The Post-Election Peace Pledge

The Post-Election Peace Pledge

: I take this pledge (inspired by a few of the posts below below):

After the election results are in, I promise to:

: Support the President, even if I didn’t vote for him.

: Criticize the President, even if I did vote for him.

: Uphold standards of civilized discourse in blogs and in media while pushing both to be better.

: Unite as a nation, putting country over party, even as we work together to make America better.

What did I miss?

Care to take the pledge?

: Michele’s counter-pledge:

I hereby pledge that after the election is called, I will run naked through the streets, smeared with war paint, stinking of Jack Daniels and screaming obscenities at my neighbors.

I will do this even if my candidate wins because drunken, naked cursing is fun no matter who the president is.

That’s what makes America great, damnit.

: UPDATE: Commenters ask me what I mean by “support.” Right question. I do not mean blind support, love-it-or-leave-it support, with-him-or-against-him support. I mean acknowledging that the president is the president and especially in a time of war, we need to stand together against our enemies — namely, Islamofascist terrorists — and not act, as too many have during this administration (and the one before it) that the enemy is in the White House. No, we’re on the same side.

But this is why I quickly follow with the pledge that we should criticize the President — even if he’s the President we voted for — because this is not a love-it-or-leave it nation; this is a democratic nation where the wisdom of the crowd is often wiser than the wisest man (and certainly than either of these candidates). So I don’t want to see people blindly attacking or blindly supporting the president.

  • Dishman

    I can take that pledge.
    Either way, once the election is over there are things to be done.
    The price of failure is too high.

  • To a large extent, the success of this pledge is going to depend on how honest an election this is. I know a number of Democrats who’ve been acting liked spoiled brats for the last four years because they think they were entitled to the White House after 8 years of Clinton prosperity, and I don’t want to act like them if my horse loses the race. But if the reports of widespread voter fraud turn out to be true, it’s going to be hard for me to support a president who takes office as the result of dirty politics.
    So I’ll take this pledge: I’ll support a President Kerry if he wins the election without massive fraud; if there is credible evidence of fraud on the scale of 100’s of 1000s of votes, I’ll reserve judgment until I see how he performs. I’m not opposed in principle to supporting an illegitimate regime, but I will tend to be somewhat more critical than I would be otherwise. I was generally supportive of JFK, for example, even though his party probably stole that election for him.
    So I’ll wait and see.

  • I’m with you on that pledge. I’m even gonna steal it for my own blog. And what Dishman said: there are things to be done, and either Bush or Kerry has got to do them.
    Speaking of which, can we also get Bush and Kerry to pledge that, whichever of them receives the whisker-thin victory, they won’t interpret that as a mandate to run roughshod over every other thought and opinion? That would be helpful, too.

  • Agreed….but you know there is still going to be the “He’s Not My President” mindset out there even if Bush wins by a large margin.

  • refugee

    Yeah, I’ve already ante’d up in various emails to friends.
    I’ve bound myself to accepting the outcome on Nov. 3, no matter what.
    As far as I’m concerned, whoever swears on Inauguration Day is the legitimate President, and will remain so until (unless) he blatantly suspends the Constitution.
    But I do like the part about promising to criticize the winner, no matter what.

  • Jesse

    “it’s going to be hard for me to support a president who takes office as the result of dirty politics.”
    So it’s safe to say you don’t currently support Bush?

  • Privacy Watch

    I don

  • Paul Brinkley

    That’s a laughably easy pledge.
    ….Well, maybe not so easy. I’ve been putting out flaming discussions up and down the Internet forums since college, off and on. It’s tiring. I can’t respond to everything.
    It’s also hard to grit your teeth and keep the gloves on when you see a forum participant post one one-sided article after another.
    And yet I agree with the sentiment of the pledge. I’ll take it, and I don’t even have to bat an eyelid.

  • Michael

    Understand that some commenters are unable to give their real names for fear of reprisals at work, in the home, or in public; welcome and respect comments made anonymously.

  • Game on.

  • Joe

    I have taken it, with a qualifier:
    If there is enough evidence of Democrat vote fraud, I shall strike the first statement if I, in conjunction with said evidence of fraud, believe that John Kerry is running the country poorly. If there is vote fraud but I like what Kerry is doing, I won’t have any compunction about supporting him. That, however, is unlikely.

  • I will not only take the pledge, I will steal the pledge and put it on my site (with due credit), as it sums up exactly what I’m trying to do with my blog. Thanks!

