Time to Reload

Following yesterday’s stunned silence, I’m sitting here wondering what comes next. Not one to dwell on the past, I still think we will have to look back at why the American people voted, or didn’t vote, the way they did.

Are the American people, as my hiking partner argues in an email, so turned off by “politics as usual” that they’ve simply given up voting in the belief that there is nothing they can do about what is happening?

If so, is it necessary to begin building a third party that will offer reasonable alternatives to the Democrats and Republicans. Though I hear a lot about the Green Party, the only place it seems to be building a solid base is in California. Is California, once again, a bellwether state? Only four green party members were elected in Washington State, a state where even Republicans are forced to be “environmentalists.”

Or, as Jeff Koopersmith argues, is it the fault of the media that has so distorted the news that citizens are unable to see the truth? If so, what alternatives can we offer to traditional media that seem increasingly profit oriented, even if that means distorting, or ignoring, the truth to draw an audience?

Or is simply that the majority of Americans truly believe that Iraq presents an immediate threat to our national security and that, realistically, nothing we can do will change that. If we are to believe a recent Christian Science Monitor article (that I can’t relocate at the moment), getting more people to vote would make little difference, that the per cent that does vote is representative of the whole. If that is so, simply attempting to getting more people involved would be but another dead end.

We’re going to have to take time to re-examine the situation then begin now to prepare for the elections coming up in 2004. It’s obvious it’s going to take a lot of work to change people’s minds.

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