Friday, October 29, 2004

"Four More Days!" A Two-Minute Warning Pep Talk

"Four More Days!" A Two-Minute Warning Pep Talk
by Al Giordano
Fri Oct 29th, 2004 at 04:27:34 GMT
Daily Kos
It's the two-minute warning, as they say in North American football - (I wanna scream, "Four More Days! Four More Days!") - that moment when the game is about to end but there is still a chance to change its result...

This is the moment to remind us all why we are here and how we are going to win this game.

Kind readers, we are witnessing and participating in the most important presidential election of the past seventy years in the United States.

Not since the 1932 election of Franklin D. Roosevelt have the stakes been higher, not only for United States citizens, but for the entire world.

So gather 'round while I offer a little pep talk about how we're going to go out and win this championship even though the official scoreboard (that is, the Commercial Media, with its corporate sponsors and formulaic pollsters) says we are one point behind.

First, let me tell you about your team captain, the quarterback John Kerry, and why he will lead us to victory...

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I've known that guy forever... since I was 22... Since before a lot of you were born... I've been with Kerry in his home, and in the trenches... And sometimes - I admit - that John Kerry and I fuss and fight... He's not always right... He's stubborn... He can be a real prick sometimes... He's so persistent, when he wants something, as to be annoying... That damn John Kerry can be a real pain in the ass...

Fortunately, he's being just such a pain in the rump to those who pulled off a coup d'etat in the United States four years ago...

(I don't think anyone else could have pulled this off, and gotten us within striking distance at the two-minute warning!)

And George W. Bush is right about one thing about John: he'll do anything to win...

And, George, does it not take one to know one?

But more often my experience is that John Kerry and I have fought on the same side of the barricades against common enemies... And they were always more powerful than us... And almost always we've come from behind... And, when we've been on the same team, we have never lost a game...

He's on our team right now. He wants to get rid of that asshole Bush. But he can't do it alone, so this is how he is going to lead the team to victory...

I know how John closes in the final days of an election campaign... Seen it... done it... lived it... And how to tell, by the look on his face, whether he's confident and he's got the mojo to come from behind and pull it off...

When he has that mojo, he's magic... He can't lose...

Have no fear, kind athletes of authentic democracy: If you work hard, if you don't give up, if you hit them as hard as they want to hit you, and harder, George W. Bush - and his "war" that is not an authentic war, but, rather, a media stunt - are going down to a very messy end on Tuesday...

I've seen Kerry do this before...

I remember sitting in a Back Bay (Boston) TV production studio in 1984, during Kerry's first senate campaign... I was a young squirt of 24 with too big of a title... and a 39-year-old Nam vet named Kerry (younger than I am now) looked into the camera and said...

"When you've seen war, you never stop fighting for peace...."

Everyone in the studio felt goose bumps... And apparently a lot of folks who saw that TV ad did too... (He's now a senator, as a result.)

Ron Rosenblith, who was his political director, part of your coaching staff this season (he's the one in the shadows, who never talks to the press), looked at me and said, in his soft-spoken, almost distant, penchant for understatement, but because he wanted this Bronx kid to understand, he said...

"We have a great candidate."

I remember two years earlier, when John Kerry ran for Lieutenant Governor, and I was the first guy hired - for a hundred dollars a week - to be the one-man "field staff" by Kerry's running back, another young squirt, about the same age as me, named Michael Joseph Whouley... Whouley was an Irish kid from Dorchester and I was an Italian-Irish kid from the Bronx... In other words, neither of us came from money... By the statistics, were unlikely to make anything of our selves... But we pulled ourselves up through that campaign...

I had arrived in Boston via the Berkshires at the insistence of the late great humanist Charles F. McCarthy of Franklin County, Massachusetts, whose first words to me about Kerry were:

"He's running for Lieutenant Governor but, sonny boy, someday he will be president..."

Today, Whouley is running the ground game for Kerry's presidential bid... as he did in Iowa and New Hampshire earlier this year... See how many yards we've scored already in 2004, men and women of this team?

Who, among ye, thought that Kerry would win the Iowa caucuses before it happened? How about the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary? Raise your hands! (So far I count only Carville's and my own!) There weren't many of us back then, were there? And if you doubted then, and you find yourself doubting now, stop crying!

As Mario Menéndez Rodríguez, founder of the Authentic Journalism renaissance says:

"Here we don't cry... we fight."

So if you know some confused Nader voter, or some equally confused "my vote doesn't count" type... Now is the hour to change history, one vote at a time.

Pull one more voter, just one, and you will make history. (Pull more if you can, because you can't rely on anyone else to do your job for you!)

See those surprise advances we've made in recent days in Florida, Colorado, Nevada and even Arkansas is back in play, according to the Mighty Kos? ... See how Ohio is colored blue now?

Whouley (with John Sasso, Mary Beth Cahill, and others, embedded in the bunker) is full of October Surprises.

