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Posted by gustav at 05:00AM, Saturday, November 01st, 2003

A Call to Arms

My Blueprint for a Progressive Takeover of the Democratic Party and the Nation

The apparent results of the 2004 elections are distressing for a great many reasons, chief among which, of course, is that over 50 million people seem to have voted for an election-stealing, lying-to-congress, terrorism-allowing, draft-dodging, marriage-hating fundamentalist moronic scion of the Republican elite. For the first time, the Republicans can now claim that Bush got elected to the presidency, and to any progressive who believes in equal rights regardless of color, sex, sexuality, or income, that's a terrifying thought. But, as others all over the web are saying, this is not the time to despair. Some of us may wish to make plans to flee the country before the concentration camps start up, but that's impractical for a huge number of Americans. For us, it's time to figure out how to take our country back.

I disagree with others that this isn't the time to start attacking our own. It is: it's time for the deepest introspection, to see what's wrong with the Democratic party and the version of our message that the media put out. We lost, in a deep and astounding way, and not just in a single election. We lost in Congress. And for the presidency, our decorated war-hero lost to an astoundingly inept puppet, in whom the American people have little trust, and of whom less than half of them approve. We mustn't downplay the staggering enormity of this loss, or believe that we can do better next time, just because. The Democratic Party has no leadership and no long-term plan for winning right now, and it displays a profound inability to recognize and rectify this. The only presidency it's won in the past 24 years is Clinton's, and I am the first to say, even though I can't idolize the man who signed DOMA into law, that that victory was because of the man himself, his charm, his brilliance, and his personality. If that's the Democrats' secret plan -- count on personality -- it's time for a change in tactics, and a wholesale change in Democratic leadership.

I can not overemphasize this point. The Democratic leadership has failed the nation, and it's time for a basic change, both in people and tactics. Aside from Clinton, we haven't won since 1976. We have been steadily losing Congressional seats since 1992. Just as there's no reason to expect improved performance from the Bush administration in the second four years, more of the same from the Democratic leadership is not going to help us. Pretending our candidates are centrist, or forcing them to be, only gets us all the millions of apathetic voters who say "There's no real difference between the candidates. They agree on so much in the debates, and I hate them both. Why vote?" We need leadership that's not afraid to highlight deep cultural and policy differences between Democrats and Republicans, or to embrace our core progressive constituency.

I also disagree with those who say that conspiracists are overreacting. The Ohio circuit court ruling should put the fear of god into us all, as should Diebold's fulfilled promise to deliver Ohio, like Jeb's 2000 promise to deliver Florida. There *are* boogeymen out to get us in our sleep, and the time has passed for us to pretend they're not real.

What we did well


That said, there are achievements of which we can be proud in this election. Senator Kerry received (assuming the figures are accurate) the second-highest number of votes for the American presidency in history: more than W in the 2000 election, more than Al Gore even, more than Clinton before him, and more than Reagan before him. Stated another way, more people voted against George Bush this year than have ever voted against the winner in a presidential election. Kerry did that even in the face of a Republican-owned and -controlled media which, whenever the President or his spokesmen lied, about gay marriage, or the war in Iraq, or 9/11, simply repeated the White House statements, rather than challenging them. We mobilized more young people than ever before: not enough, but a record.

We lost Congressional seats at the Federal level, but there were a couple of important wins. Barack Obama is the new Senator from Illinois, and still one of the first handful of black senators in U.S. history. Ken Salazar won a bitterly-contested race in Colorado, and his election is the first step in rectifying glaring under-representation of Hispanics in Congress.

The Republicans may have swept the South for the Presidency, but, for the first time, the losing Democrat swept not only the West Coast and northern Midwest, but the entire Northeast, as well. Neither Carter in 1980, nor Mondale in '84, nor Dukakis in '88, nor Gore in 2000 carried New Hampshire. John Kerry did. I'm not sure exactly what that signifies, but I think it's important that we try to figure it out. Part of that, I think, was tremendous mobilization, of action committees, of get-out-the-vote drives, of phone-banks, of issues education, and just of ordinary citizens being vocal and involved. I think a lot of that carried over from people who'd gotten really excited about Howard Dean, and, when their man lost, went on to apply some of his techniques to the Kerry campaign. It's important that we remember the power of all of that, and also extend it, applying more of the involvement of the Deaniacs in the future, making the organization of campaigns more distributed, local, and community- and social-based than the Kerry camp has thus far managed. Also, in New Hampshire, an evil Republican incumbent lost his bid to hold the governorship, which, in the face of skyrocketing health costs and property taxes and unfunded schools, is a good thing.

