I just received what I imagine will be the last email sent to the email@example.com mailing list. For those of you who did not subscribe to this list, the email read as follows, under the subject line, “A sincere thank you.”
Earlier today I spoke to President Bush, and offered him and Laura our congratulations on their victory. We had a good conversation, and we talked about the danger of division in our country and the need, the desperate need, for unity for finding the common ground, coming together. Today, I hope that we can begin the healing.
In America, it is vital that every vote counts, and that every vote be counted. But the outcome should be decided by voters, not a protracted legal process. I would not give up this fight if there was a chance that we would prevail. But it is now clear that even when all the provisional ballots are counted, which they will be, there won’t be enough outstanding votes for our campaign to be able to win Ohio. And therefore, we cannot win this election.
It was a privilege and a gift to spend two years traveling this country, coming to know so many of you. I wish I could just wrap you in my arms and embrace each and every one of you individually all across this nation. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you.
To all of you, my volunteers and online supporters, all across this country who gave so much of themselves, thank you. Thanks to William Field, a six-year-old who collected $680, a quarter and a dollar at a time selling bracelets during the summer to help change America. Thanks to Michael Benson from Florida who I spied in a rope line holding a container of money. It turned out he raided his piggy bank and wanted to contribute. And thanks to Alana Wexler, who at 11 years old and started Kids for Kerry.
I thank all of you, who took time to travel, time off from work, and their own vacation time to work in states far and wide. You braved the hot days of summer and the cold days of the fall and the winter to knock on doors because you were determined to open the doors of opportunity to all Americans. You worked your hearts out, and I say, don’t lose faith. What you did made a difference, and building on itself, we will go on to make a difference another day. I promise you, that time will come — the election will come when your work and your ballots will change the world, and it’s worth fighting for.
I’m proud of what we stood for in this campaign, and of what we accomplished. When we began, no one thought it was possible to even make this a close race, but we stood for real change, change that would make a real difference in the life of our nation, the lives of our families, and we defined that choice to America. I’ll never forget the wonderful people who came to our rallies, who stood in our rope lines, who put their hopes in our hands, who invested in each and every one of us. I saw in them the truth that America is not only great, but it is good.
So here — with a grateful heart, I leave this campaign with a prayer that has even greater meaning to me now that I’ve come to know our vast country so much better and that prayer is very simple: God bless America.
I couldn’t help it. I don’t know what hit me. You guys? I wrote back.
Dear Senator Kerry:
Thank you for your email. I know this is not, per se, your own personal email address, as that is probably, like, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com (look at you, getting a Gmail account, you trendster!) or something of that nature. This is an automated email, and responses to it are, I am certain, not read by you or anyone else. I totally know that. But listen. I’m tired of yelling things at my friends that they have already yelled at me and I’m tired of knowing everything about the history of Presidential elections and I’m tired of knowing the importance of a Redskins game or about what kind of Halloween masks people buy and how that supposedly predicts the outcome of the election. I’m tired of the names of the nine Democratic primary challengers who started this journey with you still rattling around in my brain, months after I should have forgotten that the expression “Joementum” ever even existed. I’m so tired. I’m really, really tired. I’m tired of yelling at the sky. And so, with your indulgence, I would like to yell at you instead for just a few moments. Please don’t take it personally.
Senator, I’m not mad. Well, not at you, anyway. Well, not right now. I think I might have been last night when I felt like you were about to fold on Ohio too easily, and I think I might be again when the stark future sets in and Bush and Rumsfeld and Ashcroft are still in charge because that’s what America said they wanted. I want to rant about how you never made your message clear enough for people to understand or that you never articulated exactly what you would do with this living daily nightmare going on in Iraq. I wish I could place the blame on you for never having a vision or a doctrine like the one the President keeps telling us he has. I want to blame you for not being as charismatic as Clinton, because when Clinton first ran he captured the imagination of this country and made a lot of very unlikely voters turn his way. Why couldn’t you be Clinton? Why couldn’t you deliver Florida? Why couldn’t you do that? Aren’t I allowed to be just a little angry at you?
In your call to President Bush this morning, when the phone rang at the desk you were supposed to be sitting at come January, you reportedly told him that it was time to start healing our wounds and put aside the bitter divisions of the election. With all due respect, Senator, I think that’s a fucking horrible idea.
Mr. Kerry, they are dangerous. The election so many of us called “the most important in our lifetimes” still was just that, and we know how deadly it is now that we — no, YOU — didn’t win it. They are so dangerous, fascist, and scary. They really are. Remember how we already knew that? They want to plunder the environment for financial gain, strip a woman of her right to choose, and “protect” marriage by insisting on a constitutional amendment that says I won’t be able to have any legal control over a dying partner’s wishes because we’re not legally married. They lied us into war and got away with it because America let them. We swallowed a line of ideology, a line has no end other than a utopian world domination ideal that doesn’t make the slightest lick of sense in practical foreign policy terms. They’re not nearly as centrist as they came across when they were propping up Arnold and Rudy and McCain; they’re not even reliable representatives of the Republican Party. And these arguments sound like old, hoary chestnuts because we’ve been screaming ourselves hoarse about them for the last four years, during which the administration has responded with an increasingly testy, “Oh, would you stop your bellyaching already?” I can’t stop my bellyaching, Senator Kerry, because my health insurance is totally broken and I’m not allowed to see a doctor in California. Please help.
And please don’t get me started on the stem cell thing. Seriously.
Listen, man. We placed a lot of faith in you and we were dying to hold you accountable. We wouldn’t have made it easy for you at all, and you can only imagine the attack machine the other side would have mounted. I’m really sorry your ass won’t be in the fire for the next four years, and I desperately need to believe you feel the same way. Please don’t just crawl back to your Senate seat and then jump on the lecture tour. You don’t need any more money. We chose you over all of the others, and we need you to keep speaking out. Otherwise, you’ll prove that you’re nothing more than the career politician without a sincere investment in the issues a lot of people accused you of being. We’re dying over here. We still need help.
Until we meet again, Senator Kerry, please do what you can to stop what’s about to happen. To stop what’s about to happen in Iran and Syria, to stop what’s about to happen to social security, to stop what’s about to happen to the United States goddamn Constitution and to the Supreme Court bench. You still work inside that pretty building. Make it mean something. People are going to return to complacency and start forgetting everything that made us fight so hard this time around. They’re going to think they’re safer in this world than they would have been in a world with you as President. They’re going to say it doesn’t make a difference who is in charge, and that this country is, in essence, too big a bureaucracy for anything really sweeping to happen in four more short years. They all tell me there won’t be any more unjust wars. They all tell me health insurance will just fix itself. They all tell me there won’t be a constitutional amendment against gay marriage. But really, there is going to be. It was in the GOP’s platform at the convention. It was Bush’s fucking idea. They want it, they told us they wanted it, and they’re going to get it. It would be an example of them KEEPING a campaign promise, one made in the spirit of hate and homophobia and divisiveness and good old-fashioned bigotry. Presidents also used t
o believe that black people didn’t have a right to vote, and it took hundreds of years for history to prove them wrong. Just saying.
Not that I’m getting married. I’m not even dating anyone. So what am I getting so worked up about, right? I really should look on the bright side.
Anyway, thanks again for getting us so close. That I really do appreciate. I’m sure Hillary and Obama will have no problem in 2008. If this country is trending toward anything, it’s getting women and African-Americans into higher elected office. That seems just where this country is going. Hang on. I’ll hold my breath. Until then: America is scary.
dan J. Blau