, despite the setback, something to be proud of and to build on. If we draw a line in the sand today, and determine that our losses in the Senate, in the House, and in the presidency must end today, here and now, I believe that future generations will look back at Kerry's campaign and see that it was the beginning of the end of the Republican ascendancy and the Democratic dark age which began in 1968.

Thank you, Senator. You fought hard, and you lost, but you won the admiration and grudging respect of millions. You were my choice to be president, and you will be missed.


At 11:35 AM, Blogger Annie DiMario said...

That was one of the nicest and really most heartbreaking things I've read in the last week. The loss we have been dealing with is that of a legitimate, fair Republican party, and the loss of a fair electoral process focused solely on the issues. these are huge losses, so it's almost gotten forgotten that there was almost above all the actual loss of this great presidential candidate. He really won me over this year too, and I am so sad that he doesn't now have the chance to do so for the whole country. He would have done a great job with it.

I hope you're right about what his candidacy andcampaign signifies over time. The most encouraging conversation I had all week was with a hard-core Republican, who is in mourning because of the "loss" of this election. When I responded, of course, come again, he said that what this election showed more than anything is how divided this country is and how the party in whose ideals he strongly believes has been taken over by a small group of extreme nutjobs. He claims that this is going to bury the Republican party in the long run because there's no way they can survive such a divide -- unless the "real" Republicans stand up and reclaim their party. I hope for the sake of everybody that that happens anyway.


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