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A new charge for Democrats
Last Wednesday was a rough day for many Democrats. Faced with the defeat of John Kerry, for whom many had dedicated so much time, effort and resources, we had to come to terms with the newfound legitimacy of he whom many proudly referred to as the illegitimate president. This was to be the ultimate triumph of democracy, and many of us felt that with enough effort, we could win the election for Kerry and set things right in the White House. Clearly that has not happened. To the rest of the world, Bush's re-election confirms American support for all the foreign policy blunders, fragmented alliances and international bullying of the last four years. I heard words such as 'disillusioned,' 'despondent,' and 'disbelief' many times on Wednesday as people tried to make sense of this crushing defeat. And yet, as is usually the case, there are two ways to look at the situation. The biggest threat facing the American population right now is that we disengage and give the Administration a carte blanche for the next term.
Two years ago, a small minority was mobilized against the approaching war in Iraq - a group insignificant enough that the government could afford to ignore. In this last election, however, half of the country wanted Bush out. This time the Administration will have to listen to dissent. By no stretch of the imagination, if Bush alienates any more of the population his approval ratings will plummet. As Bush himself stated, he will work to regain the country's trust. He is well aware that the population is divided, and it is his duty as President to listen to and respond to the country's citizens. We must hope and trust that he will fulfill that obligation during his next term.
A week ago, we witnessed the democratic process in action, with the largest voter turnout in recent memory. The act of actually electing a president comes only once every four years. The other part of the democratic process is a full-time job, in which it is imperative that we remain active and voice opposition to - as well as support of - an Administration's decisions. For those of us who supported Kerry in the election, the media has emphasized "acceptance" of Bush's victory over and over during the past week. While we must concede that Bush is to extend his presidency to a second term, acceptance must not be construed as passivity. Kerry's defeat is certainly a blow for those who supported him, but rather than give up, our next job is to keep a close eye on the current administration as it enters its second term, using the overwhelming opposition to Bush's re-election to keep the Administration in check. Despite the election results, we hold more power than we may realize. We must now learn how to use it.
- Channtal Fleischfresser
A look at the silver linings
Well, it's over! I must say that I am truly saddened and angered that Mr. Bush and his team get to keep their positions, and that they are bringing in so many more conservatives to join them. More than just sad and angry - I am scared. Everything I am FOR - as far as social, economic, environmental and foreign relations- they are AGAINST! And vice-versa. This is tough news, and the ramifications will likely be felt for generations.
But, as much as this shocks and devastates me, I don't want to wallow in anger and negativity! I want to linger in positive optimism.
There are a few silver linings. We got the Salazars! We got Wally White! Amendments 35 and 37 passed! Good stuff! And best of all, the election is over. The negative ad campaigns, phone calls, waiting and fretting can go away for a while.
And we are lucky to live in Durango, where we have a very kind and caring community. People really reach out and help others in need, and there is much more tolerance and kindness than in many parts of the U.S. Let's hold on to that.
So if you feel like crying or screaming, or throwing a plate, do it. And then remember to count your blessings, and practice some kindness.
Pamela J. Marshall
More advice from the right
I suspect that Shan Wells couldn't sharpen the pencils of Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonists Matt Davies, David Horsey, Clay Bennett or Ann Telnaes. Clever, thoughtful and pointed editorial cartoons are great and the fact that both sides are skewered makes one look forward to the next drawing. On the other hand, Mr. Wells comes across as a bigoted, angry cartoonist with some serious self esteem issues.
Based on the harsh letters and opinion pieces in the Telegraph, I don't think that liberal Democrats in Durango can wrap themselves in the mantle of diversity and tolerance any longer.
- Dennis Pierce
Here we have a young man who supports a war-monger president, and apparently neither of them are very bothered by the number of innocent people who have died in Iraq, including young children, and he has the nerve to claim that a toe kick from a little lady who had no intent to harm, is unjust violence?Amazing, distorted sense of values, I would say.
- Susana M. Jones
A Call for the conservative 'mandate'
Bush won re-election with 59.3 million votes, with the first majority since 1988 and with a higher percentage vote than any Democrat since 1964. That combined with Republican gains in both houses of Congress (the first party gains for an incumbent president since Truman) along with gains in the states. This occurs almost never in other democratic countries through out the world. All that seems to spell "mandate."
