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Monday, August 21, 2006

Russell Shaw (HuffPo): "Ohio Was Stolen" Crowd, Pay Heed To Tom Hayden

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/russell-shaw/ohio-was-stolen-crowd-_b_27705.html

By now, large swaths of the progressive blogosphere are convinced beyond counterpersuasion that "Ohio was stolen," and John Kerry was actually elected President in 2004.

While objective, politically progressive outlets and thinkers without books to sell have countered these notions with hard facts, the "Ohio was stolen" crowd continues to exhibit confirmational bias by sticking to their beliefs.

(snip)
"And to the bloggers, I say stick to standards of evidence that will convince the mainstream voters. Sometimes we stray from what we know, and what can be proven to the public, into the world of, well, conjecture. We cannot fight against a faith-based crusade with one that sometimes appears to be fantasy-based. We cannot fight the conservative model with a conspiracy model. The facts are staggering enough to cause deep public questioning and, in time, a radical public awakening. We should see ourselves as the questioning conscience of the nation, the prod to deeper digging by the media, the force that pushes politicians to address all the "inconvenient truths", every last one of them."

What Tom is saying is, when you take your "fantasy-based," "Ohio was stolen" opinions to the public square, and demonize anyone who asks for confirmational clarity, you run the risk that millions of voters who we all need to come down on our side this time will tune you out. Why? Because, frankly, the most shrill of you who are absolutely convinced that Ohio was stolen sound like sore losers, pundits with agendas, wack jobs, or some sort of combination of all of the above.

Then he makes his real point,

But given this obsession with Ohio, Diebold, Ken Blackwell, and other objectionable types, those who have not voted in the past and who we progressives really need this cycle will go "what's the use."

And even some progressives who do vote will be unmotivated because they will assume their votes don't matter.

We can't allow this to happen. The stakes are too high.

I for one pretty much agree with him. I think Ohio was stolen - but not by the "machines". It was stolen by voter suppression. And what we need to do is convince people that they need to FIGHT - they need to give a resounding FUCK YOU to the people who would try to suppress their vote, by registering, verifying their registration, making sure they know where their polling place is, and basically not taking ANY SHIT about being allowed to excersize their RIGHT TO VOTE.

(okay I know their is a fantasy-land aspect to all that but the rant did feel good. Now if we can only figure out how to stop the games the republicans - and sadly in some cases, Democrats - will play with id cards and machine allocation and opening the polls late and every other shitty thing they will try...)

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