Chat Fragment

00:00:00 (michael): Is there any way to go to sleep until next Wednesday?
00:00:17 (me): That’s when hell begins, my friend.
00:00:38 (michael): ‘fraid you’re right. But at least it’s a start. :-)
00:04:31 (me): that stuff about what the Right is going to do to Kerry poisons even my hope of his victory.
00:05:02 (michael): Yeah. It’s grim. Really, really grim.
00:05:22 (me): we’re not out of the woods yet.
00:05:40 (me): and winning a victory in an election will not get us out of the woods.
00:06:17 (michael): True dat. We’ve got a long way to go.
00:07:31 (me): you know, a while ago I had this insight that I didn’t know what to do with so I let go of it, and that was that the structure of elections — big fights, winner take all — was essentially opposed to what liberalism is really all about. Despite democracy being essentially liberal, elections are not, at least in anything like their current form.
00:07:48 (me): I think that the grim future we’re foreseeing is an illustration of that fact.
00:08:59 (michael): Yeah… not the way we’re doing things.
00:10:39 (me): on the other hand, I think important things are taking place in parallel to the election.

You don’t ever really win by making people do things the way you want. You only really win by getting other people on your side, coming together in dialogue, honestly working together. I think Kerry is going to win. But the reason that is not going to make everything all better is that the fight is still going on, and when there is a fight going on, then the people who approve of fighting are winning, and the people who love peace are losing. Even if the people they support are “winning” the fight.

Essentially peaceful, decent people are always going to be worse fighters. They’ll only ever “win” when winning is understood in a broader context than “kicking the other guy’s butt.”

We’ll only really have a decent nation when a jerk like Bush not only loses an election, but would never have a chance of winning it in the first place. We are not there yet. We have a long way to go.