  • I agree with Richard, with minor edits. As a Republican who opposes Bush and his policy of preemptive war, I’m embarassed at my party’s efforts to suppress the vote in swing states, and the Democrats aren’t much better. The wheels are coming off the constitutional wagon. What I want more than anything is for one candidate to sweep more than 300 in the EC tomorrow and the other to bow out gracefully, like our candidates used to. I honestly don’t believe either man has the moral compass to do that, though.
    Bush is the greatest threat to peace on this planet that we’ve seen in my lifetime, and Kerry is simply not inspiring as a commander. I am more disatisfied with my choices this year than I could ever have possibly imagined. One of the other big downsides to a Bush win tomorrow is that it virtually assures a Hillary Clinton presidency in 08. I’ll be pushing for Olympia Snowe to run for President.
    But yes, I’ll support the winner if the election comes out clean and both men act with grace and dignity in both victory and defeat.

  • It pains me to hear hateful rhetoric on any side. It pains me because we are ALL Americans and should behave as such. We are the gold standard for unity. It is the United States of American that we live in after all.
    You may disagree with someone’s position, but to be hateful on top of it merely denigrates your own position.
    I can wholeheartedly take this pledge. Thanks for injecting a little sanity into this election cycle.

  • Soybomb

    I promise, if Senator Kerry is elected, to give him the same respect, courtesy and support as Democrats have shown to Bush. In fact, I promise to double efforts in these three areas.

  • I’m torn. The left has said and done some, to me, horrible things in the past twelve months, and I’m not sure I can just forget. I *want* to, but I can’t pledge that I will.
    AN interesting addition to this discussion: I started a poll a few days ago, and the results are surprising to me. I honestly did not expect a close-to-even split.

  • Keith

    I can take that pledge.

  • Eileen

    Sign me on.
    As a registered Libertarian, I have just returned from voting for Bush. But if Kerry wins, I promise to keep an open mind and give the guy a chance.
    I have a true and nagging sense of foreboding when I consider what our safety level would be under Kerry. I don’t think he’s prepared to take strong action; in fact, the converse is much more likely. And given the truly crazed, barbaric nature of Islamofascism, failing to act is deadly. As a result, the security issue eclipsed all else for me this year. If I’m alive, I can deal with the rest.

  • pilsener

    It’s a terrific pledge, but taking it seems pointless. Just as among the media, punditry, and political operatives the blogosphere has bloggers & readers whose very existence seems to derive from their political attachment to their “team-tribe-clan”.
    I anticipate that the political wars will continue immediately after the election. If Kerry wins, he is going to have to deal with a Republican Congress, and his anti-war constituency. If Bush wins, a large segment of the Democrat supporters in this election will be driven clinically insane.
    I suspect the Republicans will take it better than the Democrats. I’m wondering what Paul Krugman will find to write about if Bush is out of office.

  • Claire

    Sorry, but I can’t take the pledge, either.
    I cannot and will not stand by and support someone who does not act in the best interests of this country. And I believe that John Kerry puts his own personal ambition and success before everything else.
    If he wins, I promise that I will do everything in my power to legally and morally remove him from office. I will criticize, I will speak out, I will support those who oppose him and who would seek to impeach him for treason. I will use facts and the law to support any and all actions that prevent him from giving away our sovereignty and weaking us militarily.
    However, I promise that I will attack only ideas and never those who hold them. I will disagree respectfully, and ask only courtesy and respect in return. I will continue to place country before party, as I have never been nor do I intend to be a member of any political party. I will continue to vote for the person and not the party, and will endeavor to carry out my responsibilities as a citizen of this great country.
    Sorry. Your pledge sounds nice, but in this instance I cannot take it. I did support Clinton, even though I opposed him, and we survived his presidency because, deep down, he wanted to do what he perceived as the ‘right thing’ as President. But I do not trust John Kerry as far as I can throw him, and my only hope for curbing his personal ambitions for power lies with a Republican Congress who will be able to shut him down.

  • Richard Aubrey

    I’d take the pledge but there is this matter of good faith.
    In other circumstances, I’ve been requested to forgive those who I caught lying about a matter of policy. That was to include believing them without qualification next time they said something counterintuitive and refraining from checking it out. If I failed, if I were to be skeptical, I would be reproached for not having forgiven and for not having moved on.
    So I predict this pledge would be used to stifle legitimate complaints.
    Kerry sells out Iraq? You pledged to be a good citizen and not be a rabble-rouser. Picture lower lip pooched out reproachfully.
    How about I have a complete lack of confidence in the good faith of the liberals and democrats?
    They earned it fair and square, too.