Embrace gay marriage -- it's good for the Party


Perhaps most importantly, in Massachusetts, the one state where gay marriage is legal, as opposed to the eleven where anti-gay ballot initiatives passed, every state congressperson who supported marriage won re-election. Let me say that again, because it's a message that we need to pound through the thick, anti-progressive skulls of Democratic leadership in Washington: every single state rep who opposed the anti-gay marriage amendment won reelection, in contrast to the stunning defeats of Republican incumbents and challengers statewide. Here, at least, core progressive values played overwhelmingly in the Democrats' favor. This is in a year when Democratic leadership in the state house was fragmented and contradicted its own party values and base, when Republican Governor Romney, who himself comes from a religion of unusual marriage views, called a war on the gays, and when Senator Kerry stabbed us all in the heart by advocating for a homophobic state anti-marriage amendment that would write discrimination into the state constitution. None of that mattered, because we had gay marriage in the state, and we were vocal about it, and people realized it didn't hurt a damn thing. In fact, in Massachusetts, homo equality plays well for the left. (See http://advocate.com/new_news.asp?ID=14263&sd=11/04/04.)

And here things become more interesting. How is it that Massachusetts leaned so much towards gay rights, while the rest of the country seems to be attacking us? Many say it's because the commonwealth is filled with bleeding-heart liberals, and that doesn't apply to the rest of the country. Some say that all the progressives are in the Northeast, and only here could we have done this, in what the Republicans tell us isn't "real America." Bullshit. Real America was founded on progressive values, and the notion of inalienable rights -- on the liberal, Enlightenment notion that everyone is entitled to pursuit of happiness, and government's job is to maximize that happiness while preventing its execution from negatively impacting other people. Here in Massachusetts, we see that gays and lesbians can finally be married, and it's not hurting anyone, thus increasing the net happiness. To claim that that's only conceivable in one tiny part of the country is cynical and anti-American.

Lose our elitist notions


This tiny part of the country isn't the only one that's home to progressive values. (The Northeast -- what the Republicans again and again call the fake America -- is the only place where we've suffered a major terrorist attack on U.S. soil.) I feel like I hear the claim that it is mostly from people who've never lived outside the belt between Maine and D.C., and would be mortified to consider moving outside it. I've known progressives in Nashville, in Austin, in Oklahoma City, in St. Paul, in Chicago, in Portland, in Seattle, in Atlanta, and in Phoenix, and I've lived in Tucson, which I felt was far more progressive and open than any place I've lived in New England. It had what I believe was the third municipal gay rights law in the country, for Pete's sake, way back in the early 70s. To claim that the red states are all anti-progressive bespeaks ignorance and the kind of elitist, geographic-based prejudiced on which Karl Rove capitalizes; it's akin to Europeans claiming all Americans are backwards just because the presidency was stolen in 2000.

I don't say this just to bitch-slap people who've never lived outside New England and New York, and who would never consider doing so. I say this because I really feel it's important that we get over it, and stop help the GOP ghettoize progressivism to small, populous states underrepresented in the Senate. We need to reach out to progressive islands in red states, and help them mobilize and spread the love to retake our government. Clearly, we can't wave our magic wands and legalize gay marriage in the rest of the country, thus demonstrating how innocuous it is to the straights. But I don't think we need to. Nay-sayers will point to the Republican backlash in Vermont after Governor Dean signed the civil unions legislation there, and that is a problem. On the other hand, Vermont got over it. I'd go so far as to say that in some ways, civil unions may be more dangerous for our cause: they aren't quite marriage, but instill the fear of God and the "threat" of gay marriage into the Religious Wrong, without actually demonstrating that real, bona fide marriage is no big deal.

What can we do to reach out to progressives in other states? One example is, with our newfound progressive power in Massachusetts, to overturn Romney's bigoted application of an originally-racist 1913 law that prevents marriages that would be unrecognized in the applicants' home states. That way, the progressives can come to us, get married, and go back to challenge bigoted anti-marriage laws in their home states, and demonstrate that yes, gay and lesbians can be married, even in the red states, and it's less important to the average breeder than taxes and unemployment. I also urge elitist east-coasters to go out and live in a progressive island in a red state. Spread the love, and be reminded that even people who vote Republican may not be all evil. They have families and jobs, too, and may be more likely to sympathize with our causes when they see the effects of fascism and bigotry first-hand.

