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ON THE SOAPBOX:

This Election, the Medium Really Is the Message

by LYNDA LAMBERT
It’s lovely to be able to vote FOR people, FOR ideals, FOR beliefs. But in this election, it's easier to know what you are AGAINST.
In the State of Maryland, there are actually a fair number of good candidates who happen to be Republican. There is also a good senatorial candidate who is representing a coalition of three disenfranchised parties led by the Greens.

I will not be voting for any of them.

Contrary to my usual practice of voting for the best candidate, I will be voting Democratic—straight down the line. Not because I think all the Democratic candidates are terrific, not because I think I should stand with my party in these tough times. I’m voting Democratic, because if I do not—if we do not—we will be sending a message to George Bush that everything he stands for, everything he has done and is doing, is just hunky dory with us.

This election has only one purpose: to tell George Bush to stuff it. To let him know in no uncertain terms that we "fellow Americans" do not like what he’s done in Iraq and in America. That our most important issue is not whether some 15-year-old girl in Idaho gets an abortion, but whether or not she has enough food to eat, a good education and health care.

If we do not vote Democratic, we are telling Dick Cheney that we don’t care that he made $6.6 million dollars last year off his Halliburton stock.

Our vote for the Democratic candidate—even if he is Alfred E. Neuman—tells this right-wing, Republican government that we will no longer stand for such conflicts of interest; that we abhor graft, cronyism, gerrymandering, warmongering, child molestation, bribery and fraud.

Above all, a Democratic vote says that we would like the government to be run properly. That we will not stand for administrative and fiscal incompetence.

We want the government to live within its means; to go back to acting only in defense of country and step down from imperialism.
We do not want our children’s children’s children to still be paying China back the billions we have borrowed for this war. We want the government to live within its means; to go back to acting only in defense of country and step down from imperialism.

On the BBC World News today, I heard a commentator from the UK say, "Face it. You all are now the ‘Red Coats’." Indeed. That is what we have become under this president and this congress. Is this who we want to be?

I have criticized my own Democratic Party for being wishy-washy, for not taking a stand, for not speaking up or sticking to its guns. I, along with everyone else, rolled my eyes at Kerry’s comment the other day—wondering, I must admit, if he was getting senile... if he had forgotten that there was no longer a draft. (His comment made perfect sense, if we still had the draft.) It was, of course, not what Republicans are calling it, e.g., "an insult to our troops." But it was stupid. Do I care? I do not. Kerry could have dropped his pants and mooned the audience and I still wouldn’t care.

This election is not about who’s best, who’s prudent, who has the slickest TV ads or who made the most verbal faux pas. It is about whether or not you want more of the same.

Yes, I admit, it’s lovely to be able to vote FOR people, FOR ideals, FOR beliefs. But, in this election, it is hard to know what you are for, but easy to know what you are against. And the only way to show the current minority government that there is a majority of people who are against what it is doing, is not by mounting petition drives or marching in the street.

The only thing that counts here is your vote.

Vote Democratic; send the message home.
Lynda Lambert is a Baltimore educator and freelance writer.


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This story was published on November 2, 2006.