  • Gary

    I refuse to take the pledge because I’ve seen too much evidence of voter fraud already.
    1. Powerline posted an email from ACT either Thursday or Friday telling out of state people how to register to vote without a picture ID.
    2. I’ve seen 2 Clinton judges in Ohio throw out the law that the legislature passed & the governor signed into law allowing for people from both parties to watch for voter fraud.
    3. I’ve seen reports on all the cable networks about 30,000 people registered to vote in both Ohio & Florida.
    4. I’ve seen reports where there’s more people registered to vote in certain Ohio cities than there are citizens populating said cities.
    5. I’ve seen reports where the DNC was calling people in New Jersey saying that Norman Schwarzkopf endorsed Kerry for president only to have Gen. Schwarzkopf issue a statement that he was voting for President Bush.
    No, before I take that pledge, Democrats better look into what’s left of their soul & ask themselves if this is the heart & soul of the Democratic party that Scoop Jackson, Hubert Humphrey, Patrick Moynihan, Bobby Kennedy & JFK.
    I’ll support a President Kerry if he stops lying minute by minute & if he actually follows Bush’s policies in Iraq & in the war on terror. I WON’T SUPPORT HIM if he treats the war on terror like little Ricky Holbrooke pictures it- as a metaphor, not a real war. IIRC, I think REAL JETS slammed into the Pentagon building & into the Trade Towers. That seemed an awful lot like real war, not a nuisance to me.

  • Michael

    Glad to see the blindly-partisan fires are still burning in here.

  • I wish I could take that pledge but I can

  • Gary

    Michael posted “Glad to see the blindly-partisan fires are still burning in here.”
    This has nothing to do with blind partisanship. It has to do with actual proof of voter fraud, which I won’t stand by, irrespective of which party is committing it. It has to do with people perverting the vote with widespread illegal voting. If that’s a partisan issue, then label me ULTRA HYPER-PARTISAN.
    As for stating that I hope Kerry follows Bush’s stategy of creating democracies in the Middle East & not treating the War on the Jihadists as a nuisance as Kerry himself was quoted as saying in the NYT weekend magazine, I stand by my position.
    I will support Kerry if he wins without the fraudulent votes. If he wins fair & square, then I’ll pray that he makes the right decisions, which I think, at least on a strategic level, Bush has done. I’ll readily admit, though, that Bush has made enough mistakes on the tactical side & communications-wise to warrant sincere criticism.
    Fair enough???

  • Those of you giving caveats should be ashamed of yourselves. It’s your country. The country is about the people – you and me and your family and your neighbors, real people, not faceless politicians you can bitch about. You are saying you refused to be civilized and care about the future of your country — your children’s future — unless your petty caveats are met. Grow up. Join the nation. Join the human race. Leave the petty crap of this campaign behind. Stop already. Please stop.

  • Gary

    Since when is voter fraud petty??? Since when is wanting to aggressively pursue the terrorists that killed 3,000 innocent civilians petty??? Grow up you say??? This isn’t about being all nice & smiley for the sake of being nice. It’s about eliminating the bad guys that killed those innocent civilians on that September morning that started off so beautifully & ended with this country shaken & reeling.
    This “why can’t we all just get along???” stuff is nice when both parties play fair & actually care about stuff bigger than attaining power.
    Yes, Bush likes living in the White House but who on this board doesn’t think that he’s done his utmost to protect this country from the evil people that killed 3,000 of our citizens??? Can we be certain that Kerry will vigorously pursue these evil-doers???
    Look, I won’t hate on Kerry, I won’t wish the country fall apart on his watch. But if you’re asking me to be passive about this stuff, sorry. It means too much to be passive.

  • Gary:
    I said we will criticize the administration, whichever one it is, to do the best job.
    But can’t you just pledge not to be an asshole about it?

  • Richard Aubrey

    Great, JJ. You’ll criticize the White House. How about when I do and you don’t like it?
    Are you going to shove the pledge in my face?
    Count on it.

  • Jeff,
    I’ll take the pledge, and in fact have linked to it from my blog (see:
    Civil discourse is badly needed in troubled times.

  • MWB

    I will support the President when he acts in ways I agree with. I will oppose him when he doesn’t.
    I will criticize the President when he acts in ways I disagree with. I will praise him when he doesn’t.
    When I disagree, I will attack ideas with evidence and argument, rather than attack people with slander.
    I believe my party has the country’s best interests at heart, and thus see no need to put the two in competition for my loyalty. Insofar as either seems headed in the wrong direction, I will work to correct its course.

  • Eileen

    Jeff obviously speaks eloquently on his own behalf. If I may but add a couple of cents…..
    I think he’s trying to heal some ‘home’ blog and at the same time more national wounds here. I’ve been around 50 years and never seen such passion and at the same time rabidity in a national election. I think the passion is fueled in some degree by fear, and maybe a need therefore to feel secure and RIGHT in our decisions and views. (Hey, I’m no psych but it’s what I’ve observed.)
    But by interjecting ‘conditions precedent’ (legal terminology) to a pledge instead of simply agreeing to disagree for ONCE, do it civilly, and carry on together in the face of whatever the challenges….. I can see/hear/feel Jeff’s disappointment/frustration and I understand it.
    OTOH, Jeff, these people here do really care.