This leads us to one of the bigger problems: Republican monopoly on the "morals" arguments. Lots of working-class people across the country now vote Republican, directly against their economic interests, against the interests of their children in the armed forces, and their black and gay friends and families, because Karl Rove's message that Republicans are the "moral" party is successful. I think there are three big reasons this works: the Republican-owned and -controlled news-media are very good at reiterating this message, in the face of logic; Democrats underemphasize economic issues; and, at the same time, Democratic leadership is terrified of tackling the morals charge head-on, instead letting Republicans paint them as radical leftists, while they don't even advance or support many true leftist goals.

Be always on the offensive -- be the aggressor, and be strong


What this all boils down to is: we need to stop letting Karl Rove et al put us on the defensive. We need centralized coordination of the messages we're putting out there, and they need to be messages of strength. For all the issues that we can bring up about which anyone capable of logical thought would agree with us, rednecks still vote for Republicans because they portray themselves as powerful and us as whiners. That needs to change, and, to do it, we need to embrace our core constituency, just as they embrace theirs. Karl Rove mobilizes millions of the Christian Wrong and moves his party ever to the right, even as it abandons its traditional conservative beliefs -- but meanwhile, John Kerry is terrified to say that just maybe he supports equal rights for gays, and he and everyone else try to move the Democratic Party to the center. That's why we lost! Rednecks see this as appeasement, as an acknowledgement that our position is weak, that we know it's not going to fly in the heartland, so they vote for the Republicans, whom they see as claiming the moral high ground and being unswayable in their views.

For all that it distresses reasonable people, we could learn a little from W, and not be afraid to stick to our guns in the face of popularity. It worked for Johnson with civil rights, but, sadly, historians of the future will look back on no contemporary national politician as being an unswerving proponent of gay rights, as they do on Johnson and civil rights. We can't rely on one policy message for the whole country: gay rights don't fly in the South -- not that people who are offended by them vote for Democrats anyway -- and redneck-appeasement causes massive voter apathy amongst progressives, while New England hates gun rights. However, being cocksure and standing tall works everywhere. More people like Bush for his sureness than for his actual policies. We must learn from that.

Be proud of progressive morals


To stick to our moral guns, we need to clearly articulate why gay rights, and civil rights, and voting rights, and abortion rights, are good for everyone, why they are quintessentially American, and why opposing them is evil. We need to do this even in the face of popular opposition. We need our Democratic politicians to stop bowing to the polls and stand up for what is right, and articulate why Republicans are wrong. We need candidates who stop stepping up in the debates only to say "I agree with my opponent about x, y, and z," and instead say "Mr. Vice President, it's great that your daughter is gay. But it's shameful the way your administration treats gay Americans, that you claim to be uniters not dividers while hatefully barring them from the wonderful institution of marriage. It's hateful the way yoou disenfranchised black voters in 2000 and 2004, and try to use gay marriage to drive a wedge between the gay oppressed and the black and hispanic oppressed."

We need to take back the concept of "Christian" from the right wing, and articulate that true Christians don't bomb people; they don't cast aspersions or stones; they don't espouse hate; that Christ said nothing about shunning gays. We need to point out that *real* Christians follow the teachings of Christ, not the eye-for-an-eye doctrines of the Old Testament on which he turned his back. We need to point out that there are many times more prohibitions against diet in the bible than there are against homosexuality. The Christians among us need to proudly say "I am Christian, and I'm proud to be a Democrat, because we fight for the poor, just as Christ did."

We need to become more media-savvy in all of these things. If we're going to be denigrated as being pro-gay, then we might as well be whole-hog pro-gay. We need to start loudly proclaiming ourselves more pro-religious-freedom than Republicans. We need to point out that, historically, it's only Democrats who have been fiscal conservatives; that Reagan and both Bushes are the ones who tax and spend, spend, spend, while they abandon conservative values like liberty. There are true conservatives who should be staunch allies of the Democratic party. We need to reach out to them on economic and libertarian issues, while not compromising on social ones.

