Wednesday, November 12, 2008

this is bigger than one election

can you feel it in the air? no- not the chilly winds of november- the movement. this movement began over time and built upon itself until it engulfed the whole nation- change. one word with so much meaning. for the first time in america's 230+ year history, we have come closer to at least having a government that resembles the population at large. having an african american family due to take residence in the white house- that's big.

and change this big- scares a segment of america. on the very eve of knocking one wall down, another was rebuilt. while african americans all across the nation celebrated- gay families in california and other states couldn't. due to an unprecedented amount of money poured into california from the mormon church based in utah- and catholic dioceses- gay marriage bans were passed. and now, they are being targeted for protests- as they should be. we cannot rest until the religious right leaves the stage and settles back into their pews to worship where they should be- in their own churches. no one is infringing upon their right to worship freely- they shouldn't be able to impose their belief set upon the country. we have the bill of rights that protects us from state religion.

and let us not step away from the fact that many 'minority' groups voted to ban gay marriages as well- neglecting their duty as americans by putting religious beliefs first. african americans and latin americans voted in large numbers to ban gay marriage. it is a tragedy that these groups who have felt the boot heel of white supremacy for so long became part of that very group with one vote. we have much work to do yet- our constitution is still in tatters and must be repaired. hopefully, when we get it scotch taped back together- we will have all of our civil liberties put back into place also.

from my email- people for the american way:

Did you read Paul Krugman's column in Monday's New York Times? On the day before the Blue Wave washed over national and state elections across the country, he asked the important question, "What will defeat do to the Republicans?" and provides several reasons why we can expect the Grand Old Party to take a hard turn to the extreme Right. We agree. With the Right in its new role as "the opposition," get ready to see an invigorated right-wing grassroots, media and organizational infrastructure.

  • The Heritage Foundation is already digging in its heels saying they will not let President-Elect Obama bring about the change he's promised.

  • Right-wing blogs, talk radio and television outlets like Fox News will experience a boom, and new personalities will emerge (remember that the Rush Limbaughs of the world became popular during the Clinton years and the power of the progressive netroots is in many ways attributable to backlash against the Bush administration and right-wing government).

  • With the failure of a Republican presidential candidate who tried to distance himself from the current administration, and the popularity of Sarah Palin, who appealed to the far-right base, many will make the case that the best political strategy is a hard-line and unabashed commitment to right-wing ideology.

  • One of the only victory trends enjoyed by the Right on Tuesday was in anti-gay ballot initiatives in Arkansas, Arizona, Florida and, sadly, even California, emboldening the Religious Right to repeat these tactics in state after state.

  • And finally, with President-Elect Obama and the Democratic Senate in a position to undo many of the Right's most cherished gains in its favorite area of focus: the federal courts -- this, perhaps more than anything else, will energize the Religious Right's grassroots.

The Right is already planning the revitalization of the conservative movement. They will have the energy. They will have the funding. And with the will to obstruct at every turn the change that we've worked so hard to achieve, the Right is making our case that People For the American Way is more necessary than ever.

And we can't see a repeat of the early 90's. What happened was that the organized Left went dormant, became complacent and didn't keep the pressure on the administration and Congress to deliver on their promises to America. The Clinton administration was subject to unrelenting attacks from the Right -- as Obama's surely will be -- but too many progressives thought they could stop fighting once the election was over.

Without a strong progressive movement keeping the wind at the Obama administration's back, our constitutional values will not be realized as policy and our electoral gains will be short-lived. And of course, the mandate that Barack Obama has received from voters to appoint judges who adhere to the Constitution's promise of equality and justice for all will need our strongest support.

YOU are the progressive grassroots. And you are needed. People For the American Way's ability to get the job done in Washington will depend on our ability to mobilize activists and volunteers across the country for critical fights, like when there is a Supreme Court vacancy, in pushing Congress to pass much-needed election reform legislation or to mobilize opposition to the Right's efforts to destroy the Obama administration and their attacks on equality.

We're developing ways for activists like you to stay engaged, spread the progressive message and put your energy behind a progressive agenda for the crucial first year of Obama's presidency. Stay tuned for more on these programs in the days and weeks to come.

Together, we will fulfill Tuesday's promise. Together, we will turn hope into a better America for all.

1 comment:

WeezieLou said...

good post, thoughtful, inclusive. as a lesbian who is old to enough to have been a part of many marches, i feel acutely violated by Prop 8. altho i live in a state that will say 'yes' to gay marriages (texas), i have always felt an affiliation to california. i imagine many of us do. i've spent thousands in calif's gay/lesbian playgrounds. no more. now i spend free time signing petitions, writing to each and every email i can find assoc with it's passage, writing gay resorts, chambers of commerce. there are large, large national petitions going around online calling for a boycott on CA - you want our money? you're not going to get it.

i'm angry. very, very angry. right now, it sours the Obama win, most especially bcs of the huge ethnic minority backing the ban. i'm outraged.