Wanting to Believe
I want to see this movie, Going Upriver, mainly because of this review:
What director GEORGE BUTLER has made is a fascinating documentary about a transformation in a man caught by the Kennedy dream of “ask what you can do for your country,” signed up to fight the communists in Vietnam, began to see the truth of that war and felt that his duty to his country and fellow soldiers was to try and help end the war. Basically – that’s what this documentary is about.
The other night as I was ranting to myself and listening to some old-school techno music (as I sometimes do to let off steam) one of the things I realized -- re-discovered, really -- was a desperate need to he hopeful rather than afraid for the future; to look forward to winning rather than dreading the prospect of loss. This need is real, and must be answered if we're to make progress.
Neither the radical establishment (yeah, there's a radical establishment) or the Democratic party have answers to this. I can't speak for conservatives or Republicans, but it strikes me they rule through fear and greed more than hope. Even Regan's sunny optimism was kind of a nostalgic "roll back time" fairy-tale coded to appeal to people's uncomfortability with the empowerment of minorities and women.
I'm reading Joe Trippi's book -- The Revolution Will Not Be Televised -- and it's alternately firing me up, which I need badly, and making me really fucking sad, which I don't know helps me out right now. It hurts to remember that we had the potential for a truly transformative political campaign, and we blew it. Those kinds of opportunities to take a great leap forward don't come very often.
So I want Kerry to step up. I want him to ask for people's votes, for their participation. I want him to present himself as something people should be hopeful for. I'm not holding my breath, but it would be nice. I want him to look at our petition and think about what it means. I'm glad he's standing strong on Iraq; it's a big issue. But as we hit the closing stretch in this election, I really want him to open it up Howard Dean style. I want his campaign to be about more than him. This election is so huge. It really is. The choice we make as a country here is fucking monumental, and it will set the tone for the next decade.
Are we going to start getting rid of the bullshit or are we going to let it drown us? Are we going to reform fucking everything or not?