Advance candidates and attack enemies on personality


We need to wake up to the cult of personality, and find more people like the Clintons for whom that works. I didn't back Kerry in the primary because he seemed to play to popularity with his vote on the Iraq war and his backing of an anti-gay marriage amendment, but also because I didn't think he had the personality to win. As delusional as it is, people like Bush because they think he's a straight-shooter. But I think they misstate that a bit. I think they know he's not a straight-shooter in terms of being consistent or telling the truth. They just like that he's cocky, that he doesn't back down or admit mistakes. For all that a tendency to look at issues from all sides and talk about that is useful in the legislature, it doesn't play well with the cult of personality. This is exacerbated by media that hammer on anything that can be portrayed as a "flip-flop" or whatever else Karl Rove tells his operatives to yammer on about.

We also need to be aggressive about attacking personality in our enemies. Why weren't we showing the clips of Bush whining about this or that, or bitching about being asked tough questions in press conferences, or trembling looking frightened in a corner, on DNC ads this fall? Many Republicans just don't seem to understand the visceral reaction Bush engenders amongst progressives. They think we demonize the man because we hate his politics, not understanding (or pretending not to understand) that we demonize him because he's a soulless asshole. My cube-mate at work was shocked to hear me say I hated Bush because he struck me as an evil man without morals, and that he demonstrated that every time, for instance, he sniggered about executing someone. My coworker claimed not to have seen that clip. This stuff needs to be part of our media message. We need to not shy away from exposing the bigotry of politicians like Republican Senator-elect Tom Coburn, who warned of "rampant lesbianism" in Oklahoma schools (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2004/10/11/politics2023EDT0704.DTL.) Michael Moore understands that it's hard to argue with footage of your own man in his own words, and we need to exploit that avenue of attack. The Republicans attack personally, and we should, too.

Be damned for what we are


Part of media savvy, as I've mentioned, is being proud of what we stand for, rather than apologetic. We stand for gay rights. The media let Bush say that Kerry was pro-gay-marriage, even though he's not. If our candidate is going to be damned for that in the red states -- and don't for a minute think that Kerry or Edwards won any votes from Bush amongst the Christian Wrong by saying they were against gay marriage -- then he could at least actually support it. One of the biggest benefits of this is reducing voter apathy, particularly in young people. Need I tell you how painful it was for me to cough up donations to the Kerry campaign after he opposed my marriage? or how much more excited I would have been working for Dean or Moseley Braun? This also gives our candidates a platform from which to attack Republican opposition to equal rights as fundamentally unamerican, and attempt to sway all the people who are embarrassed to be faced with the truth that their candidate embraces discrimination, including the 20% of the gay vote Bush got. Side-stepping the issue, not getting up in the debates and saying "President Bush backed a Constitutional Amendment that would, for the first time in American history, strip away rights that the Constitution currently guarantees, and eliminate current marriages and civil unions. Here's why you should be worried that your marriage is next" -- stepping lightly for fear of offending people who would only vote for you over their dead body -- doesn't get us anywhere. We need to stop letting Republicans speak ambiguously about "morals," referring to gay-bashing and race-baiting. We need to show concrete real-world examples of how what they do to minorities hurts real people, and how it contradicts real American values.

Fight Dirty


We also need to let go of our antipathy towards displaying public hypocrisy, or to fighting dirty. These things don't keep Karl Rove awake at night, and they don't hurt his party. It's past time for us to embrace them. When we're fighting back-room deals to deliver votes via hackable, fraudulence-prone computer voting machines designed so that cheating is untraceable, and Young Republicans who physically assault black voters in Florida and muscle in to intimidate them in Ohio -- when our opponents are willing to win by whatever means necessary -- we too need to be willing to win by whatever means necessary..

We need to be willing, as part of those buzzwords we recapture from Republicans, to use fear in our media presence. Bush rode back to Washington, in part, on fear -- not because he's demonstrated that he's any good at fighting terrorism, but because he instilled enough of it. The DNC should have run a 15-second prime-time spot that showed a shot of the "Bin laden determined to attack" report on Condi's desk, dated August, 2001, followed by a clip of Bush reading "My Pet Goat," followed by a shot of the towers collapsing, followed by a shot of Bush looking scared when the Secret Service told him what had happened, and going back to reading "My Pet Goat," and ending with a tagline on a black background: "He let it happen once. Don't let it happen again."

Playing on fear works well for other progressive goals, which we share with libertarians and true conservatives. We need to strike down the Patriot Act, and build support for doing so. The Republicans use fear to bolster it, but it's an easy target for us, too -- with images of shadowy G-men tracking what you and your children check out of libraries and hauling you away in the middle of the night. Similarly, we need to back adoption and marriage as things the state has no business interfering with: run ads showing gay families being literally torn apart in Florida because of anti-gay adoption laws, complete with hysterical sobbing children clutching as their mothers are dragged away and say "They say they only want to attack gay families, right now. But can we risk believing them? These are the same people who backed antimiscegenation in the 60s, using the same arguments. What if your family's next?" and cut to a shadowy picture of an interracial family, looking worried.

