ElecciOn Intermedia en E.U. (Lucky Number 7?)
Hoy martes 7 de Noviembre, doble dIa fatIdico para quienes creen en supersticiones (por lo del "en martes, ni te cases, ni te embarques", y el nUmero 7, siempre asociado con clamidades), es la esperada elecciOn intermedia en Estados Unidos. Varias gobernaturas estatales y principalmente las posiciones del Congreso (cAmara de Representantes o "Baja" y Senado o "Alta") estarAn en juego.
Si bien las elecciones norteamericanas no son como las nuestras, que para la presidencia se basa en un sistema de "electores-representantes", en contraposiciOn al natural "un ciudadano, un voto", para la votaciOn cameral parece que no es asI. Ademas, Esta se realiza en un dIa comUn entre semana, no feriado y con sistemas computacionales equivalentes a los empleados en Venezuela, con resultados casi inmediatos y que han originado crIticas de los detractores de ChAvez (mientras que su uso en E.U. se aceptan de la manera mAs natural).
A ciencia cierta no se sabe quien dominarA la representatividad ciudadana del coloso del norte, pero se percibe en todos los medios, una cierta expresiOn de "miedo" por parte del Partido Republicano, pues segUn muestran las preferencias de las Ultimas semanas, el partido DemOcrata es favorito al menos, para dominar la llamada "cAmara Baja" o de representantes (equivalente de nuestra cAmra de diputados).
Pero, quE estA en juego en esta elecciOn, tanto para los norteamericanos, como para los mexicanos? y para el mundo en general?
Para el presidente Bush, estA en juego principalmente el amplio mArgen de maniobra polItica del que ha gozado, a partir de los acontecimientos del 2001. Dados el empantanamiento en Irak, el incremento de las hostilidaddes en AfganistAn, la todavIa impune operabilidad terrorista y la continuidad de polIticas impopulares (tanto domEsticas, como forAneas), de perder la mayorIa en una o ambas cAmaras, Bush se arriesga a ver realmente disminuIdo su poder para vetar proyectos como el controversial relacionado con la investigaciOn de las cElulas Madre, tampoco podrA ya mantener su propaganda para apoyar la continuidad de su "estrategia" militar, y mucho menos defender hasta el cansancio a figuras desgastadas de su gabinete, como Donald Rumsfeld, a quien en los Ultimos dIas la cUpula militar hizo saber nuevamente, por escrito, que serIa mejor su dimisiOn, peticiOn que hasta ahora habIa sido rechazada "olImpicamente" por el presidente.
Para los mexicanos, sobretodo para los millones que viven allA, o que viven acA, pero con parientes allA, la elecciOn representa una oportunidad de lograr avances en polItica migratoria, para un asoluciOn mAs concertada y razonable, aunque sin hablar del muro, que es apoyado en distintas proporciones, por miembros de uno y otro partido.
Para el mundo, el renovar las cAmras norteamericanas podrIa representar un banio de agua fresca en cuanto a equilibrio polItico se refiere, una luz sobre la oscuridad prevalesciente en la polItica unilateral militarista que no sOlo no ha logrado desvanecer el fantasma terrorista, sino que ha incrementado los Animos belicistas e incentivado las carreras armamentistas regionales, con sus riesgos no sOlo militares, sino de desgaste econOmico para las naciones involucradas.
En cuanto a las campanias, si bien la lucha ha sido ardua y continuaba hasta el dIa de ayer, con comerciales apocalIpticos y acalorados debates y discusiones, los norteamericanos pueden sentirse al menos satisfechos de no presenciar ni las luchas ridIculas por el poder que vemos en MExico, con su negra y excesiva propaganda, ni el cUmulo de polIticos con mAs privilegios que obligaciones, como en nuestro caso. El gobierno norteamericano se precia de ser austero en su operaciOn, no sOlo gastan en general menos que nosotros en campanias, sino que hasta cuando los representantes exponen sus propuestas, emplean lAminas grAficas en papel (quizAs por tradiciOn?), lo que dota a su trabajo de una mayor credibilidad, al menos virtual. MExico, por su parte, que ha venido copiando su sistema de promociOn y propaganda (pero al estilo "pirata", que "se ve mal"), ha caIdo en excesos no sOlo presupuestales, sino de forma. En EU no se ven muros pintados y postes repletos de propaganda, que luego acabarA en la basura, los representantes prefieren realizar "mini-rallies" donde tocan puertas de casas y se entrevistan con la gente, aprovechando los medios al ser blanco de las cAmaras y grabadoras, pero sin pagar anuncios directamente como partidos, con dinero pUblico, sino a travEs de promotores particulares. TambiEn hay chismes, no hay que negarlo, y propaganda negra. A nadie le queda duda de que el reciente veredicto contra Saddam Huussein ayuda al puntaje republicano, como tampoco que el chiste que lanzO John Kerry en televisiOn hace dIas, sobre la guerra en Irak, perjudica a los demOcratas, pero eso es parte del juego, en el que incluso los medios se benefician.
