Joho the Blog » The 2-step tonic for political depression

The 2-step tonic for political depression

I’ve not made any bones about it: This campaign has left me beaten down and depressed. Am I the only one?

So, here’s my tonic. It comes in two parts: Part 1: Get out the vote. Part 2: Get out and vote.

If we get out the vote, we win. We could even win big.

And while democracy does not consist merely of pulling a lever in a voting booth, pulling that lever is so important that people have died to give us that right. That’s what I remember every time I vote, and this will not be the first time I get choked up in a voting booth.

I’m depressed so I spend more time thinking about how bad it’s going to be if Bush wins. But occasionally I am granted a moment of thinking how good four – eight! – years of Kerry can be. I believe we will see a type of strong leadership – principled, realistic and unmarred by meanness – that this country has not seen in a generation.

I gotta go call some strangers…

You can, too. Kerry supporters can sign up here to call from their houses. Bush supporters can go google it on their own; I’m not that much of a liberal.

11 Responses to “The 2-step tonic for political depression”

  1. I’m depressed too David. But when I cast my vote last thursday I felt a moment of grace and gratitude for doing so.

    I can’t help feeling though that all my hopes and dreams, that invariable narrative that has guided my life up to this point, is coming under assault by larger forces of stupidity, ignorance and just plain evil (a word I almost never use). If Bush wins, then perhaps that is what we deserve. Unfortunately we are living under constraints of a single planet where all of ours lives are inexorably wrapped up in larger forces beyond our control. Perhaps this why I have instinctually longed for space travel and freedom of the stars where our spirits can manifest themselves, free from the boundaries of this “Planet of the Apes” we find ourselves stuck on.

    As I’ve seen it, up to this point, the harmonious balance of nature has been on the side of progressive change, from simple bacterium, to complex living things, to intelligent life, barbarian feudalism towards technological civilization. Will this grand experiment end here? Was it meant to come to a screeching halt because of a few manipulative bastards struggling for total world domination? I want to think that 4 billion years of evolution is on our side, and that hair brained idiots can’t hijack our evolutionary birthright… reaching the stars themselves.

  2. Eve of Election Thoughts

    Like David Weinberger I can’t help but feel a little depressed with where the world now finds itself on the eve of this election. However when I cast my early vote last Thursday I felt a moment of grace and gratitude for doing so, knowing that many peo…

  3. David: I’m listening to Zogby on the radio now. He says he’s a Democrat, but his company is scrupulously disinterested. He also says now it’s 48/48, but Kerry gets the edge if the undecided follow the tradition of the supporting the challenger. That is if this is a typical election.

    He gives this formula: The next president must win 2 out of 3 of Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida, AND not loose all of the little three, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

    This might cheer you up:
    http://www.roches.com/discography/igavemyloveakerry.html

  4. We The People

    The election has left me, as well as others, depressed. I’ve been irrationally expecting to be denied my right to vote in the polling place that I have been going to since we moved into NodedNorth twenty years ago. Part of the problem is that I have no…

  5. David,
    I think that calling and doing things are a great antidote to depression. So it this story I just ran across at TPM, http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/week_2004_10_31.php#003880.

    Lots of people with courage and determination are trying to take our country back from those who would torture in our name.

  6. David, as an outsider, it’s been easy for me to poke holes in the candidacies of Bush and Kerry. It’s been easy to deride the ABB crowd and it’s been easy to say, “It makes no difference.” Perhaps, over four or eight years and in the grander scheme of things, a Kerry presidency will make little substantive difference in key areas.

    But, hell, as someone profoundly affected by United States domestic and foreign policy–we all are, even I can see the enormous, almost ‘intangible’, good inherent in a Kerry presidency. If it boils down to as little as a change in spirit (a lifting of your and millions of others’ depression), a re-energizing of the left and of liberals, or a more sensitive implementation of policy (no matter how devious and twisted it may be), a Kerry presidency will deliver much of what we need to get American and global politics back on track.

    I’m still leery of the ABB vote. Voters do have an alternative. They can vote for Bush and a presidency the world cannot afford, or they can vote for Kerry and the potential to turn things around. While Bush offers the inevitability of disaster, Kerry offers hope and, although my voice counts for nought, I’d urge any U.S. citizen to get out there and put the Senator into the Oval Office.

    And whatever happens, I (and billions of others) should thank those who’ve worked tirelessly–shrugging of the slings and arrows of the right and malcontents like yours truly, to ensure this promise of hope stays alive. What happens tommorow will affect all of us. So, yup, good luck and watch out; they’ll take this one any way they can.

  7. Mike, While I’m certainly ABB, I believe that the difference between B and K is huge. Yeah, it’s still not as big as I would like, but I believe the world would immediately feel the difference. And domestically, just about anywhere you look, K is far better than B (IMO, of course): Environment, economy, Supreme Court, science, abortion…The differences are very real.

    I think most Americans know it; that’s why this is the bitterest election in many years.

  8. I went to calls.johnkerry.com last night after dinner (figuring, hey, it’s still a quarter to seven in Colorado and New Mexico), and was told they didn’t have any numbers to give out.

    I was instantly reminded of a couple of letters to Sam Wang last week. One writer said he had called the DNC asking where he could go to help out the campaign, and they said he should go to either Minnesota or Iowa–not, as you’d expect, Ohio or Florida–which implies that the Dems have as many volunteers in the big swing states as they need. Another writer, a registered independent in Pennsylvania, said she had five calls or visits from Kerry supporters, but only direct mail from Republicans.

    All of which bodes well for high Democratic turnout, which bodes well for a Kerry landslide.

  9. This election could come down to how well the Reps have managed to perpetrate registration fraud and other attempts to prevent our voices from being heard.

    I’m either going to be very happy on Wednesday or in the worst mood imaginable.

  10. If you are looking for voters to call, check out http://www.votercall.org and http://www.voteallyourvalues.org. We still have newly registered voters in battleground states who could use an encouraging word to help get them to the polls.

    Disclosure– I am part of the team putting those sites up .. yada yada … etc.

  11. Don’t be depressed. Kerry’s victory will be decisive, although not the bizarrely-rumored landslide.

    With young voters and their cellphones not being polled, newly-registered voters also not really being polled (because of the lagtime before they show up on public records pollsters can make use of), and Democratic ground troops the likes of which neither I nor my parents have ever seen… well, see my first sentence.

    It’s often said about the military that it fights the previous war. In that same light, the press prepares for the previous story. The media is setting up their coverage of a rerun of 2000 — but given how many stories the mainstream media has gotten entirely wrong in the past four years, why are people assuming they are preparing for reality?

    Kerry, decisively. Count on it.

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