One aspect of playing dirty that Rove's operatives have mastered is the Caesarian notion of divide and conquer. Witness the Republican robo-phone-bank operations in Michigan just prior to this election, which called Democratic voters in predominantly black neighborhoods to tell them to vote for Kerry because he was pro-gay-marriage. Witness, also, the Young Republicans operations in Florida where Republican operatives pretended to be gay San Franciscans for Kerry at an again, predominantly-black religious Kerry rally. Gay marriage is Rove's favorite wedge issue right now, but, if we embrace wedge issues, there are a lot of chinks in the Right's coalition. It's not nice to exploit these, but as I said, we no longer have a choice but to do whatever it takes. Thus, let's start dividing and conquering: run ads in the evangelical South asking why the Bush administration devotes so much money to defending Israel. Ask them why we should even care about spending money to install Democracy in Muslim countries. Ask them if they really feel comfortable supporting Cheney, who refuses to back Bush's anti-gay-marriage stance. Ask them why their President supports civil unions. Ask them why he hasn't outlawed abortion yet. Press the FCC to get Rush off the air, since he's a dirty drug addict, and a bad role model for the children. At the same time, make one of our centralized big messages how anti-gay and anti-black the Republicans are: let's get that 20% of the gay vote over to the Democrats. Push scare messages claiming all Republicans want to lock away any pot-smokers or prescription-abusers for life. Use economic issues like outsourcing to push a wedge between the working class and the Republican party. Go for the libertarian vote, too, pointing out all the unamerican aspects of the Patriot Act. I'm not saying we have to push-poll them on issues where we can do better by the Religious Wrong, or that we need to be consistent. After all, that's never stopped Rove. I'm just saying -- plant division, even if it means being disingenuous.

Take back "America"


We need to take back ownership of "America" in the media, also. I'm sick and tired of hearing that Massachusetts isn't America, or the elite Northeast isn't America. The Mayflower didn't land on Little Rock, people, and 9/11 didn't happen in the breadbasket. We are America. Our progressive ideals and liberalism are America. America is an Enlightenment country with a Constitution that came right out of 18th-Century French philosophy. The Constitution made America what it is before half the red states were states. We need to be loudly proud of our liberalism, and take back ownership of flag-waving. Put an American flag sticker on your car, next to your "legalize pot" and bear pride stickers. Associate liberalism with patriotism. Stick a flag sticker next to the "Fuel efficiency is patriotic!" sticker on the back of your hybrid or biodiesel old Mercedes or Jetta TDI.

Without letting our position start to seem defensive, we need to push the importance of the right to vote as fundamentally American, and ensure that it stays a right. We need voting traceability and elections accountability. We need to guarantee that everyone, regardless of color, of age, of prison record, or any other legally-entitled-to-vote demographic, can vote as easily as anyone else, and have his or her vote counted. This is exceeded in importance only by protecting court appointments.

Blatantly partisan court decisions are probably the most dangerous aspect of the current Republican control of government, and the hardest to fight. We need to fight them because we've already seen the consequences -- the unconstitutional, indefensible Supreme Court ruling in Bush v Gore, and the appellant court ruling in Ohio by anti-choice, anti-gay justices appointed by Reagan and Bush II. We need to fight them because we cannot lose Roe v. Wade, which we hold by a one-vote majority. We cannot afford to lose Lawrence v. Texas, either. We need to exert pressure and convince all of our representatives in Congress that if they don't block all of Bush's judicial nominees from here on out, we will ride them out of office on a rail at the next election. Bush does not have a mandate: more people voted against him than ever in history. Make sure our representatives in Congress understand that.