Despite that, the Democratic Party, continuing its veer to the hard-left, insists
that Bush must govern by compromising that mandate. In other words, by implementing the agenda that lost! However Bush tried that in his first-term with policies they wanted and even help craft. The result produced only vitriolic rhetoric against him by the Democrats. Yet when Clinton won in 1993 with a little more than 40% of the vote and attempted to implement his agenda of nationalizing our entire health care system (approx 15% of our $10 Trillion/yr economy), well, that was just fine with the Democrats. Liberal hypocrisy-again!
The clear lesson is twofold. One, that the Democratic Party is not only deaf to cultural and social issues of importance to America's core values, it is actually working to oppose them. And two, efforts to move towards rather than away from liberal ideology should not be a strategic centerpiece of Bush's second term. If our nation has a divide it's due not to Bush but from both Gore's and Kerry's campaign rhetoric. And from the temper-tantrums of the spoiled-child attitudes from the growing more extreme left-wing Democratic Party.
Hopefully Bush has now learned the lesson that in order to implement his conservative mandate, he must make his case with the American people, not with leftist politicians, special interest groups and government bureaucrats. Perhaps true reform, not just change, is at hand? This could be the dawn of a new era, or in the words of Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe, believing his own party's agenda-driven exiting-polling: "This is the best election night in history."
- Kim Rogalin
Who's fooling who?
Mr. Yeager's letter of 11-4-04 would have been funny if the reality weren't so tragic. He says I'm misled and pass along lies, lies, all lies. A fair question would be: who's lying to whom?
Let's see: It's documented fact that to attend many Bush rallies you had to sign a loyalty oath, and that persons unveiling anti-Bush banners or T-shirts were attacked and hustled out of the stadiums - sometimes arrested, sometimes given a little Bush kick ass. Is this our new democracy? We can say anything we want, so long as it agrees with you?
It is documented that the Bush neocons had Iraq in their crosshairs since the first months of the election - all they lacked was something galvanizing.
It is documented that Iraq was not involved in 9-11, nor a direct threat to the USA. Yet, FOX news still says stuff was found and it was an imminent threat.
It is documented that the Bush brain-trust who "rallied" (maybe, browbeat would be more accurate) the US and then initiated this war against a sovereign nation, just to oust Saddam, are the same people who for years supported and stabilized Saddam. Saddam could have been removed by other means.
It is documented that many of the 9-11 hijackers, and a good deal of the financing, came from within Saudi Arabia - yet, they are still our pals, business as usual. Bush even flew the Bin Ladens and friends out of the USA, while every other flight in the nation was grounded.It is documented that there is this interesting mega-company out there: The Carlisle Group who's member corporations and interests (including the Bush family & the Bin Ladens) are earning an awful lot of money as a result of this war.
Documentation is currently being gathered that questions the accuracy of the "blackbox" computer voting machines used in this election. Why is there a corporate-news blackout on this developing story? Why are Republicans fighting tooth and nail to keep the new generation of US computer voting machines "blackbox" type - that is, computers that leave no verifiable track of actual voting numbers? Sure doesn't sound very democratic or honest!
I could go on, but enough, because next Yeager claims that "Liberals" are going to place this nation under the allegiance of the UN, with a 3% tax to boot. Excuse me Mr. Republican, but where the hell does that one come from? Hey, you liberals, wake up! There is a focused brainwashing effort going on through the corporate media, and it is succeeding in misrepresenting what American liberal values actually stand for. It's high time to stand up and speak up for your democratic, humanitarian moral values.
Next Mr.Yeager, in one breath, says he supports "free people" but I should go back to where I came from because I don't agree with him... interesting. That's exactly what chills me to the bone about the new breed of evangelical Christian-Republicans, they speak of compassion, but show a seething intolerance of all who believe differently. As for compassion, it's worthless without empathy, humility and understanding.
As for Romans 1:32, I found Romans 2:1 much more relevant: "Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things."
Mr. & Mrs. Republicans we Liberals do love this Country very much and we mourn Bush taking the election because we see an Administration that conducts foreign (and environmental) policy with the forethought of a cancer surgeon wielding a chainsaw. We fear a further series of greed driven, self destructive actions that will do nothing but diminish our country, our world, and all our lives. You needn't call me names, let's just wait and see - believe me I'd love to be wrong, but every new morning, the world news contains nothing to offer hope.