Ahora, quien estAn de quE lado?, la base evangElica-catastrofista de los "pastores-televisivos", estAn claramente con el Partido Republicano, tambiEn lo estAn por supuesto, grandes consorcios que han hecho su "agosto" con la invasiOn de Irak y las clases privilegiadas a quienes Bush ha beneficiado fiscalmente y abriendo mercados. Con los demOcratas, estAn mayormente los afroamericanois, los homosexuales, un gran porcentaje de latinos e inmigrantes en general, los que se oponen a la guerra o han cambiado su perspectiva dados los funestos resultados y finalmente personajes a Ultimas fechas notorios, como Michael J. Fox, quien apoya la investigaciOn de las cElulas madre dado su padecimiento (mal de Parkinson), o siempre controversiales, como Michael Moore, de quien me he tomado la libertad de transcribir sus Ultimos 2 mensajes masivos vIa correo electrOnico:
Tomorrow night, those who sent 2,800 of our soldiers to their deaths -- all because of a lie the president concocted -- will find out if America chooses to reward them -- or remove them.
As good as things look for the Democrats, do not pop the corks and start the partying yet. Do not believe for a second that the Republicans plan on losing. They will fight like dogs for the next 24 hours -- relentless, unforgiving, nonstop action to squeeze every last conservative voter out of the house on election day. While the rest of us go about our day today, tens of thousands of Republican volunteers are knocking on doors, making phone calls, and lining up rides to the polls. They're not sleeping, they're not eating, they're not even watching Fox News. A day without Fox News? That's right, that's how insanely dedicated they are.
But the reason they have to work so hard is that, before they can get the vote out, they first have to completely turn around the massive public opinion against them. Almost 60% disapprove of Bush. Over 60% are opposed to the war. Those are landslide numbers. And the American people are not going to turn pro-war or into Bush-lovers by tomorrow morning. So it should be easy for us, right?
Yup. Just like it was when we won the popular vote in 2000 and when we were ahead in the exit polls all day long in 2004. You know the deal -- the other side takes no prisoners. And just when it seems like things are going our way, the Republicans suddenly, mysteriously win the election.
Well, it's not really that mysterious. They're out there busting their asses this very minute, right down the street from you. What are YOU doing? You're on a computer reading my cranky letter! Stop reading this! We have only a few hours left to wrestle control of the Congress away from these "representatives" who, if returned, will continue shipping our young men and women over there to die.
Here's what I'm imploring you to do right now:
1. Go through your address book on your cell phone and computer and call/e-mail everyone you know
. Tell them how much it would mean to you if they vote on Tuesday. If they don't know where to vote, help them find their polling place
2. Contact MoveOn.org
ASAP. They will connect you to the folks who need you to make calls.
3. Contact your local Democratic Party headquarters
. There are close races in nearly every state. They'll put you to work -- on the ground or on the phones. Or go to the local HQ for the Dem candidate
running for the House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate and say, Put me to work!
OK, turn off the computer -- and I will, too. There's serious work to do. The good news? There's more of us than there are of them. Let's prove that, once and for all.
Is there anything more important that you have to do today? Nothing less than the rest of the world is depending on us.
November, 7th, 2006
5 Good Reasons to Vote Today
1. IT'S A NATIONAL REFERENDUM. Although candidates' names will be on the ballot today, this election is NOT about this candidate or that candidate. Make no mistake about it: This election is nothing less than a National Referendum on George W. Bush and his War. Don't waste your time trying to learn about who the schlump is that's running for office. You know they're all pretty much the same, a few are better than others, but... please. They is who they is. THIS election is not about them. It's a simple up or down vote on staying the course.
To vote in favor of the war, vote for the Republican. To vote against the war, vote for the Democrat. As crazy as it sounds, even if the Republican is against the war, or the Democrat is for it, it doesn't matter. All that will matter by midnight tonight is the math on the big tote board. Did America say YES to Bush or NO to Bush? The ONLY way they're going to add it up is by counting the number of votes under the big D and the big R. The only way to take a stand against Bush today is to vote for the Dems on the ballot.