To do all of this, we need a central message-disseminating organization that also exercises iron control of Democrats in Congress, keeping them in line and preventing bipartisan alliances that defeat Democratic interests. We also need a more progressive, more savvy media and public image machine. The news media are under monopolistic Republican control now, and we need to understand that they won't help us. If we're lucky, we can buy advertising time for progressive candidates and progressive interests, but we can't count even on that. When we do get airtime, we need hard-hitting ads that attack while promoting our central messages, rather than weak ones which paint us as defensive. In addition, we need to acknowledge the alternative means of message distribution. The Democrats are getting smarter about using the internet, but, as I've mentioned, we need to embrace more of the social networks that got Dean so far -- the word-of-mouth and isn't-it-fun house-parties and so forth -- while being prepared to slam the media for doing things like what they did to him with the shout. We also need to use new media to their fullest. How many people saw the Jib-Jab movies? That's cheap and hip distribution with a huge audience; if it seems hip, people will watch it regardless of their politics.

Final Thoughts:


Remember Nixon. He had a landslide victory for his second term, even though everyone knew about Watergate by then. Pride before a fall, and all of that. The Republicans now have enough rope to hang themselves, and we know they're cocky. All we have to do is let them screw up -- again -- then dog them and not let go until we send the President to jail for lying to Congress, obstruction of justice, war crimes, and whatever else it takes. There must be no pardons this time.

However, also remember Nixon. Gerald Ford lost his bid for reelection to Jimmy Carter, a devoutly Christian (in the true teachings-of-Christ way), humble, honest man, who did this country a world of good. The voters couldn't swap him for Ronald Reagan, skyrocketing deficits, lying to Congress, running illegal wars, and funding the Central American drug trade fast enough. We mustn't let that happen again. We must have leadership in Washington who will oppose the Republicans in everything they do, with no end. We must block every national court appointment they propose, block all their legislation, every new Patriot Act or DMCA they send out, while propogating the memes to popularize progressivism once more and reclaim the media discourse on moral values. At the same time, we must hammer home our points about the economy, which, if we can sweep the morals arguments from underneath the Republicans, leave them no platform at all. We cannot fight an enemy that doesn't believe in compromise unless we too abandon compromise.

Finally, we must reject the notion that we've lost America. Obama was right. America isn't just red states. America's progressive heart is best exemplified, right now, by Massachusetts -- but there are progressives and our libertarian allies across the country. This land is progressive by nature and definition, as long as the Constitution is in place. Republicans don't own a monopoly on flag-waving or patriotism, and we mustn't let them get away with pretending they do. Patriotism means defending the Constitution, defending the liberties we say we're fighting for in Iraq, defending freedom and the pursuit of holy happiness, and not letting any fun-impaired sneering tight-assed religious freak stand in our way and tell us we are not patriotic. America is Agnostic, and Christian, and Jewish, and Muslim, and Buddhist, and proudly Atheist. America is the melting-pot, and its ideals are Democratic ideals, if we stand up for them. America is the land where anyone, regardless of demographic origin, has the opportunity to do anything, but the right to not be trodden on by anyone else. We must never forget that, or stop fighting for it, and we must demand that the politicians who represent us do the same.

The politicians who represent us now do not represent our interests and the issues important to us. How many Democrats in Congress opposed the Patriot Act? How many opposed the Iraq war? We must remove those who do not share and promote our values and our vision. This means we, personally, must get involved. If you're tired of not being represented, run for local or state office, and then run for a seat in Congress. It's time we take over the Democratic party from its current leadership and anyone else who isn't proud of its ideals. We are, as Howard Dean said, the Democratic wing of the Democratic party.

This land is our land. We will not flee it, we will not surrender it to the Christian Coalition, and we will be victorious. We are every gay and lesbian person, and every black or yellow or brown or red or grey person, every transsexual and every poor kid who ever took out a Federal-funded college loan to put herself through grad school, everyone who's ever been on unemployment or had trouble paying for health insurance, every college girl who ever thought she was knocked up despite birth control and thought to herself "well, I can always get an abortion," every pot-smoker and Free Tibet activist, every Native American advocate who wonders what ever happened to tribal sovereignty and treaties, every environmentalist and libertarian, everyone who suffers from a disease which stem cell research might cure, everyone who served in a war and doesn't wish the same on his children, everyone who believes that personal liberty is more important than a corporation's pursuit of a dollar, everyone who wants the national parks to stay around: this is my Democratic party. If we embrace our liberalism and recognize that it embodies the progressive ideals on which this country was founded, and use it to bind all of us, rather than shrink from it, we can be strong again. We will. We are fucking legion. The whole might of the Christian Wrong doesn't compare to us. All we need to do is bring us all together, and we will retake this land, atone for its sins, and make it once again the shining beacon of freedom and justice in the whole goddamn World, all while making Karl Rove weep.

Let's get to work, people.
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