I want to thank you personally for what you did in the election — you rewrote the book on grassroots politics, taking control of campaigns away from big donors. No campaign will ever be the same.
You moved voters, helped hold George Bush accountable, and countered the attacks from big news organizations such as Fox, Sinclair Broadcasting, and conservative talk radio.
And your efforts count now more than ever. Despite the words of cooperation and moderate sounding promises, this administration is planning a right wing assault on values and ideals we hold most deeply. Healthy debate and diverse opinion are being eliminated from the State Department and CIA, and the cabinet is being remade to rubber stamp policies that will undermine Social Security, balloon the deficit, avoid real reforms in health care and education, weaken homeland security, and walk away from critical allies around the world.
Regardless of the outcome of this election, once all the votes are counted — and they will be counted — we will continue to challenge this administration. This is not a time for Democrats to retreat and accommodate extremists on critical principles — it is a time to stand firm.
I will fight for a national standard for federal elections that has both transparency and accountability in our voting system. It’s unacceptable in the United States that people still don’t have full confidence in the integrity of the voting process.
I ask you to join me in this cause.
And we must fight not only against George Bush’s extreme policies — we must also uphold our own values. This is why on the first day Congress is in session next year, I will introduce a bill to provide every child in America with health insurance. And, with your help, that legislation will be accompanied by the support of hundreds of thousands of Americans.
There are more than eight million uninsured children in our nation.
That’s eight million reasons for us to stay together and fight for a new direction. It is a disgrace that in the wealthiest nation on earth, eight million children go without health insurance.
Normally, a member of the Senate will first approach other senators and ask them to co-sponsor a bill before it is introduced — instead, I am turning to you. Imagine the power of a bill co-sponsored by hundreds of thousands of Americans being presented on the floor of the United States Senate. You can make it happen. Sign our “Every Child Protected” pledge today and forward it to your family, friends, and neighbors:
This is the beginning of a second term effort to hold the Bush administration accountable and to stand up and fight for our principles and our values. They want you to disappear; they are counting on that. I’m confident you will prove them wrong, and you will rewrite history again.
Here is what I want you to know. I understand the strength, commitment, and passion that are at the core of what we built together — and I am determined to make our collective energy and organization a force to be reckoned with in the weeks and months ahead.
Let’s roll up our sleeves and get back to work for our country.
John F Kerry
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