Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Democracy and a Turquoise Parakeet

Citizens of our American democracy are a bit like my family's turquoise parakeet, Maui. He spends countless hours furiously pecking his mirror image, as he wants to be the only bird in his cage. But he'll never win his futile battle, as he's fighting himself.

Democracy is defined in Webster's New Pocket Dictionary as "Government in which power is vested in all the people." Emphasis on all. Not some. All.

We are one country. One American family. As US Senator-elect Barack Obama famously preached at the Democratic Convention, "...there's not a liberal America and a conservative America---there's the United States of America. There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq, and patriots who supported it. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the star and stripes, all of us defending the United States."

Democrats thrilled and cheered at Obama's healing words of vision, maturity and strength. We cheered them when we fervently believed Kerry/Edwards would win the election. But they didn't. The Democratic candidates for President lost the popular and electoral vote, as one party always does in a democratic election.

We now have the opportunity to show we truly believe Obama's words. That's the deal in democracy. One candidate wins and the others lose. And four years later, we have another chance to elect the President of the United States. All the people spoke, and they elected George Bush. If you buy into the concept of democracy, and all the freedoms and privileges that it offers, then you accept George Bush as the will of the people for the next four years.

Please understand that the idea of another four years of Bush/Cheney policies and leadership profoundly bothers me. I'm hard-pressed to comprehend why anyone voted for these two men.

But they did. And "they" are part of this American family. There is only only one parakeet in the cage. We are one family. One country. The United States of America.

Therefore, if I intend to spend the next four years with a healthy blood-pressure level and sanity intact, it's time to accept and learn how to make the best of Jan 20, 2005 through January 19, 2009.

Democrats need to appreciate that all the people have spoken, and move on with the rich privileges of dissent and discussion in a democracy. Drop contesting election returns. Drop obsessing about the campaign. Drop the narcissistic moaning and groaning. Kerry/Edwards lost. Deal with it.

And get back to the noble work of championing the hungry and homeless, bolstering our faltering educational system, securing healthcare for the 45 million American children and adults who have none, bringing our brave soldiers home from an immoral war, and preserving our God-given environment.

And necessarily and cleverly reinventing the Democratic party as the new, common sense fiscal conservatives....minimize spending, cut the trade deficit and balance the budget.

And praying that the other half of our beloved American family has better sense in four years.

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