  • MWB

    Jeff, I’m puzzled by your comments above.
    Your pledge appears to be all about openness, flexibility, unity and civility. But then when a few folks wish to give a different take, your immediate response seems closed, inflexible, divisive and uncivil: Caveats, you say, are petty and anyone proposing them “should be ashamed of [them]selves.”… “refus[es] to be civilised or care about the future of [their] country”… needs to grow up … and join the human race… is being an a**hole…
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but it appears you’ve already broken the third and fourth points of your own pledge.

  • Take the pledge… or leave it folks. I think that’s what Jeff’s getting at. I took the damn thing, and I’m a partisan hack. Heh.
    It also helps to believe that Bush is going to blow Kerry out of the water. ;) So, with that thought, I’ll be a banner boy. :)

  • Volunteer State

    Osama bin Laden lives. He has threatened terrorist attacks on any Red State. Will you make peace with this killer? Your vote makes this decision.
    Half of this nation supports our President. Yet, half wish “For Peace in our time.” A noble ambition but it did not work for Neville Chamberlain it will not work today. Peace is earned with sacrifice. You cannot negotiate with Osama bin Laden. He must die or be captured.
    Give in to Osama bin Laden and some day he may tell you when to rise each day, when to pray, and what you will think. Have the terrorists

  • Soybomb

    You are saying you refused to be civilized and care about the future of your country — your children’s future — unless your petty caveats are met. Grow up. Join the nation. Join the human race. Leave the petty crap of this campaign behind. Stop already. Please stop.
    Wow! I thought dissent was patriotic, Jeff. So far, if we were to talk about lack of civility, the man you claim to be voting for has based his entire campaign on incivility in the hopes of not getting votes for himself but votes against the sitting President. If you were to take a stand on incivility, I don’t think you would be voting for Kerry. If you truly don’t want to vote for Bush, Nader and Badnarik are reasonable choices. The only wasted vote is the one not cast.
    I stand by the statement, I promise to afford Senator Kerry, if he is elected, the same level of courtesy, respect and support as Democrats afforded Bush. If you have a problem with that, you need to take it up Terry McAuliffe, Al Gore, Howard Dean, Michael Moore, Theresa Heinz, Whoopie Goldberg, and the NY Times, et al. But don’t worry, I would never want the impeachment of John Kerry for the horrors of President John Edwards, the only man on earth that would make you want Dan Quayle to be President.
    Anyone else notice the complete absence of Joseph Lieberman and Dick Gephardt from this campaign? Could it be they were too civil for the Kerry Campaign?

  • Franky

    Considering how rough this campaign has been, I wonder what the concession speech will be like by the loser. I can’t imagine them breaking precedent and delivering some whine, but surely each one will have to throw some red meat to their voters – will “we’ll be back in four years” cut it in this atmosphere?
    Regarding the pledge, I can promise three out of four (parts two, three and four). Sorry, I just can’t manage part one.

  • Tom W

    I will not take the pledge because I have so little common ground with Bush. I do not view him as a good man, and I think he is doing serious damage to this country.
    I gave him the benefit of the doubt for over two years during his first term. No more; I won’t be fooled again. No unity under Bush; perhaps there can be unity under McCain or someone else in 2009.

  • Gary

    Jeff Jarvis said “Gary:
    I said we will criticize the administration, whichever one it is, to do the best job.
    But can’t you just pledge not to be an asshole about it?”
    My apologies, Jeff. Yes, I can take that pledge. Sorry that my partisan side showed itself in this manner.
    Know that it’s always been my policy that when I disagree with someone that I stick with the facts & leave personalities out of it. I also believe in intellectual honesty. If I can’t defend what I believe logically & honestly, then I need to rethink my beliefs.
    Fair enough???

  • I’m with you Jeff and I take the Pledge (but cannot completely ascribe to the fourth clause because I’m an Aussie). Here’s to a magnificent election and a sane, unified, civil post-election debrief. I’m all for less bleating and more thinking.

  • I say Amen!

  • By act of Congress, we are now adding the words “under god” to the second-to-last line of this pledge, to further distinguish bloggers from Godless Communism. Any attempt thereafter to remove it is clearly meant as an attempt to turn Christians into a second-class servant race and must be resisted with holy fervor.

