Thursday, November 11, 2004

A silver lining

As if to prove that the internet is actually making the world smaller (with the American election helping out by creating a common topic of conversation), one of my online scrabble opponents (who, by the way, is routinely slaughtering me with seven-word scores) forwarded me the following email from his brother, a rather inspiring reflection on Kerry's glorious defeat:
"Yeah I'm bummed. Four more years of the pseudo-Christian Taliban, I fear for my country and I fear for my family. But I can tell you, I'm also elated. When I started working on this election my main and only goal was to keep my dear and beloved state of Wisconsin out of the neo-con grip of the Bush administration. We had a thousand volunteers in Superior and Northern Wisconsin with the same thought in mind. These beloved people gave their hearts and souls to this very cause. Signs went up everywhere, no phone was left uncalled and no door unknocked. My time canvassing for Kerry was some of the hardest and most fulfilling work I had ever attempted. I talked to the affluent and I talked with the poor. The young and the old. The people struggling in quiet desperation just to put food on their table; working three jobs so their kids would have shoes and their house would be heated. A ninety year old gentleman in a trailer court who had just lost his wife of 63 years but still had voted his absentee ballot because in all of his many years he had never seen this country in such crisis.

"This was all inspiring and I' ll never forget it. Seeing my daughters get involved, to sense that this was their future being squandered and to watch them campaign for peace and justice brings tears to an old man's eyes. I've never been prouder.

"And the good news is their work was rewarded. Superior and Douglas County had the biggest most unexpected turnout in history. They had to photocopy ballots because they ran out. People stood in line for hours to cast their ballot; and the end result was that the home of fighting Bob Lafollet, Gaylord nelson and Bill Proxmie stayed in the Dem. column. Kerry won by 10,000 votes in Northern Wisconsin and that was his margin of victory. We kept Frank Boyle and Gary Sherman in the Assembly. Two of the most progressive and brilliant representatives that this state has ever seen. And who can forget Russ Feingold; the most courageous man in the Senate.

"It was a good fight and we did good.

"Northern Wisconsin was not fooled by the politics of hate and fear. We were motivated by a vision of peace and hope. God I love it here. Rick."
Meanwhile, for another silver lining, check out this response to the Bush defeat by underfunded scientists in California, although if you read further into the article, you'll see it could actually harm science for decades to come, as government may withdraw funding generally as they leave states to raise their own funds. Also worth reading to see how those states concerned about environmental policy are making their own policies.

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