In a lecture entitled ‘How the Left Lost the 2004 Election and Other Tales of Fear and Loathing in the Polling Booth’ held on Nov. 9, John Ross, author of ‘Murdered by Capitalism: A Memoir of 150 Years of Life and Death on the American Left,’ spoke out about what he believed went wrong in this year’s election and what the ‘left’ should do to take back the country.
Jon Wiener, a professor of history, introduced Ross as someone who has been ‘a reporter, a novelist, a hobo, a beat poet [and] a revolutionary.’
For the last few months, Ross has traveled across the nation giving speeches about the dangers he believes are facing our country, such as the fascism that might occur when corporations take over countries.
‘We had an obligation to the whole world to beat George W. Bush,’ Ross said. ‘We failed miserably this time.’
He claimed that American citizens should be careful after having elected Bush to a second term.
‘This time around there will be no pardoning the American people,’ Ross said. ‘The consequences of losing this election are going to be serious. We should watch [our] back[s] and [not] go up in skyscrapers.’
Although his ideas were self-described as ‘far to the left of the Democratic Party,’ Ross was disappointed that Kerry was not elected president.
Ross said that the Democratic Party was more disappointed with this loss because its members believed that the election would inevitably go to them.
‘We believed in the Red Sox factor,’ Ross said. ‘They beat the almighty Yankees in four straight games. … It almost seemed like it was God’s destining that Kerry was going to win the election.’
Ross said that Kerry lost because he was unable to distinguish himself from Bush in key states. He explained that everyone who voted for Kerry thought that he was just lying about being like Bush in order to get votes from the swing states.
‘There wasn’t an ounce of difference between Mr. Kerry and [President] Bush,’ Ross said.
Ross also argued that religion has become a dominant force in society after Sept. 11, influencing the way America handles the war on terror.
The problem, he explained, was that the war on terror has ‘essentially [become] a crusade. Sept. 11 remains a biblical event in our country.’
Ross explained that some people have become ‘value voters’ with religion influencing their decisions at the polls, resulting in a divided America.
‘[One] society is primarily closed, Christian and love the death penalty,’ Ross said. ‘Our society is for peace and understand[ing] solidarity.’
He also warned about the economic stability of our nation.
‘We’re on the eve of economic disaster. … Our country is about to crack,’ Ross said.
Vangee Oberschlake, a resident of the City of Orange and a registered nurse, attended the lecture and appreciated Ross’s appearance.
‘I think it’s empowering to hear someone with his [credentials] come and speak to us about the times that we’re living in now and to have the perspective of what was done and what now needs to be done,’ Oberschlake said.