  • With bags of Democratic registration forms, and now early votes, winding up in the trash in Florida, and “observers” staged to slow down and inhibit the vote in minority areas of Ohio, it’s going to be hard to believe in a legitmate Bush “victory”.
    On the other side of the aisle, Bush supporters are similarly brandishing claims that if Kerry wins, it will have been “rigged.” This election is heading for a disaster. Our only hope is that one of them takes it in a landslide, and unless all the polls are completely fake, I don’t see that happening.
    If this election ends up being a 269 tie (allowing the gerrymandered House to put Bush back in office, a worst case scenario in my opinion) or if the loser sends a tight election back into recounts and the court system, we’re looking at four more years of the same old same old.
    I find it hard to envision a set of circumstances in which I would view Bush as the legitimate leader of this country, but if he wins the EC by more than thirty and the popular vote, I will do so. I will continue to dissent and voice my opposition to his policies, but I will recognize him as the legitimate president.
    So I suppose the answer, after reading all this debate, is “no.” I can’t, in good conscience, take that pledge to heart. And it’s clear, both in these comments and across the web, that Bush’s supporters will never recognize a Kerry presidency either. We’re heading for more rocky times I fear, no matter who wins.

  • Tempting, but could you clarify what it means to ‘support’ the president?


    I’m taking Michele’s pledge. It’s more fun and she has nicer boobs than you.
    Though I admit I’m a Wild Turkey man, myself.

  • steve albert

    Michele’s counter-pledge will be easier to honor.

  • Do you pledge to post Kerry and Chimp pictures, too?
    This looks a hell of a lot like you are asking other people to lay down their arms preemptively.

  • vox populi

    I pledge to treat Kerry, if by some machination, he is elected, with all of the dignity, support, and respect that George W. Bush has been shown.
    In other words, I will watch everything the effete, botox-filled, treasonous toad does and give him hell just because he is who he is and not for his actions.

  • Richard Aubrey

    I don’t think that was what JJ had in mind, Vox.
    I recall various disputes in which the person most willing to commit mutual destruction (defined as getting into a screaming match with spouse in front of friends, spending the last dime, starting a fight in a biker bar) wins.
    The dems are depending on republicans to be less gutsy, less willing to screw with the public welfare than they are.

  • jack

    Y’know why Jeff wants a pledge? Because he knows his boy’s gonna lose.
    Democrats are all for ‘civility’ and
    ‘bipartisanship’ and ‘courtesy’ when they’re trying to get Republicans to cave without a fight.
    Look how ‘civil’ they were when they were filibustering judicial nominees. Real civil.
    They whine about civility while chanting Bushitler out of the other side of their two-faced heads.
    Don’t be a bunch of retards.
    Jeff, we agree on a whole spectrum of issues, but take your pledge and shove it.
    Give as good as you get–or got, people.
    “If thine enemy smite thee on the cheek, SMASH him on the other”
    –Anton Szandor LeVay, Founder, Church of Satan

  • bk

    Amen, Jeff. All these toads above unwilling to take the pledge because they’re so determined to defend their guy right or wrong? Please hop over to Roger Simon, where all the toads are hawks, and they spend all their time jacking each other off. Used to be a decent site, too.
    The needs of our nation are much too pressing to obsess over giving as good as you get, getting even, treating others as badly as the worst has treated you. Left or right, if you can’t act civilly, and if you can’t understand why civility is still a virtue even in the face of boorishness, it’s off to the kids table with you.

  • epoh

    I’m not taking the damn pledge.
    I’m pushing for President Kerry to root out and (metaphorically) shoot all of w’s foot soldiers skulking in the shadows of DC. Maybe have a few treason trials here; maybe send a few ex-cabinet members off for a vacation in the Hague.
    Heh. Party’s over, clean out yer lockers.
    I want President Kerry (don’t that just sound great?) to act as if he won by a landslide 350 electoral votes. Rule like this country like the most liberal senator ever.
    There, how’s that taste?

  • Disgusted_Citizen

    If Kerry wins it will be largley due to A) his campaign’s lies, distortions and ommissions and B) the media’s criminal bias. I cannot and will not “make peace” with a liberal elite that believes America is the enemy.

  • RebeccaH

    I take that pledge, too, because I know that even if my guy wins there are still going to be some battles to fight, because I don’t agree with him on everything.
    I might have to forego the naked, obscenity-screaming thing in the interest of not causing my neighbors to drop dead on the spot. I’ll make an exception for the Jack Daniels, though.

  • bk

    How does it taste? Why it tastes every bit as bitter as you.
    As someone not resembling a Bush supporter, it tastes exactly like reason enough for me to change my McCain protest vote to a Bush vote. Because trolls such as yourself deserve to suffer…and I fear being at the mercy of your ilk.

  • Liz

    I’m all for the pledge, Jeff. And I hope people on both sides will take it to heart. I have my doubts it will happen, but will try to remain optimistic for the sake of our country.
    Since when did we stop treating our neighbors as human beings just because they have a different view on a political issue then us? Even an important issue! Whatever happend to the art of persuasion? It’s been replaced by steamrollering others with our anger.
    And that doesn’t mean that I’m not concerned about voter fraud. Where it has happened, let it be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
    I hope that by tomorrow, there will be a clear winner, one way or another, and we can get back to living together as Americans in our post 9/11 reality.

