This is it. ONE DAY LEFT. There are many things Iíd like to say. Iíve been on the road getting out the vote for 51 straight days so I havenít had much time to write. So Iíve put together a bunch of notes to various groups all in this one letter. Please feel free to copy and send whatever portions are appropriate to your friends and family as you spend these last 24 hours trying to convince whomever you can to show up and vote for John Kerry.
Here are my final wordsÖ
To Decent Conservatives and Recovering Republicans:
In your heart of hearts you know Bush is a miserable failure. From having no plan on what to do in Iraq once he conquered Baghdad to the 380 missing tons of explosives that could be used to kill our brave young men and women, this guy doesnít have a clue how to fight and win a war. You should see the mail Iíve been getting lately from our troops over there. They know how much the Iraqi people hate them. They are sitting ducks anytime they go out on the road. Many believe we are not that far away from a Tet-style offensive inside the Green Zone with hundreds of Americans and Brits killed.
Bush refused to go after and capture Osama bin Laden. He fought, every step of the way, the investigation into the 9/11 attacks. Who on earth would oppose such a thing? If 3,000 people died at your place of work and your boss said we donít need to find out why or how it happened, heíd be thrown out on his ear. Bushís behavior after this great tragedy alone is reason enough for his removal.
You already know that George W. Bush is the farthest thing from a conservative. Heís a reckless spender who has run up record-breaking deficits and the biggest debt in our history. He believes in having the government pry into everything from your library records to your bedroom. He has hit you with hidden taxes with his tax cuts for the rich.
I know many of you donít like Bush, but are unsure of Kerry. Give the new guy a chance. He wonít raise your taxes (unless you are super-rich), he wonít take your hunting gun away, and he wonít make you visit France. He risked his life for you many years ago. Heís asking for the chance to do it again. Scott McConnell at The American Conservative magazine has endorsed him. What more do you need?
To My Friends on the Left:
Okay, Kerry isnít everything you wished he would be. Youíre right. Heís not you! Or me. But weíre not on the ballot Ė Kerry is. Yes, Kerry was wrong to vote for authorization for war in Iraq but he was in step with 70% of the American public who was being lied to by Bush & Co. And once everyone learned the truth, the majority turned against the war. Kerry has had only one position on the war Ė he believed his president.
President Kerry had better bring the troops home right away. My prediction: Kerryís roots are anti-war. He has seen the horrors of war and because of that he will avoid war unless it is absolutely necessary. Ask most vets. But donít ask someone whose only horror was when he arrived too late for a kegger in Alabama.
Thereís a reason Bush calls Kerry the Number One Liberal in the Senate Ė THATíS BECAUSE HE IS THE NUMBER ONE LIBERAL IN THE SENATE! What more do you want? My friends, this is about as good as it gets when voting for the Democrat. We donít have the #29 Liberal running or the #14 Liberal or even the #2 Liberal Ė we got #1! When has that ever happened?
Those of us who may be to the left of the #1 liberal Democrat should remember that this year conservative Democrats have had to make a far greater shift in their position to back Kerry than we have. Weíre the ones always being asked to make the huge compromises and to always vote holding our noses. No nose holding this time. This #1 liberal is not the tweedledee to Bushís tweedledum.
To Nader Voters:
See the above note.
Ralphís own party, the Green Party, would not endorse his run this year. Thatís because those of us who want to build a third party in this country know that the only way to do this is to build bridges with those who believe in the issues Nader believes in. But not one of those people will sacrifice the chance to remove George W. Bush from the White House on Tuesday. The choice here is clear: do we join with our friends, or do we piss on them?
After the debacle of 2000, the Democrats got smart and abandoned the conservative wing of their party. Thatís why 8 of the 9 Democrats in the primaries this year were from the liberal wing. Ralph should take credit for that and declare victory. Itís so sad that he doesnít realize the good heís accomplished. But for reasons only known to him, heís more angry at the Democrats than he is at Bush. He has lost his compass. I worry he has lost his mind. But he still gives a great speech!
And Lila Lipscomb, the mother from Flint who lost her son in Iraq, she still grieves -- as do the mothers of 1,120 others (not to mention the mothers of the 100,000 Iraqis who have died because of Bushís war). Thatís what this election is about. Not Ralph proving some point. Almost none of us on his 2000 advisory group are supporting him this year. His total lack of respect for his best friends should tell all of you something about what he really thinks of you, too.
To the Non-Swing States:
Stop listening to how your vote doesnít count in this election and that your state is already decided for Kerry or Bush. It is critical that you vote because we not only need to give Kerry the electoral win, but he needs to have a HUGE mandate with an ENORMOUS popular vote victory as well. It will be impossible for him to get anything done for four years if there is no clear mandate. We must not only defeat Bush, we must put a stake in the heart of the right-wing, neo-con movement. If you live in New York, California, Illinois, Texas, the Northeast or the Deep South, you need to vote and you need to bring ten people with you to the polls. If you live in a state where we have the chance to elect the Democrat to the Senate or the House, you need to vote. Turn off the TV. Quit listening to news media that has a vested interest in repeating to you over and over that your vote does not count. It does.
