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Exerpts from “NO NO NO! The Will of the People Was NOT Expressed In This Election”

February 11, 2005
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From Revolutionary Worker #1258, November 14, 2004,
posted at rwor.org/a/1258/elections-editorial.htm

Anguish … bitter disgust … even despair. We try to find the words and we can’t.

And yes, it is as bad as you think. Almost certainly, it is worse.

On November 3rd, George Bush called up the newly elected Republican senators who believe in such things as the death penalty for abortion providers and banning gays from teaching and said: “It’s time to get the job done.” Capitalism personified, Bush told the press “Let me put it to you this way: I earned political capital in the campaign and now I intend to spend it”. He is full of himself—on a mission to take this whole nightmare to an even more intense, more repressive level.

If ever there was a leader who should be thoroughly rejected, if ever there was a time for a country to become politically ungovernable, if ever there was an empire that should be stopped dead in its tracks and prevented from shaping the future of the planet—that leader, that country, that empire is right before us. If ever there was a time when millions need to act on their nagging, deep-gut feeling that something is terribly and radically wrong—that time is NOW.

Bush crows that he is backed by the will of the people. Bull! What will of the people—when there was an entire campaign of disenfranchisement and intimidation directed against Black people and immigrants from Ohio to Arizona, from Florida to Mississippi?! What will of the people—when we may never be able to say what the easily-rigged electronic voting machines really recorded? What will of the people—when people were never given the chance to even hear (let alone vote on) a clear strong voice against the war, against the repression, and against the Dark Ages mind-set taking over this country? And where were the voices of people from Gaza to Falluja, Kathmandu to Korea who are the most victimized by this Bush madness? Where were the voices of the people of the majority of the planet who bitterly oppose the war on Iraq? The fact is that the will of the people was NOT expressed in this election!

True, Bush did get tens of millions of people to support him with eyes wide shut… But Kerry never really went after Bush, and the whole way that things got confined to the terms of “who would be the better commander-in-chief” was loaded against the people from the gitgo. And now Kerry talks to us about “letting the healing begin?” We don’t think so…

[N]ow what? Do we just accept this as the will of the people and try to find our place somewhere within these new norms?

NO! This has proven disastrous and we have to change course NOW. We have to build a fierce resistance based on what is truly just.

Two Different Moralities

Oh, but they tell us, Bush won because of his “superior morality.”

Well, what kind of morality plays on fear and the desire for a false and illusory safety to carry out relentless bombing and killing in Iraq, where it is now estimated that over 100,000 people have died as a result of the war?

What kind morality is expressed in the brazenly snapped photos of prisoners dead and wrapped in plastic, or stripped naked and tortured, all sanctioned and systematized by the chain of command and the legal opinions written by Bush’s top counsels?

Who can find moral salvation in whipping up fear and hatred of gay people, in preaching the “loving submission” of women to their husbands and in resurrecting the era of back-alley abortions? What kind of morality accepts and excuses casting all immigrants under sinister, police-state suspicion, and equates dissent and critical thinking with “treason?” What kind of morality puts over 2 million people in jail, the majority of whom are Black, Latino and other people of color? This is a fascist morality, one based on a fundamentalist and extremely vicious version of Christianity. In the face of a rapidly changing world, this Christian Fascism offers people order, certainty and vengeance…

And no, we cannot either hope this will go away or seek “common ground” with this poison—we must “stage an intervention” with these people and directly take on this hurtful and lunatic mindset they have gotten caught up in and are trying to force on all of society. And if we do sharply take on this madness, we can “peel off” some of these people from the Bush bunch. Many of them have sons and daughters killing and dying in Iraq; many of them are victims of the “lean and mean” capitalism represented by Bush (and Kerry for that matter); many, especially women, are still trapped in social relations that scar their spirit and their lives; and whatever solace they find in this Christian fascism cannot ultimately transcend all that. This program of Bush’s is not ending—he is immediately going to try to escalate the war in Iraq in a terribly bloody way, and plan for further aggression. He is going to try to pass a heavier version of the Patriot Act. He is going to further cut the programs people desperately depend on and drive them to the “charity” of the churches.

We cannot afford to either ignore, run away from, or to lose hope in the face of this ignorant fanaticism and the hurtling momentum behind it. We can and must remember the lessons of 911—when Bush started out with the vast majority of the country united around his “War on Terror”, and when people were able to reverse that polarization by exposing the true nature of it and mounting forceful resistance in the streets. Yes, there is no denying, that Bush has just won the last round—and that this will have devastating consequences. But it is an even greater truth that the basis exists to puncture this atmosphere and actually reverse this dynamic and get a different dynamic going—resistance based on the real interests of the people, resistance based on aiming not just to dissent from or oppose this agenda, but to actually STOP IT.

And yes, we do need morality—but a different morality. Our morality cannot be a rationale for oppression and plunder, but must be an ethic based on the understanding that the lives of people born around the world are no less precious than our own. On the belief that the needs and interests of people should determine the economic and political order, not be subjugated to a drive for ever greater concentrations of wealth and power. On our refusal to stuff women and gays back into the brutal box of traditional biblical notions. On our profound rejection of racism and all its “modern, enlightened” coded language and policies. On a powerful vision of human potential and the idea that all people should be brought into thinking critically and scientifically and enabled to take part in determining the goals and policies of our societies on an ever-deepening and expanding basis. On our resistance to inhumanity and our willingness to put it all on the line to stop it. This morality reflects the interests of 90% of the people—not only around the world but yes, here in the U.S.—and is something that a movement of resistance should hammer out together and propagate…

And as for the elections? Okay, we took a hit, a bad hit. But it ain’t time to leave the country or to put your head down and figure out how to live under fascism. For the past few years the people in this country have been taking our place as a part of a global humanity, filling the streets and letting the world know about the opposition to the whole Bush agenda of war,
repression and enforced ignorance right here in its homeland. It was only two months ago that half a million converged to protest the Republican National Convention. That half a million folks—and the millions more who put their hopes in Kerry only to find them crushed yet again—have to act and act NOW.

Right now Bush & Co. are getting ready to carry out a horrific massacre in Falluja. They are preparing a disgusting coronation of their blood-soaked arrogant champion. They are moving quickly to bring down the hammer and beyond that to set the terms for the next generation. Is the Bush crew gonna face resistance to this? Will people all over the world see Americans marching in the streets, refusing to be bottled up—or will they be left with an image of a sheep-like populace rolling over for Bush, reinforcing the image of America as a monolith evil? Will people walk the streets of America, not even daring to think about the future and fearing for the present, or will they take heart when they see windows full of “NO” posters, whole towns declaring themselves “fascist-free zones”, and a rebirth of the traditions of the Sanctuary movement of the 1980’s and the Underground Railroad of slavery times? Will we have each other’s backs—the librarians, the professors, the artists, the everyday folks who dare to step out and say NO? Will we discuss and debate even as—and as part of—solidifying our own unity, while we boldly step to and try to win over people still under the sway of the Bushian mentality of fear and ignorance?…

Hey everybody, we need to talk with each other. We need to work together. We need to struggle for our lives and for the future of this planet. Get with us. Check out the revolution. Resist.

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