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Don’t Just Stand There, Do Something!

Christopher Hayes

Sorry for the lack of posts the last two days. As it turns out I've been preparing myself to leave Chicago, where I make my home with my wonderful partner, for a nearby swing state where I will be working with one of those "shadowy" 527s for the next six weeks doing everything in my power to make sure that John Kerry is elected the president of the United States and the Republic is saved from, if not certain, then probable or at least possible demise. Now, I've noticed the last few days when I tell people who share my politics what I'll be doing the next six weeks they have two reactions: first, they get really excited, and then they say, with a tinge of desperation, hope and gloomy pessimism, do you really think he'll win? The fact is that us lefties are too susceptible to fatalistic belief that the powerful always beat the powerless and the bad guys always finish first. In the last few weeks I've seen a lot of this: Bush makes some modest gains in the polls and within hours, it seems, lefties everywhere are talking about the campaign in the past tense. I have this tendency, too, I'll admit. I, too, sit and wonder sometimes how it is that Bush isn't down by 20 points. I, too, in moments of weakness think, "How can people be so stupid?" I, too, indulge myself horrific daymares of a second Bush term. But this line of thinking, aside from being counter-productive, is actually pretty repellent when you get down to it. At its heart, it is a based on a belief that people are stupid, easily led, easily manipulated nad ultimately unfit to self-govern. When I hear people say, as I often do, that they will "leave the country" if Bush is elected it makes me angry. The very nature of our democracy, in fact, the most beautiful thing about it, is that we are, like it or not, bound up in this crazy enterprise with every other citizen of the country. If we don't agree with some of them, well then, we better get ourselves organized and present an alternative view. If we don't like the way things are headed, if we feel unrepresented, if we feel outrages and sorrow and grief, then we better do something about those feelings. We can't write anybody off. All of this by way of saying that if you're upset about the direction of this country and the macabre spectacle of this campaign, then commit yourself to action and DO something in these last six weeks to make a difference. Here are some options: America Coming Together Driving Votes Kerry/Edwards Campaign I'll be blogging throughout the next six weeks, so stay tuned…

Christopher Hayes is the host of MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes. He is an editor at large at the Nation and a former senior editor of In These Times.
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