  • I’ll sign on to this sort of pledge. I defintely agree.
    It’s time to be a country, not blue or red.

  • jack

    Sure…the needs of our nation…blah blah blah…Where was that when judicial appointees were being blocked? When cabinet positions were being blocked before 9/11?
    Didn’t seem to be a problem then….
    But now, now that Republicans are about to secure their positions, all of a sudden we all have to be ‘civil’.
    The left is not civil. How many leftist college newspapers have been stolen and destroyed by Republicans? How many republican mayors have been caught stealing signs and publications? None. But leftists do this–and worse–and you whine for REPUBLICANS to be civil?
    The left has torn this country apart in the naked pursuit of power–and they’ve lost election after election because the people of this country are sickened by this. But the left never sees that. The people are stupid, duped, evil….or the message ‘isn’t getting out there’…or there are(of all things) Republican ‘dirty tricks’.
    Anything to avoid accepting the fact that they subscribe to a morally bankrupt, socially destructive philosophy that is antithetical to human nature.

  • Massive voter turnout. May beat Johnson’s turnout in 64. If it does, Bush needs to start packing for Crawford. He’ll have lots of time to spend on that ranch.

  • bk

    Jack, where in Jeff’s pledge does he single out only Republicans for the need to be civil? Why do you think civility fails as a virtue in the face of boorishness? Why are you so committed to tit for tat? Oh, right, because the left is evil. Got it. If I ever try to have a civil discussion with you, remind me that I’m wasting my time. Silly me, thinking that it takes two sides to “tear a country apart.”
    I’d dearly love to collect all the guys like you AND like epoh and lock you all in a room with rocks and pointed sticks. Maybe then you’d collectively accomplish something positive for reasonable patriots, namely thinning the wingnut herds.

  • This pledge is about 4 years too late. The die is cast.
    However, if the DNC wants to break the mold and throw out Terry McAuliffe, Michael Moore, Al Gore etc and their hate-filled rhetoric, ask me again.

  • I’m a liberal New Yorker, Democrat, Kerry supporter, ACLU-card-carrying blogger, and I say: bravo!
    I’ve been reading blogs on the left and on the right, and let me tell you, they are looking at two different realities. Pick your flavor of Kool-Aid, take the blue pill or the red one, report only your own side’s spin. Both sides are angry at each other, convinced that their man will Save Civilization As We Know It.
    We’ve got to stop this. In the words of Jon Stewart, “we are hurting America.”
    I’ll take the pledge, and I’ll raise you a challenge. Listen. Read the other guy’s side. Encourage civil debate on your blog. Engage in civil debate on blogs whose point of view is different from yours. Link to stories that challenge your own point of view.
    We’re at another turning point here, folks. This new media of ours is in our hands. What will we do with it? Will we become a nation of polemical broadsides or a nation of letters?
    If you hope for the latter, it’s going to take work.

  • interestingly, i came up with a pledge of my own this morning. i’m glad to see that i’m not alone.

  • Joan of Argghh!

    I’m taking Dick Cheney’s know the one… during the Senate photo-shoot, uttered in reply to the guy who had disparaged and slandered Cheney in public and tried to make nice with him in private.
    That’s what all these “pledges” feel like. Let’s get along cuz it looks nice on a blog resume, or something. Don’t need no stinkin’ pledges.
    People who understand citizenship and the price paid for it take a perfectly good pledge every time they salute the flag and pledge allegiance there.
    If my President (R or D) proves himself to be an enemy of my country, I will not support him, and I will do my best to defeat him with every tool of democracy and free speech at my command. My pledge of allegiance demands it.

  • I pledge to call them like I see them, and do my best to see them the way others call them at the same time.
    I think Kipling wrote something wise about that in a poem somewhere….

  • The Pledge was quoted on CNN tonight, congrats.

  • Deirdre – VA

    I wish I could, but I can’t. I so much want what’s best for this country, but if George Bush is re-elected, I am going to have to turn off my TV, stop reading the news, and hold my breath for the next 4 years because I am so afraid of what will be left – ranging from the deficit to the environment to our international position – for my 6 year old son.

  • This is the reason why people read your blog. Great stuff!

  • Great post Jeff. I’ll take the pledge.

  • Nope. Can’t do it.
    BUSH can suck my dick.

  • JR

    Pledging to support Bush, if he wins, is like pledging to support Satan because his kind of fun is more popular. Since when is it in the best interest of the nation to get behind all the wrong policies and all the lies for another four years? I can’t believe we’re at risk for another term of this ubiquitously destructive creepazoid.

