Press Release  ·  November 23, 2004

Cheer Up, Blue America: Political and Cultural Leaders Respond to Bush Re-election

What happened? And what’s next? With these questions in mind, In These Times presents “Cheer Up, Blue America,” a special series in which political leaders and cultural commentators lay out an agenda for what progressives should do next.

Progressives displayed impressive creativity and tenacity in the run up to the election. They will need to keep that momentum going to successfully recapture the American imagination in 2008. Asked what they anticipate from the Bush administration over the next four years, contributors to “Cheer Up, Blue America,” tackle some of the challenges facing progressives and detail ways they can best fight back. Issues discussed include how progressives can counter the right’s media domination, build an anti-war movement, and fight for healthcare, fairer taxes and labor rights. Contributors also write about how to maintain the wellspring of political creativity and sustain the enthusiasm of young voters.

Contributors include David Brock, president and CEO of Media Matters for America; Chalmers Johnson, president of the Japan Policy Research Institute; John J. Sweeny, president of the AFL-CIO; Rep. Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader and representative of California’s 8th congressional district; Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., representative of Illinois’ 2nd District in the House of Representatives since 1995; Marie Wilson, president of The White House Project; Al Jourgensen, founder of the post-punk industrial band, Ministry; and Farai Chideya, founder and editor of Pop and Politics and co-host of the radio show Your Call.

The issue also includes post-election features analyzing what went wrong and ways to move forward. In “Measuring Ballot Measures,” Hans Johnson examines the effect of ballot initiatives from gay marriage to minimum wage and environmental issues on local and federal elections and reflects on their future political potential for progressives. Contributing editor Slavoj Zizek also offers his reflections on President Bush’s re-election and comes to the unexpected conclusion that not only was the outcome a natural expression on the paradox of democracy (majority rule becomes the rule), but that another Bush term could actually be positive in the long-term.