ANGRY IN VERMONT: 11 WAYS TO FIX THE WORLD
by Joyce Marcel
American Reporter Correspondent
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- A gloom has descended over the place where I live - the most progressive county in progressive Vermont. We're still reeling from the election results.
At the Gallery Walk on Main Street last Friday night in
Brattleboro, some people were openly crying. A woman answered the greeting
"How are you?" with "I'll be OK as soon as the truck gets off my chest."
One group of musicians played "This Land Is Your Land." Another played "God
Bless America." We seemed united in our grief and mourning.
President George W. Bush may have stolen the election from Sen. John
Kerry in a variety of ways, including the rigging of the electronic voting
And Kerry abandoned us. Now President Bush arrogantly believes that he
has a mandate. He ignores the 48 percent of us who didn't vote for him. He
doesn't care about us. We don't count.
We may coach the Little League, make dolls for hospitals, live in
happy, stable, productive marriages, contribute in a dozen ways to our
community and love our neighbors, but we do not have the correct "moral
"There is no reconciliation between good and evil," wrote the
leader of a conservative woman's Roman Catholic organization. "Voters
rejected the party of gay activists, radical feminists, the Hollywood
elite, pornographers, death-peddlers, anti-Christian bigots and apostate
America is now in the hands of a religious cult - a religious cult
with nuclear weapons.
And the cult's leader is not too bright. Our mortal enemy, Osama
bin Laden, has openly declared a strategy of bleeding America dry through
war - the same way that the Russian economy collapsed over Chechnya. The
President, drunk on machismo, has fallen deeply into this trap.
So, as we prepare to be oppressed as we have never been oppressed
before, and to feel as impotent and abandoned as we can possibly feel, and
to know we have lost the America we so passionately love - feel in ways, I
might add, that conservatives have been feeling for years - here are a few
- First, apologize to the world for President Bush. You can do it through
www.sorryeverybody.com, which is publishing apologies from the many
Americans who are appalled at the results of this election. In one picture
on the site, a man is holding a sign saying "We tried," signed by "half of
- Don't wimp out. I've heard suggestions that progressives should move off
the grid and "grow strong inwardly" for the next four years. Earn less so
we can pay less in taxes, throw out our televisions, conserve energy,
barter, and generally leave the consumer culture. On the surface this might
appear to be the Buddhist Way, but it sounds more like holding your breath
because you didn't get what you want. This is America. It's a wonderful,
bountiful place. Enjoy it fully while we still have it. The bounty might
not be available for long.
- But spend wisely. Buy Citco gas and support Hugo Chavez and the
Venezuelan oil industry. Create a Rupert Murdoch-free zone in your home. No
New York Post, no Dennis Miller, and in rural areas, no DirectTV. Murdoch,
whose untold billions fuel the Fox Network and the Republican Party, took
over DirectTV last year. If you use satellite service, switch to Dish. Even
if you love Curves, stop going there. The founder spends his clients' money
on trying to revoke Roe vs. Wade. Stop drinking Coors Beer. And - I know
this is hard - stop rooting for Curt Schilling.
- Run for office - school board, select board, state representative. Start
small, but start running now. And if you can't run, find someone you think
would be a good legislator, encourage her to run, and support her.
- If you are over the age of 62 - even if you are not retired - consider
taking your Social Security now. There are limits to how much you can earn
and still collect, but if it's feasible, get yourself grandfathered into
the system before this President closes it to newcomers.
- Ride the wave and stockpile wealth. In the short run, the Bush
presidency is going to be great for the economy. The money released from
the Social Security fund alone will give the stock market an enormous boost
for a few years - until the inevitable profit-taking and crash. (The last
time the economic policies represented by President Bush were tried in this
country, they led to the Great Depression.) So invest now, but get out before
the bubble bursts.
- Get in shape. I'm not saying this in a Republican,
it's-their-own-fault-they're-sick way. I'm saying it in a
we-may-have-to-take- to-the-hills-and-fight way. We might be saying
good-bye to Medicaid and Medicare in the name of "strengthening" and
"reforming" them. Health insurance costs will go through the roof as the
insurance companies are allowed to revel in the fullness of their greed. So
stop smoking, start working out, lose the extra weight, and build up your
- No matter how heartsick you are, don't leave the country. Stay and
fight. To quote Howard Zinn, "We should not give up the game before all the
cards have been played...Life is a gamble. Not to play is to foreclose any
chance of winning."
- On the other hand, join a movement to have your state secede from the
Union. This isn't a joke. Alaska has had a secession movement for quite
some time. Former Duke University professor Thomas Naylor recently started
one in Vermont. (www.vermontrepublic.org). New England, which has seen its
values of community, hard work, laissez-faire and thrift treated with such
contempt, should consider seceding as one entity.
- Organize and act. To those of you who didn't write checks, volunteer,
register or vote, shame on you. You deserve what's coming. To the rest of
the Progressives and Democrats - congratulations! We fought hard and we
almost won. Special congratulations to the people who left their safe homes
and went into places like Scranton and Palm Beach and New Hampshire to get
out the vote and guard the polling places.
- And when all else fails, remember what the esteemed poet of white-
trash sentiment, Fred Eaglesmith, says: "Time to get a gun."
Not really. But remember, AK-47s are legal now.
Joyce Marcel is a free-lance journalist who writes about
culture, politics, economics and travel.
Copyright 2006 Joe Shea The American Reporter. All Rights Reserved.