Motivation: now is when it really counts

Got my ballot yesterday. I've been waiting four years to fill in the little circle for the Democrat. I'm proud that Democrat is John Kerry. My ballot goes in the mail tomorrow.

Depending on how much blogging you do, you may already have read Suskind's piece on Bush, but if you haven't, please...make yourself some coffee, get comfortable, and take the time to read it. It's long, I know, but important.

The New York Times > Magazine > Without a Doubt

From the article:

The aide said that guys like me were ''in what we call the reality-based community,'' which he defined as people who ''believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.'' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''

Look, I realize I'm preaching to the converted here. But as I said previously, one of my main goals with this blog is to keep you motivated. Scared, angry, frustrated? This is the time to do something about it. We're down to the wire, the last days before what will be the most important day in your civic life to date, I promise you. No vote you have ever cast will be as important as the one for the 2004 Presidential election. You know this.

I beg of you to make sure everyone else knows it, too. Sign up for the GOTV efforts of any of a dozen organizations -- MoveOn, League of Conservation Voters, ACT, the DNC, the Kerry/Edwards campaign, whatever-- or, do what Sal and I have and sign up with all of them. I know, you don't have time. We don't, either. Do it anyway. It takes about an hour to get through the list they give you, going door-to-door and reminding people to vote. I know it's hard to believe, but that little appearance at people's doors makes all the difference, especially for voters who aren't as motivated as we are, but who really just need a polite kick in the ass. And I'm no fan of knocking on doors and talking to perfect strangers; to say that I'm painfully shy would be the understatement of the decade. But I'm doing it anyway. (And it's much easier than I thought it would be. People are much more receptive than expected and it turned out to be one of the more positive and uplifting things I've done this election season. If nothing else, it helped boost my confidence that the dark storm that's been over my country for the last four years is about to lift.)

If the door-to-door thing just wigs you out too much, volunteer for an hour or two at the phone bank of any of those organizations. Again, I know it's none of our favorite things, but it's so so so necessary (and also a lot easier than you'd expect). The Republicans aren't going to give up the seats of power easily or willingly, and making our voices heard, making our collective will so loud that it's deafening, is the only way to get rid of them. They're gearing up for stealing this election -- that's not an exaggeration -- and we're not letting it happen.

And to my Oregon readers: you've got your ballot, now vote.

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