Thursday, November 04, 2004

Finally, an E-Mail From Eli

SMARTMOM DIDN'T HEAR FROM ELI TODAY. And Eli is usually such a prolific e-mailer. He's been writing to Smartmom fairly consistently since, well, sometime during the Clinton Administration. But today, the day after Election Day: nothing.

How strange. Smartmom was sure she'd hear from Eli. Understandably he's quite disappointed about the election results -- who isn't? In New York City, the Bay area, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Iowa, Pennsylvania, most of the Northeast and much of the world, that is. Who isn't disappointed?

But still, it worried her a bit that she didn't see Eli Pariser's name or anything from Moveon.org in her in-box all day Wednesday.

While she tried to put it out of her mind, she still longed to hear something, anything from her frequent Internet friend. Maybe something terrible had happened. Perhaps Eli had decided to end it all. But that didn't seem plausible -- Eli doesn't strike Smartmom as the suicidal type. Maybe he was just too tired from staying up all night watching the returns on T.V., or staring at his computer screen. Perhaps, he'd had a bit too much beer, wine, or scotch (if he drinks at all) to soothe the stress of waiting, the pain of losing.

Whatever the reason, it was well past sunset on the East Coast when a missive finally arrived from Eli. And what a relief that was.

"I'll admit to being heartbroken by the outcome of yesterday's election. It's a dark day," he wrote in his e-mail to Smartmom. But he went on to tell her about a message he'd received from a friend who, in light of what happened on Tuesday, has decided to run for congress. This was obviously quite encouraging to Eli, the ever-energetic activist: "We have suffered a defeat but we are not defeated."

Smartmom was encouraged to hear that Eli was not defeated by this loss like so many of her friends. She's been getting e-mails all day from fellow Slopsters talking about the alienation, the rage and the depression they were feeling on this wicked Wednesday. Quite a few were even toying with the idea of moving to Canada. Smartmom was heartened by Eli's optimistic words. They reminded her that there are still milliions of Americans who believe in a healthy environment, a strong and fair economy, the end of poverty, health care for everyone, good schools, gay marriage, reproductive rights, stem cell research, domestic safety and the end of the war in Iraq.

In his e-mail, Eli thanked Smartmom and all those who'd put effort or money into the campaign to defeat George Bush. "You have proven that real Americans can have a voice in American politics. In the months and years to come, that revelation will change everything."

He also reminded Smartmom that George Bush only won by 3% nationally, which means that 55.45 million Americans (55.45 MILLION) voted the way that Smartmom did. "You are certainly not alone," Eli assured Smartmom.

Smartmom wanted to kiss the computer screen to thank Eli for his kind and reassuring words. Instead she just ran her fingers across her liquid crystal laptop screen and read on: "Today, we'll take a breath. Tomorrow, we'll keep moving toward the America we know is possible."

B r e a t h.

For Smartmom, it was such a relief to hear from her man Eli who has done so much to make this an election to remember. Just about everyday an e-mail from Eli was in her in-box telling her the latest news or unveiling a new anti-Bush commercial. He invited her to Bake Bush with a Bake Sale and a cell phone call-in in Prospect Park to register voters in Ohio. He told her about an all-star rock concert with Bruce Springsteen in the mid-west and buses to Pennsylvania to knock on doors. Eli and his team had so many great ideas. And he always asked Smartmom to come along.

Despite the sour feelings and rancor stirred up by election 2004, Smartmom is convinced that there are still things to feel optimistic about. She believes that there might even be a teeny, tiny silver lining to all of this. And that would be the coming together of people like Eli Pariser, Moveon.org, Howard Dean, Barack Obama, Americans Coming Together, everyone who marched (or thought about marching) in the August 29th protest against the RNC, Millionaires Against Bush, Michael Stipe, The Nation, Ricki Lee Jones, Michael Moore, Bruce Springsteen, all the good people of Park Slope and so many others who make Smartmom proud to be an American during this very tough time in our history.

Keep writing, Eli. Don't be a stranger. Smartmom still needs your daily messages of hope and action. She still needs you to remind her from time to time that there are over 55 million people out there who want "to keep moving toward the America we know is possible."


2 Comments:

At 12:24 PM, Blogger brooklynfox said...

SM, did you know Eli is only 23? He is amazing, isn't he? I was relieved to hear from him too. On November 3rd I imagined the people at MoveOn were just sitting around shaking their heads, staring at the floor or just paralyzed with disappointment. But they really are exceptional people. They are a big reason why we believed that John Kerry could be, would be, our President. God Bless MoveOn. RFJ

 
At 5:28 PM, Blogger mamainwaiting said...

I never received an email from Eli and I'm sorry that I didn't. thoughtful piece, SM. thank you. GA

 

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