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Politics

Still Hung Up on 2000

I'm conflicted about voting Democratic right now.

Ideally, Al Gore would be my choice, but only to say: "I wish the Supreme Court had not cast the deciding vote in the 2000 election."

In order to move on, I need to get over Al Gore's loss and the fact that everything changed afterwards. But I'm having a really hard time accepting how much we've changed.

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I've gotten the impression Democrats would like to get back to normal, to a time before the invasion of Iraq. Normal is a time when Democrats focus on "blue" issues, like reinforcing public kindergarten through 12th grade education; expanding infrastructure, like bridges; improving job training; making college tuition affordable; encouraging unions; protecting Social Security and Medicare; and all the other issues Republicans hate us for. I like normalcy too, but not at the expense of dealing proactively with the reasons things have changed.

When the majority of Americans told their leaders they disapproved of the war in Iraq, for instance, why did the Democratic-led Congress instead focus on domestic policy? Granted, Republican opposition went a long way in getting nothing done. But we didn't always need a majority of votes when it came to holding the Bush administration accountable for repeatedly lying to the American people. And what about filibustering? That's one type of symbolism that actually means something politically yet Democrats in Congress refuse to use it for fear of appearing divisive.

The occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan drains every American resource except war profiteering. Ending the occupation of Iraq enables vital resources to flow back into domestic issues, something that means a great deal to cash-strapped Americans.

Democrats have an opportunity in this election to reiterate what the party stands for. Do we stand for progress, or do we stand for conserving our traditional base?

- Citizen Voices blogger Alma Sove has spent most of her life in San Diego and is currently attending law school. &

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