The sublime (and sublimely troubled) singer/songwriter Gil Scott-Heron wrote in 1981 at the dawn of the Reagan Revolution of waking up one day to find “Winter in America.”
This morning in late 2004, at least in New York, a similar feeling is palpable. Yesterday’s election did see record-turnout, yet, even without many of the expected polling irregularities, Bush won the popular vote. Young people did support Kerry in expected overwhelming fashion. The problem was that the youth demographic hit the polls in far fewer numbers than predicted despite the attention lavished on students by pollsters, the media, the Democratic Party and celebs like Michael Moore and Sheryl Crow.
Sure, the Bush campaign’s unprecedented–at least in modern history–dishonesty helped win lots of votes. And the culture wars killed the Dems in numerous battleground states. But there must be something more. If not enough people saw through the Administration’s hypocrisies–despite the remarkable, progressive organizing that went on to raise awareness of how the Bush agenda is crushing America–then there’s more going on than just Karl Rove’s brilliance coupled with a virtually bottomless war chest.
Regardless, as David Corn writes in his Nation weblog, now “there will be no good-bye to reckless preemptive war, an economic policy based on tax breaks tilted toward the wealthy, a war on environmental regulations, a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, excessive secrecy in government, unilateral machismo, the neocon theology of hubris and arrogance, a ban on effective stem cell research, no-bid Halliburton contracts, John Ashcroft, Donald Rumsfeld, and much more.”
In other words, being a progressive is now a much more important job than ever before. So, it’s a good time to single out a few of the many public-interest groups who are now the only bulwark we have against an increasingly emboldened Bush team set out to impose its fundamentalist agenda on a divided nation. Please join, volunteer with, make donations to, praise often and otherwise support these organizations with all your might.
Bush’s judicial appointments–Supreme Court and appellate–will likely be among the most damaging consequences of his second term. The Alliance for Justice has been on the front-lines of judicial fights since 1979 in an effort to promote a fair and independent judiciary.