  • John Brown

    Respect is a two way street. This president has done nothing but thumb his nose in our faces since he was elected. He initially ran as a moderate Republican stating that education would mean something. He would create 7 million new jobs. He lost 1 million jobs and sent Colin Powell over to Saudi Arabia to assure them that outsourcing is here to stay.

  • I can’t support this President simply because he will likely win the electoral college. If he treats his victory as a mandate to continue his administration’s assault on the Constitution, he must be resisted. How can we accept the legitimacy of a government whose electoral success is based on the successful peddling of lies and disinformation? The bill of particulars against Bush and his inner circle is too lengthy and too shocking to the conscience. What we need to do now is translate 54 million votes into 54 million FOIA requests and get to the bottom of what has been transpiring behind closed doors for the past four years.

  • I can’t support this President simply because he will likely win the electoral college. If he treats his victory as a mandate to continue his administration’s assault on the Constitution, he must be resisted. How can we accept the legitimacy of a government whose electoral success is based on the successful peddling of lies and disinformation? The bill of particulars against Bush and his inner circle is too lengthy and too shocking to the conscience. What we need to do now is translate 54 million votes into 54 million FOIA requests and get to the bottom of what has been transpiring behind closed doors for the past four years.

  • I pledge to dog the Bush administration to answer the tough questions about the war on terror, Iraq and Osama bin Laden until such time that they can give a cogent, intelligent and at-least page-length answer. I will respect the will of the people to NOT STAND for the rampant cronyism of this administration. I will continue to work for progressive causes now harder than ever. America may have proven last night that they hate gay people, but I sure don’t.
    With all respect, Jeff, your pledge is too high-minded for either side right now. Watch for yourself as Bush divides this nation even further.

  • I cannot take this pledge:
    First, with the caveats in place, the first part is largely meaningless. The second part is irrelevant to me. The third part is something which I’ve been doing for my entire internet career. The fourth part is a call for surrender, pointless in the face of the strong agreements between the candidates and party leaderships and assuming that there is no rational reason for dissent beyond a lack of patriotism.

  • Deirdre – VA

    When I responded last night, I was despondent. Today, as I listen to the Kerry Edwards concession speech, I am making my own pledge: To take more responsibility to be politically active year round, day in, day out. Recently, I have worked hard for Kerry’s campaign, and have been respectful and civil with those who disagree with me while doing it, but I am making a pledge today to spend part of every day making the machine for good as powerful as the machine for money.

  • david

    This pledge might be sweet and courteous, but all of this talk of supporting the president is nonsense. For me, this election was so much about the right-wing-ultra-conservative-religious take over, that I can not, and will not support Bush. Simply put, he is the enemy. There is no other way to look at it. The Republican party has managed to push the American public so far right that we must all now fear for our liberties and freedoms. This is not an exaggeration. If democrats (conservative and liberal) stop and take a moment to consider this President’s moral agenda there can be no sane reaction but one of fear and despair. Sure, he won’t have the appointment power to overturn Rowe v Wade, but what about forcing school prayer, strengthening the patriot act. The European reaction to the reelection is one of extreme disappointment. We are returning to the days of isolationism while the rest of the world unites. We are hated, despised and mocked and not just by factions of the muslim world. The pledge that should be taken by dems is a pledge to strengthen our resolve to defeat the religious right. The one thing Kerry said that was most important was to focus on valuing families, not family values. The country is divided – so what? Why should the country be united? It is our differences, and our fight for what we believe in, that motivates us to seek justice, balance. Pledge support for Bush? No. I pledge to start now in building a stronger coalition to fight those who shove their religion and morals down our throats.

  • yank in london

    I cannot take the pledge as written.
    I will however:
    Support the president when I agree with him and criticise him when I don’t.
    Uphold the standards of civil discourse (which I have not strayed from) even when others refuse to.
    I will continue to put the idea of America before party however the America I believe in is not the same America that George Bush and his supporters beleive in. Uniting America certainly seems an impossible task at this juncture and a government with no counter balance within it, dominated by one, ideologically driven party, is unlikely to do anything to heal the rift.
    I will continue to be a patriot even as those who disagree with me tell me I am not and tell me I am unamerican.

  • ahem

    Dear Jeff: you must be kidding.
    Here’s my alternative:
    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
    I think that has a kind of ring to it. Perhaps you and your ‘values voter’ fellow-travellers ought to consider just what these words mean.

  • The history of the world can be summed up very simply: its the evil people vs. the ignorant people. Period.
    Guess who usually wins?
    Today is no exception. Freedom has only existed durring those brief shining moments in history when a small fraction the ignorant people, wake up, get educated (and I don’t mean Harvard or Yale)and oppose the evil.
    “this is a democratic nation where the wisdom of the crowd is often wiser than the wisest man”
    Gimme a break…
    (and I voted for bush by the way, when I have to chose between ‘Pax Americana’ or abortions… *shakes head* I love kids.)
    Popular democracy has been devolving into tyrany for as long as mankind has maintained writen records, if not longer. The ‘wizdom of the crowd’ eh? There is a word for that… mobocracy (Plutarch anyone?).
    Sorry to burst your bubble kids, but we do NOT live in a ‘democratic nation’ (Thank the life-giver). In the past 1500 years no where in the world has any political system maintained widespread freedom for for its citizens for more than 4 generations, except for the democratic republic – A.K.A. the Constitution. Its was designed as “a government of the PEOPLE, by the PEOPLE, for the PEOPLE…”, but without the mobocracy.
    And it works… so far.
    P.S. If you guessed that I hate the 17th ammendment, and I loooove the electoral college – you’re right! :P

  • Michael

    Oh David, David, how bitter and angry you are! I see that we can’t count on you to help bring healing and bridge the divide in this nation. No, rather you will throw out your stereotypical labels on the religious right and further stir up rancor, the very thing your man, Kerry, now pleads with you to avoid.
    I am one of those “right-wing-ultra-conservative-religious” ‘nuts’ you would no doubt say. I won’t resort to the stereotypical name calling labeling of what some call the liberals. And you know what? I did vote on moral issues. Yes, I can never approve abortion–the killing of innocent human life. Nor am I for gay marriage (but no problem with civl unions). Remember though, all laws, such as ‘murder or stealing is wrong’ is based on religious moral law! However, I also have no desire to shove anything down your throat. If I voice my opinion, however, as I actaully stand by my principals, it’s not empty religion’, is that any different than what you are doing? Are you then shoving your secularism perhaps down my throat? Come on, it’s time to move beyond such rhetoric!
    Although I voted on moral lines, I also do not support Ashcroft’s vision that weakens the bill of rights, nor do I have any desire to see prayer back in schools. I grew up in London and we had prayer every day in school but so few really believed. The headmaster would read the Bible in assembly even and we would pray for a minute in silence, as it was a Church of England school, but he was an atheist! All it did was ritualized and institutionalized “dead” religion. It enforced in our minds that it didn’t go deeper to relationship with God. No, I am against it and am for far stricter gun control and against the death penalty –and you know what, I have 100’s of right wing Christian conservative friends who are also in similar agreemen–and vote silidly Republican. Your painting such a broad stroke on us does little to help this nation. I suggest you watch less TV and their bias–perhaps watch C-SPAN if anything – at least you will get the real content and not just the liberal spin you have come to follow religiously it appears.
    As far as the rest of the world goes, you are naive to think the Europeans are somehow more sophisticated or the UN for that matter. I am half English –my whole family lives in Europe and it is rank with anti-Semitism, is much of the UN, in particular the African nations. Look at how they treat their women in these Islamic regimes! And yet youcare what they think?! Talk about shoving their religion! And yet you give credence to the UN–filled with such regimes and despots! Their primary goal is anti-Semitism. You have no idea how much freer you are here–than even the UK. Sure, Switzerland and Sweden are bastions of the good life–with good healthcare, etc, but at what expense? They built their wealth on the backs of dictators and mafia, Nazi money invested in the war, etc–all because they have never taken a position but remained neutral so they could make money either way. Up to the likes of them, Nazism would have won Europe. No, they are rich and socially advanced in their programs because they don’t spend a penny on military but rely on the US to come to their defense. They’ve prostitued themselves for the love of money and ease–never taking a postion that makes a differnce. We are the ones who have to invest in a big military–there is no one else left to realistically fight the enemies of freedom. We don’t have all the extra cash for all these other programs as without freedom, none of the other things matter. Wake up, and see that we must be the leaders in this world, not the followers.

  • dick

    The part they have missed all during the Bush administration is that they will tell us the truth and the whole truth. By not doing that after the Tet Offensive they screwed the Vietnamese and I think we need to attempt to make sure they don’t do it again now. Tell us both the good and the bad and try not to editorialize in the stories. There is an editorial page for that.

  • Conciliation at a time like this is in the service of the status quo, and the status quo is unacceptable. I’ll keep civil long enough to say the pledge is unreasonable. Bush is not my president, and it is not my nation that elected him.

  • I agree with the Jarvis Doctrine, but I propose the following corollary in regards to discussion of religion, faith, and values.
    I pledge to:
    * Tolerate and celebrate beliefs, even if they are not my own.
    * Criticize and correct beliefs, especially if they are my own.
    * Uphold standards of civilized discourse not just in blogs and media, but universally.
    * Find common ground among the community of believers, and in so doing, work to make different beliefs, as well as Belief as a whole, better.
    * Practice verbal and written self-defense, borrowing from common law the concept that the force used to repel an attack can only be the amount necessary to repel the attack and may not be excessive.
    Originally posted at