Cassius Clay, Liston,
Bush And Kerry

By John LeFan
Artsy Fartsy Tree Hugger Number One
San Francisco
"Cheer up, Slaves! And irritate despots" --Walt Whitman
Now don't stop working your asses off to beat the Bush/Cheney criminals when I tell you this. It's in the bag! Kerry's going to win and win by a big margin. How do I know?
In about the sixth grade, I made my first bet on a sporting event. This led to a long and checkered path culminating few years back in my walking away from gambling after putting a hundred on the Cowboys to go to the Super Bowl at twenty-eight to one. They won that year. I kept the money and never made another bet. But that's another story.
Sonny Liston was the meanest, baddest, ass kickin'est heavy weight champion since Joe Louis. His opponent was a smart mouthed kid named Cassius Clay. Everyone in the boxing community wanted to see Liston shut him up. The odds were very heavy that he would do the job. Not only the oddsmakers but every sporting expert in the world said Clay didn't have a chance and that he might even get killed after all the things he said in the papers about Liston.
Nobody gave Clay a chance except a young nobody sports writer named Howard Cosell. Cosell heard everyone saying, "Liston'll kill'em" and "The kid don't stand a chance" but he never heard anyone say why. Cosell measured Clay's reach (several inches longer than Liston), Clay's stamina, his speed, his intelligence and his ring skills. Cosell picked Clay and so did I. I got bets against every kid on the football team. I put up twenty-five bucks which I earned mowing lawns at three bucks a pop in the hideous Texas summer.
You know the rest. Liston never touched Clay. After a couple of rounds everyone could see it was all over. I spent the money on Chuck Berry records and a girl with braces and.....never mind. Clay became the great hero of my youth.
You, all my fellow left wing tree huggers, are buying into the Sonny Liston thing. Bush is ahead in the polls? Yeah, and I'm Frank Sinatra.
We all look at the news and see the red states and blue states and hear the pundits pund and pund and pund about how close the race is and that the swift boat issue is hurting Kerry and the flip flop thing is working and the GOP convention bounce was significant and blah blah wooof woof.
Think Clay/Liston. Tell me one good reason anyone but a Christian fundamentalist would vote for Bush? All I hear is that the people in the Midwest and Pennsylvania and Florida are so different from all my San Francisco and New York gang. Really? Those people are so different? Then why did Gore get more votes than Bush the first time?
Think Clay/Liston and look at the facts.
The Log Cabin Republicans (over a million) are not going to vote for Bush after his Constitutional Amendment bullshit over gay marriage.
How many women are going to fall for the same "compassionate conservatism" after they have seen the Republican platform?
How many educators are going to fall for "no child left behind"?
How many people with life threatening diseases see the stem cell issue as a dealbreaker the same way some women see the choice issue?
How many Nader voters from last election in swing states are so stupid that they won't switch to Democrat this time?
How many African Americans in Florida are going to the polls to make damn sure their votes are counted this time? Remember what Sharpton said about the Black vote being won by the blood of "four little girls in a church".
How many jobless don't believe a word anymore and want change?
How many investment bankers and stock brokers see what's really happening?
How many people in uniform are going to look at the Kerry and Bush war records and say to themselves that at least Kerry went? I am a Vietnam era Navy veteran and we all knew how rich people protected their kids by getting them in the National Guard. Military folk still know how the deal works.
How many people believe Bush has run a good war?
In "The Art of War", Sun Tzu says to make your enemy believe that you are strong where you are weak and weak where you are strong. This is the only strategy that the Republicans and the media have used and, unfortunately, we've all bought into it.
We like to think that, because we read the NY Times and watch Charlie Rose instead of the Fort Worth Star Telegram and Rush Limbaugh that we are getting the more even handed information. Well, suckers, the Times has admitted to rolling over for the Bush administration and Charlie Rose has been on his knees to the Coke Company and the Bloomburg Foundation ever since Newt Gingrich successfully pulled what few teeth were left in NPR's senile head. Close elections sell papers.
We've been duped so we would buy papers and stay depressed and echo the same crap as the right but in softer terms. How many of you lefties have actually used the words "flip flop" recently? Shame on you. The media sold it to you and you bought it. Why not use the words "willing to change"? Because you've been brain washed.
Same thing with the words "pro-abortion" and "right to life". Why don't the news people say "pro-choice" and "anti-choice"? And now which terms are you using?
So, keep up the good fight. If I were the only one whose vote counted, I would have made Kucinch president. But, Kerry's wife is a very heavy pro-environment person, and Kerry actually reads books and, like my Nader friends, I know how much this election means.
But, don't worry your pretty little Commie Pinko Tree Hugging heads, Bush is done. Next time someone tells you the election is going to be a close one, ask them why. Meanwhile, bet the farm on Kerry. Clay/Liston.
John LeFan
Artsy Fartsy Tree Hugger Number One
San Francisco



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