"After this intensely fought election, both President Bush and Sen. John Kerry are speaking of the need to heal our divisions and come together as a single, united nation. They're wrong. ...The suggestion that we should now "heal our divisions" is really a suggestion not for unity but for capitulation."
That's Cass R. Sunstein, a distinguished professor at the University of Chicago law school and the political science department, writing in today's Salon. His essay is excellent reading on why Americans who did not vote for Bush must stand up to him and and slug it out.
Here's how: Taking on the Bush monolith is daunting, to be sure. So start with baby steps. Pick one issue you're passionate about, i.e. making health care affordable for all Americans or ending the war in Iraq and repairing our almost-broken diplomatic ties to the rest of the world.
Then find an influential and well-organized group working to achieve that goal. If your issue is health care, for instance, you can join national health consumer group Families USA's online "health action network." The network will ask you periodically to write a letter to Congress on a time-sensitive health care bill, or write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. From there, you can get more involved, i.e. showing up at or helping to organize a rally, helping to fundraise, etc.
Remember, baby steps.
Weekend plans: Got a jam-packed weekend, peeps. First is a baby shower (my fourth one this year) for a friend tomorrow at noon, then a going-away fete that night for a friend who's moving to Buenos Aires. The lucky gal, who up until today was a Washington correspondent for a number of Ohio newspapers (I don't think she's had a full night's sleep in months b/c of the election), is moving there in a week with her husband, who will be the Washington Post's bureau chief for South America.
On Sunday, bright and early, is the Veterans Day 10k run. About 1,000 of us will run by the Potomac and around the Jefferson, Lincoln, FDR and other memorials in downtown D.C. If you're in town, come cheer us on.
I just found out about the race the other day. It should be interesting as I've run only several times since the Army 10-miler on Oct. 24th (though I do cardio and weights religiously several times a week) and will be drinking the night before.
Will I puke at kilometer 9? We shall find out.
Heads-up: My SO has a story in the Washington Post magazine this Sunday, and will be doing an online live chat about it Monday on washingtonpost.com. The story's about a State Department program that takes Muslim college students from the Middle East and educates them in the nation's capital about American history, domestic and foreign policy, and pop culture. My SO finds out whether the students' perceptions of America, which were often negative and wildly inaccurate, have changed over the six weeks they were here.