November 03, 2004
So, I know many of you are still where I was last night.
Sad. Hurt. Stunned. Disappointed.
But that was last night.
Here are the facts.
America WANTS Bush.
By a margin of nearly 4 million votes.
Because EVERYBODY is scared.
The whole electorate. The entire country is scared out of their minds, losing sleep, grinding their teeth, pulling out their hair, about something.
Half of them are terrified of Bin Laden and homosexuals. And the other half are scared of evangelical Christians, the Patriot Act, the deficit, and, quite frankly, Bush himself.
Fear was on the ballot, and it won in a landslide.
Now, we can all have fear for 4 more years. The people who voted for Bush get to be afraid of terrorists and gays for 4 more years because Bush will continue to play to those issues. And the people who voted against Bush (because, let's be honest, very few of them were actually voting FOR Kerry), get to be afraid of Bush for 4 more years.
This is the world we chose.
But it doesn't have to be this way.
We voted for fear because it's comfortable and familiar. But there are other choices.
So, I'd like to suggest that we all deal with our own fear. Whatever it is. Fear of Bin Laden. Fear of homos. Fear of financial ruin. Fear of Bush. Fear of evangelicals.
Because the more you fear something, the more of it you'll get. The more you choose fear, the more you'll get fear. So, choose something else.
For instance, choose faith. Choose to believe IN something, instead of being afraid OF something. I read recently that fear is perfect faith in evil. Choose, instead, to believe in what you love.
Instead of fearing Bin Laden, have faith in America.
Instead of fearing gay marriage, have faith in the strength and
sanctity of your own marriage, no matter what challenges come your
Instead of fear of bankruptcy, have faith in opportunity and your own ability to
prosper, to be wealthy and abundant. (As we Christians SHOULD say "see
the birds in the sky. They do not sew nor reap, yet your Heavenly
Father provides for them").
Instead of fearing Bush, have faith that this is the signal of the
beginning of a progressive era, just like 1964 was the beginning of
the conservative era (remember, Johnson beat Goldwater in a landslide,
and then Nixon routed the Democrats 4 years later. Nixon destroyed
McGovern, and was then run out of office). This election laid a
Stop being afraid.
Start having faith.
Faith in who you are. Faith in what you believe. Faith in the world you choose. Faith in the world you want.
And then share your faith with your neighbors, who are clearly wetting their pants right now, whether they voted for Kerry or Bush (after all, the Bush people voted for him primarily out of fear of Al Qaeda & some mythic gay wedding press gang).
We on the progressive side need to stop defining ourselves in opposition.
The absence of a negative is NOT a positive.
We need to define the world we want, at every level, and then proclaim it. To the heavens.
Of course, the conservative response to that will be "Damon, you're dreaming".
And my response will be "Of course I am. That's why I wake up smiling.
A better question is 'Why aren't you?'
Because clearly this bed-wetting thing can't feel too good."
Everybody should listen to some Roy Ayers today, namely his track
"It's not the end.
It's the beginning......"
Note: after a long hiatus, there's going to be a different kind of
Macroscope, in line with what I'm talking about. Stay tuned....
[Update - 11/4/04]: Incidentally, the book I referred to above, that talks about faith as the opposite of fear, can be found here:
This book was simply life-changing. I can't recommend it strongly enough. And I would be remiss if I did not give my sweetheart, Ms. Heather Gillespie, the credit for bringing it to my attention.
And, while I'm at it, if you want to get the Roy Ayers track I mentioned, it's on the soundtrack for the Pam Grier film, Coffy, both of which can also be found here: