White Balloon

Daily Journal of Mahaan, an Iranian-American student residing in USA.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

US election: A dream ended with nightmare!

Was it all a nice dream or a nightmare? Probably both!

First it was like a nice dream: We worked hard yesterday with an army of volunteers from MoveOn and other organizations. We tried to keep track of people in our district to see who hasn’t voted yet. Then we tried to call those who have not shown up at the poll to make sure they come. And then a short nightmare happened: They called us and said things are not very good in Florida and Ohio and we need to maximize the gain in PA. Then we went crazy. Just called and called and finally ran into every single door in the neighborhood. We truly maximized it and out of 600 people in the district, 540 voted. And on our canvassing we heard that the first exit polls show Kerry ahead in Ohio and Florida. So we were back into a nice dream. And those final minutes of voting just before 8 PM were great. With all the optimism that we all had and the chat that we had on politics of US. And we headed home with the hope that tomorrow is a new bright day.

And then we reached the magic box and news was not all good. Bush was ahead for almost all of the night. Although everything was basically equal till Ohio was clear, but the way that projections worked had Bush ahead all the time.

Then the nightmare started. Florida quickly went to Bush and PA didn’t help that much and as the counting was advancing in Ohio, Bush kept his lead and Kerry never matched. The whole night reminded me the soccer matches of Iran. Whenever some team score against Iran, everyone starts shaking because the chance of catching up is always slim for Iranian team. The supporters calm down and freeze suddenly. It was the same for us. Since the time that they reported 50% for Ohio, I had a feeling that it’s over and there is not a chance that Kerry can catch up.

And finally NBC projected Bush as the president, and CBS and CNN kept silence till this noon that finally Kerry conceded. And that showed how much the division exists in this country not only among people, but also among high ranks of powers in media.
Another 4 years of Bush-Cheney means an ongoing nightmare! Yes, today I was totally confused, frustrated and disappointed. Not only because of Kerry’s loss but only because of the reasons of loss. Apparently the major reason that people have supported W. Bush was because of moral values. What does that mean? That means they don’t care if W has injected billions of dollars of tax cut to US corps and top 1% rich of US and cut many social support programs. And they don’t care that over 1000 American troops have been killed in Iraq along with about 100,000 Iraqi civilians since March 2002 to make sure Halliburton and some other US business entities double their stock prices. What they care is that next door to them, there should not be a gay marriage or abortion happening, because it’s not moral!!
Today is a confusion day for America’s left and progressive movement. Apparently months of public mobilization and volunteer work didn’t pay off. Right wing was able to play the same card and mobilize his social army and bring them to vote and match with us. For a long time we blamed the turn out as a major problem, but this time it was over 65%.
Today I felt that I and probably many others in the left and liberal progressive of this country are living in a fantasy land. Our concerns are totally different than many of people in this country. Years of conservatives’ investments on educational manipulation, media buy outs and religious influence has worked out and now there is such a division between conservative/religious America and the rest of the modern world. Apparently the problem is deeper than what we thought originally and it can not be easily solved by political mobilization and volunteer work 6 months before the election. There is an educational and cultural gap between the liberal and conservative America which is feeding the whole corporate structure of the world at the moment. Filling such a gap, requires a radical change in the media and educational system of this country and that what the progressive America which partially has access to good chunk of the wealth in this country need to work out. Conservatives started from point zero in 1960s and brought America into the dark and disappointing today buy concrete effort and support. The liberal-progressive America needs to do the same if it wants to survive. Otherwise soon or late we will all be competing each other to immigrate to Canada or EU.
Yes yesterday was a nightmare and the days ahead are so. But we can always wake up and start doing something even very primary and small, but at least with hope that we won’t have a new nightmare tomorrow again.
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