If you have friends or relatives who live in the 30-plus non-swing states, call them and remind them how important it is that Kerry gets a massive popular vote victory.
I understand why you stopped voting. Politicians suck. Nothing ever seems to change. Youíre only one vote.
Yes, politicians suck. But so do car salesmen Ė and that hasnít stopped you from buying a car. Politicians only respond to the threat of the angry mob also known as the voting public. If most people donít vote, thatís good news for them Ďcause then they donít have to answer to the majority.
Almost fifty percent of Americans donít vote. That means you belong to the largest political party in America Ė the Non-Voting Party. That means you hold all the power to toss George W. Bush out of the Oval Office. How cool is that?
I believe that we are going to have the largest election turnout in our lifetime tomorrow. You donít want to miss out on that. The lines at the polls are going to be long and raucous and fun. It is an historic election. You wonít want to say that you were the only one who wasnít there. Promise me youíll vote, just this one time.
To All First-Time Voters:
Welcome to the longest running, uninterrupted democracy on earth! You own it. Itís yours.
A few words about how messy itís going to be tomorrow. The lines are going to be long. Bring your iPods. Better yet, bring a friend or two. The election officials have no clue just how many millions are going to show up at the polls. This will be the largest turnout in our lifetime. They donít have enough machines. They are going to have to send for more ballots.
And they are going to make it difficult for you to vote. The new law says if this is your first time voting you must bring ID with you that matches the address you are registered at.
If for some reason they canít find your name on the voting rolls, you have the right to ask for a provisional ballot, which you can fill out and then sort things out later.
If you have any problems at the polling place, please call 1-866-OUR-VOTE. The people there can tell you how to find the precinct where you should be voting, get you legal help if you are denied the right to vote, or answer any other questions you may have.
If you need any help figuring out the ballot, donít be afraid to ask. If you screw up your ballot, you can ask for another one. In fact, the law allows you to screw up your ballot two times before you finally have to submit your final ballot! Be careful to vote on the line that says John F. Kerry/John Edwards. Donít vote for more than one Presidential, Senate or House candidate or you ballot wonít be counted. If your polling place has a stub or a receipt from your ballot, make sure they give you one.
Thanks for joining us. Democracy is not a spectator sport. It only works when we all come off the bench and participate.
To African Americans:
First of all, letís just acknowledge what you already know: America is a country which still has a race problem, to put it nicely. Al Gore would be president today had thousands of African Americans not had their right to vote stolen from them in Florida in 2000.
Here is my commitment: I will do everything I can to make sure that this will not happen again. And Iím not the only one making this pledge. Thousands of volunteer lawyers are flying to Florida to act as poll watchers and intervene should there be any attempts to deny anyone their right to vote. They will NOT be messing around.
For my part, I have organized an army of 1,200 professional and amateur filmmakers who will be armed with video cameras throughout the states of Florida and Ohio. At the first sign of criminality, we will dispatch a camera crew to where the vote fraud is taking place and record what is going on. We will put a big public spotlight on any wrongdoing by Republican officials in those two states. They will not get away with this as they did in 2000.
In Ohio, the Republicans are sending almost 2,000 paid ďpoll challengersĒ into the black precincts of Cleveland in an attempt to stop African Americans from voting. This action is beyond despicable. Do not let this stop you from voting. I, and thousand of others, will be there to fight for you and protect you.
To George W.:
I know itís gotta be rough for you right now. Hey, weíve all been there. ďYouíre firedĒ are two horrible words when put together in that order. Bin Laden surfacing this weekend to remind the American people of your total and complete failure to capture him was a cruel trick or treat. But there he was. 3,000 people were killed and heís laughing in your face. Why did you stop our Special Forces from going after him? Why did you forget about bin Laden on the DAY AFTER 9/11 and tell your terrorism czar to concentrate on Iraq instead?
There he was, OBL, all tan and rested and on videotape (hey, did you get the feeling that he had a bootleg of my movie? Are there DVD players in those caves in Afghanistan?)
Speaking of my movie Ė can I ask you a personal question before we part ways for good on Tuesday? Why did you and your friends fund SIX ďdocumentariesĒ trashing me -- but only ONE film against Kerry? Címon, he was the candidate, not me. What a waste of your time and resources! Sure, I know what your pollsters told you, that the film had convinced some people to vote you out. I just want you to know that that was not my original intent. Funny things happen at the movies. Hope you get to see a few at the multiplex in Waco. Itís a great way to relax.
To John Kerry:
And donít worry Ė none of us are going away after you are inaugurated. Weíll be there to hold your hand and keep you honest. Donít let us down. Weíre betting you wonít. So is the rest of the world.
Thatís it. See you at the polls Ė and at the victory party tomorrow night.