Some of you remember that Whouley as the assistant coach, four years ago, stopped that beautiful loser Al Gore from conceding... On election night, it was Whouley who informed Gore that he hadn't lost the popular vote in Florida despite what FOX News claimed...

And Gore was about to concede?

You won't see that from Kerry on Tuesday night.

Now, kind warriors, I know it's hard to see what is going on here in 2004 in the game when you're on the battlefield, and the sportscasters are blathering at you with all kinds of nonsense... I have scar tissue upon scar tissue from being on that field... That's why I'm stationed way out here umpteen thousand kilometers above sea level with binoculars in some bleachers named América... Along with all the other people in this world whose lives will be changed by this election but have no vote... But still I'm connected to you through these wires and wireless apparati, to tell you what is goin' on...

(And tell the five Nader voters left out there: If you think your vote doesn't count, then, please, vote on behalf of some peasant farmer here in Latin America, whose life will be changed much more than yours by what happens on Tuesday... not to mention the innocent family member in Iraq!)

We're gonna win this goddamned game.

More importantly, you are gonna win it!

Don't listen to the suit-and-tied motherfuckers in the box seats tellin' you about polls and all kinds of crap like that... Pay no attention to that corporate-sponsored scoreboard...

Pay attention, dammit, to the players on the field... That's you... Stop crying... and pay attention to each other!

You are two minutes (well, Four More Days! Four More Fucking Days!) away from changing the electoral map of the United States forever, as happened in 1932, when all the folks that Power counted on to not vote suddenly surprised Power by voting...

And Roosevelt, er, I mean, Kerry is closing the deal... I'm telling you, I've been in these trenches with him... I know when he's about to fumble or about throw an interception... Or about to throw a touchdown... He has fucked up from time to time... But this is not that hour... And I know when he's about to march up field and score...

Your quarterback - John Kerry - is on fire!

First - quick, before we run out onto the field again in about 60 seconds - look at these photos!

There's your quarterback, Big John, with a special personal throwing coach brought in for the endgame: one Jersey kid named Bruce Springsteen... Not so unlike a Whouley or a Giordano... Or a you, or a you, or a you... A kid who loves his country too much to believe the hype that it's all about making money...

Now, if you look at Kerry's face in those photos, with those 80,000 Wisconsinites (plus, according to police estimates, another 20,000 on the side streets trying to get an eyeball on him... in a city of only 200,000 people)... that is the very same face of the winner I have seen before.

Wisconsin goes blue: And if anyone wants to bet against me, I'll take money from any stupid sucker who wants to part with it!

It was on June 4th, of that year, of Kerry's first Senate campaign, in 1984, that Springsteen's "Born To Run" album was released...

And Springsteen's song, "No Surrender," became the unofficial anthem of us Kerry for Senate staffers and volunteers.

Now, read Springsteen's meaty comments from the stage, in which he says, among other things:

"As a songwriter, I've written about America for thirty years.  Tryin' to write about who we are, what we stand for, what we fight for...

"And he's shown starting as a young man, that by facing America's hard truths, both the good and the bad, that that's where we find a deeper patriotism. That's where we find a more complete view of who we are.  That's where we find a more authentic experience as citizens. And that's where we find the power that is embedded only in truth, to make our world a better and safer place...

"That's why I'm here today, to stand alongside Senator Kerry and to tell you that the country we carry in our hearts is waiting.  And together we can move America towards her deepest ideals...."

(To which Springsteen added, and my Dobro steel guitar and I second that emotion: "And besides, we had a sax player in the House -- we need a guitar player in the White House....")

And if you think Madison, today, was an anomaly... check out the photos from Columbus, Ohio.

Sing along... We've got thirty seconds left to the two-minute warning... put your helmets on, charge forward, pull one more vote, and sing along!

"Now, on the streets tonight the lights grow dim
The walls of my room are closing in
There's a war outside still raging
You say it ain't ours anymore to win
I want to sleep beneath the peaceful skies
In my lover's bed
With that wild open country in our eyes
And those romantic dreams in my head...

"Well, we made a promise, swore we'd always remember
No retreat, baby, no surrender...

"Like soldiers on a winter's night with a vow to defend
No retreat, baby, no surrender..."
Or as the late Jeff Buckley writ:
"Turn your head away from the screen."
And put your head down to the hard work of the next 98 hours... And pull that one last voter back from the abyss of apathy or Nader or Bush.
Four More Days! Four More Days!
Pay no attention to those Commercial Media-bought pollsters behind the curtain!
Get out there and win that game!
One more point, one more voter, wins the game.
You have more to say about the results than those Commercial Media infected pollsters do.
This is it
Democracy will be reborn on Tuesday... Or it will die.
That is all.

If you found merit in this diary, then for América's sake, recommend it please! But first go out and win the future of human history, if it is a choice between one or the other.