TOMORROW, WE WIN
I just got through contacting about 20,000 Michigan weblogs.
No, I am not joking—I found some easy-to-use software that locates webblogs, several hundred at a time. So, I figured, if I could send little short messages to tons of blogs, maybe I could get a few of them to share a last-minute email with their friends, and send them to the polls ready to vote yes on Michigan’s stem cell bill.
Last minute get out the vote effort, electronically-speaking.
So most of last night I spent sending thousands of little messages to groups of all kinds, in 150 words or less explaining that —“Michigan electricians/zookeepers/musicians should support Proposal 2 because”– because…
Well, if you read this column regularly, you already know the “because”. And if not, well, I am too tired to explain. Click on www.curemichigan.com for complete answers.
But right now, I want to go on record, and make a prediction.
Folks, I have been in the advocacy business for fourteen years, and never have I felt so—so— so trembling on the cusp of great change.
Michigan, and Obama. Two miracles are going to happen tomorrow.
I know, I know, take nothing for granted, keep working till the last, and I will.
But the dedicated labor of hundreds and thousands of good people cannot be denied.
A country is rising to our feet, saying a clear and unequivocal YES to the future.
Removing Michigan’s crippling stem cell research restrictions was a major goal.
For me as an outsider, it was a joy being a small part of the struggle to pass Proposal 2, and allow scientists in that great state to work without one hand tied behind their backs. But for thousands of dedicated Michiganians who worked long months and years toward that goal, it was the fight of their lives. They did everything right, and I hope they have energy left to feel the pride they should. They are exhausted now, but tomorrow, they will just enough strength to vote, to sit down in front of the TV, and maybe holler a little bit, when the good news comes in.
Tomorrow is election day. Harass your loved ones, chase them to the polls!
And if you come to Northern California, in one of the polling booths in Alameda County, I will be there too.
Behind one of those voting tables, I will be the person who finds your address on the list, and nods cheerfully. Or maybe I will hand you a pen or a ballot, if the supervisor thinks I am up to that more advanced involvement.
Day before yesterday, Gloria and I voted. We went to the county headquarters, Oakland, California, because we knew we would be too busy at the polling booth on voting day.
As we stood in line, it was beautiful. All Oakland seemed bright and cheerful, linked with joy, as though every passerby knew something wonderful was just about to happen. Strangers smiled at each other, and no one was grouchy for standing in a line.
Tomorrow, we will win.
Michigan is going to win, stem cell supporters across the nation are going to win, progressives are going to win, and our beloved country is going to win.
So. What are you going to do, after the election?
That is when the real labor begins.
We did not do all this other work just to get some nice people elected.
It is what they do while in office that counts, and we must help them.
They will not automatically know.
Example: I went to a fundraiser for a famous Senator, someone whose name you would recognize, a hero to progressives of both everywhere.
And he said that he was going to make sure the National Institutes of Health got—pause for dramatic impact—“another billion dollars.”
I clapped politely—one can’t be rude at a fundraiser—but I thought, a billion? That’s all?
The NIH has been stuck at $28 billion for 5 years—just catching up to inflation would mean another five billion or so.
America faces a two-trillion dollar mountain of medical costs— and three-fourths of that debt is from chronic disease and disability. Chronic means it will never get cured, ever.
We should be getting what the Defense Department gets.
No, I am not joking. Take a look at the economy. Take a look at the millions of suffering people, who need help and protection just as if enemy soldiers were invading our shores.
There are chores we must do that are so important: literally, life and death important.
If America is ever going to take care of the health of all our people, cure must be at least as important as care. We must solve the problem, not just endlessly endure it.
By the way, if you live in California, keep the 20th of November open for the first meeting of the Little Hoover Commission in Sacramento, which will be studying the California stem cell program, to see if they can “improve” it—grumble, grumble.
But that’s for tomorrow.
Today is harass your neighbor day, remind them what tomorrow is—tell them do not fall for any ANTI-VOTING TRICKS—like the lie that if somebody owes traffic tickets and shows up to vote, they will be arrested, or the one that says only Republicans only get to vote tomorrow—nope. It won’t work. No tricks, no excuses, vote tomorrow.
There is only reason you should not vote tomorrow, and that is if you already voted.
And when tomorrow comes, and you have stood in line and gone behind the curtains and done your duty, and it’s afterward, and you step out in the sunshine and take a breath—
Be proud you live in a country like ours, on this beautiful blue planet called Earth.