2. IN ORDER TO CATCH THE REPUBLICANS STEALING YOUR VOTE, YOU FIRST HAVE TO VOTE. There are huge and valid concerns about the new electronic voting machines that must be addressed. It is far too easy to use new technology to rig the vote. But if your fear of that leads you to decide that you shouldn't bother voting, well, then, I guess they've succeeded in snuffing out your voice without having to rig the machine. Make them break the law if they want to win. Vote. We'll catch them if they do. I promise.
3. WITH THE DEMOCRATS IN POWER IN THE HOUSE AND/OR SENATE, WE CAN GO AFTER THEM! These spineless Democrats who enabled Bush to start this war and funded it ever since are due for a shellacking from all of us. For nearly 6 years, they've hidden behind the cop-out of, "Hey, we're the minority, we have no power." As of tomorrow, hopefully, they will have no mask to hide behind. And it will be up to us to go after them.
4. I'LL PUT YOU ON MY WEBSITE. That's right. You can appear on my home page and be seen by millions later today. All you need to do is bring a broom when you go to vote. The broom is our mascot today because we're going to sweep the crooks and the warmongers outta office. Take a picture of yourself holding a broom outside your polling place, 4. I'LL PUT YOU ON MY WEBSITE. That's right. You can appear on my home page and be seen by millions later today. All you need to do is bring a broom when you go to vote. The broom is our mascot today because we're going to sweep the crooks and the warmongers outta office. Take a picture of yourself holding a broom outside your polling place, e-mail it to me (firstname.lastname@example.org), and I'll put as many of you as I can up on the home page of my website. People all around the world will see you! Government files with your name on them will be initiated! What better way to celebrate this historic day?!
And the final reason to vote today...
5. 2,836 + 655,000. Each one of them, American and Iraqi, are no longer with us because of the decision by one man to start a war. Each one of them represented a precious, God-given life that no man had the right to take away. Each one of them had a mother and father, sisters, brothers, husbands, wives, friends and loved ones, little boys and little girls. It's mad, my friends, utterly mad, this senseless loss of human life.
So, do it for them. Call up whoever you know and tell them to meet you at the polls. And tell them to bring a broom, real or imaginary, with a big D on it. It's the only true American thing to do.
See ya at the victory party tonight!
P.S. Forward this to all your friends. Today is the day.
November 8th, 2006
You did it! We did it! The impossible has happened: A majority of Americans have soundly and forcefully removed Bush's party from control of the House of Representatives. And, sometime today perhaps, we may learn that the same miracle has happened in the Senate. Whatever the outcome, the American people have made two things crystal clear: End this war, and stop Mr. Bush from doing any more damage to this country we love. That is what this election was about. Nothing else. Just that. And it's a message that has sent shock waves throughout Washington -- and a note of hope around this troubled world.
Now the real work begins. Unless we stay on top of these Democrats to do the right thing, they will do what they've always done: Screw it up. Big Time. They helped Bush start this war, and now they should make amends.
But let's take a day to rejoice and revel in a rare victory for our side -- the side that doesn't believe in unprovoked invasions of other countries. This is your day, my friends. You have worked hard for it. I can't tell you how proud I am to count all of you as part of the greater American mainstream we now occupy. Thank you for all the time you gave this week to get out the vote. Some of you have been at this since the large demonstrations of February 2003 when we tried to stop the war before it started. Only 10-20% of the country agreed with us at that time. Remember how lonely that was? Some people were even booed! Now, 60% of the country agrees with our position. They are us and we are them. What a nice, strange, hopeful feeling.
A woman, for the first time in our history, will be Speaker of the House. The attempt to ban all abortion in the conservative state of South Dakota was defeated. Laws to raise the minimum wage were passed. Democrats were elected to fill Tom DeLay's and Mark Foley's seats. Detroit's John Conyers, Jr. is going to be the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. The Democratic governor of Michigan beat the CEO from Amway. The little township next to where I live in Michigan voted Democratic for the first time since... ever. And on and on and on. The good news will continue throughout today. Let's enjoy it. Savor it. And use it to get Congress to finally listen to the majority.
If you want to do one thing today, send an email or a letter to both of your senators and your member of Congress and tell them, in no uncertain terms, what this election means: End the war -- and don't let George W. Bush get away with any more of his bright ideas.
Congratulations, again! Now let's go find a spine for the Dems to do the job we've sent them there to do.
Yours in victory (for once!),
P.S. Thanks for all those photos you sent me of you with your brooms at your polling places. They're still coming in and we're posting them here throughout the day. And for those of you who asked how "Sicko" is coming along, the answer is: better than we ever expected! We're hard at work in the edit room and it will be in theaters in June. Thanks again, everyone, for your support.