An Apology --

Well, it is time to speak. Over the past few days I've been trying to digest the results of the Nov. 2 election. I am very, very sad. First, although I did all I could do, contributions, meetings, carrying signs, precinct walking, phone-banking -- it was not enough. None of us did enough. It is over. We lost. They won. Our country now has four more years of George Bush, and after that, we may not be able to recognize our country.

There is so much to say. I heard so many people say that they voted for G.W. because he is a 'Christian'. What a scary thing to say. First, can't they see that this man is no more a Christian than Genghis Khan? He mouths the words, but his actions are as unchristian as you could imagine. The second part of this message is that Mr. Kerry -- a Catholic -- is somehow NOT a Christian. Wow!

A year or more ago, I registered as a Democrat. I've never been other than an Independent, so this was a new experience for me. I worked with Democrats on Nantucket and when we arrived in Florida, I quickly found and joined the group there. What I found was a group of well-meaning people. But they were not as effective as they could have been. There were territory disputes. There were personality disputes. There were people who refused to embrace current technology, hence you had to phone them, not e-mail. Web-sites were out of the question. There were turf wars. But still, we pressed on.

In Florida, a battleground state, we were hit by four hurricanes. I have to believe, these affected the Dems more than the Reps. I mean, we live closer to the edge than the moneyed interests. Our office in Charlotte Country was down for weeks at a really key point in the campaign. Were the Republicans hit the same way? Not to the same degree.

The significant "I-4 Corridor" between Tampa and Daytona Beach was hit by three hurricanes. Shucks -- this is just bad luck. But it happened. And the potential Democratic voters were right in the middle of this.

So, we lost Florida -- and with it, the whole election. There are many that say we should never have thought Florida was winnable. I mean, the President's brother was running the state. We were working with touch-screen voting machines that had no audit capability, sold to the state by the CEO of Diebold who had pledged that he would bring the election to Mr. Bush. What chance did we have to hold Florida?

But regardless -- we now see four more years of G.W. Already he is claiming he has a 'mandate' and he is going to press forward to implement the neo-conservative agenda. He can restructure the Supreme Court. The environment, women's rights, anyone with an income less than $100K, we are all in his gunsights. G.W.'s only objective is to make his 'base' even richer. Leave no billionaire behind. Now he can focus on his legacy.

Then there is the war on terror. Mr. Bush has focused that on Iraq. Why not? It is on the other side of the world and we can just place 140,000 'volunteer' soldiers over there to take the brunt of what has become a magnet for terrorist activities and let them die, at two or three a day, indefinitely, while Americans get to continue to live life as usual. Without the draft, most young people can live their lives and not have to think about the war at all.

What a strange juxtaposition -- on the day we started bombing the smithereens out of a country on the other side of the world, who turned out to NOT have weapons of mass destruction, or even threaten their neighboring countries, WE sat down to watch the Final Four of the NCAA -- Business As Usual. Since then, BAU has continued. After 9/11, G.W. encouraged us to go out and 'shop' to bring the economy back.

Does anyone notice? Hundreds of thousands of our citizens' lives are being totally disrupted. Thousands have died. Close to ten thousand have been seriously wounded. Perhaps hundreds of thousands of others (foreigners, infidels -- call them what you will) have died. There is no end to this process. The U.S. is virtually alone -- and becoming 'aloner' as time passes.

And even worse, now the rest of the world knows. Up until Nov. 2, the world could say, most Americans are good, only Mr. Bush and his cronies are prosecuting this war against everyone not precisely like them. Now Mr. Bush has a 'mandate'. By at least two percent, everyone can see that the majority of Americans think just like this guy. We are all targets. It's not just the government. It is the whole country.

Well heck -- the sky is the limit. Every American is a potential target. We are all bad. We all hate Muslims. We only support the fundamental Christian belief. Heck -- even Catholics are suspect.

I donít know what to do. Our President has already shown a complete and utter disregard for dissent. Millions -- yes millions of people in the U.S. demonstrated to try and keep us from attacking Iraq. It made no difference. There is no way to reach this man. He is on a God-given mission, so he says. Millions of fundamental Christians say -- A-men.

He is the Commander in Chief. When you have this kind of power, you donít have to answer questions. He has ultimate authority over the entire world. There is nothing we can do. All we can do is hope that in the next four years the Democrat Party can somehow come together and produce a charismatic candidate that can challenge whoever the Republicans put up -- could it be Jeb Bush? Otherwise, we aren't looking at four years, but eight, or twelve. Where will the United States and our beloved Bill of Rights be by then?

I ask you all to remember that our nation is at war. Although things seem normal in mainstream America, it has been deemed necessary that huge numbers of our men and women are pulling repeated tours of duty in Iraq. This will go on for the foreseeable future. I think if we are at war, we should act like we are at war. We should all be giving something up for this cause.

Therefore as unpalatable as it sounds, I think the draft should be reinstituted. Every young person should understand that this is HIS OR HER fight. And it is THEIR fight because the neo-conservatives running our country started it. As long as our youth feels that it's someone else's problem, they will never be concerned enough to make their voices heard and revitalize the Democratic Party. Like it or not, the political process is our only tool for returning this country to the principles that once made our country the envy of the world.

So, I'm sorry I didn't do more. I'm sorry I wasn't more effective. I'm sorry I let 'Business As Usual' seduce me into complacence. Some are saying Bush should be impeached. That ain't gonna happen. But we need to start now in order to regain common sense in 2008.