Terrific People; Political Loonies.
Over at FireDogLake yesterday, I replied to Jim Moss’s sincere question about the type of movement I’m hoping we can build through the nomination process now under way there.
(Digression: I want to thank all the readers and commenters who recommended that diary, along with Rayne and everyone at MyFDL for giving it a home and the prominence that has resulted in still more really good ideas from the FDL community. Also Cindy Sheehan for her support of the idea that a true Lefty party is sorely needed in this country again. Use this diary to add your nominee(s) to the ballot until 11:59 p.m. Pacific Saturday.)
So anyway, as a result of Jim’s question, my reply, some subsequent replies – and last but absolutely not least, a discussion with my spouse (did you get that, honey?) – I’ve been doing more thinking about left/right, us/them, intelligence/lunacy.
So we’re laying in bed last night and Shari (my spouse, who teaches master’s and doctoral students) says, “How can people not see that one small turn in a person’s life can make a huge difference?”
“Z Z Z Z… mmmm, huh?” I replied. (The deal, just a few minutes before, was that we were going to sleep. Well, at least one of us was following through…)
“One of my facebook ‘friends’,” she continued, “…they put right on their profile, ‘Republican, Christian, blah blah blah.’ I really like them, and I just know they’ve been brought up to believe all that tired old nonsense about ‘pulling yourself up by your bootstraps…’”
“Oh,” I interrupted, “and global warming is a myth, and people who can’t afford health care can always use the ER,” I said, repeating some of the things I wrote in my reply to Jim earlier in the day.
“Yeah,” she said.
“Funny you should mention that,” I said, and filled her in on my and Jim’s exchange.
“I really love his writing, always great quality, very powerful and respectful to all stakeholders. I believe he is sincere in thinking that conservatives and progressives can find areas of agreement.”
“Mmm,” Shari murmured.
She’d better not be falling asleep! I thought. She wasn’t.
“It’s just that one small turn can make such a huge difference,” she said. “I could still be back home [Appalachian coal country, and everything that means] if I’d made one bad decision – even an honest mistake.
“And what this friend doesn’t get,” she went on, “is that her dad was extended privileges within his own family that allowed him to go to college at the expense – literally the financial and educational expense – of his siblings.” [For matters of privacy I’ll leave it there. But suffice to say that Shari knows what she’s talking about.]
Shari seldom reads my blog, and I’m OK with that. The amount of reading and writing she does for work in the average week makes my monthly regimen of same look paltry. But part of the reason she doesn’t is that – I admit it – my blog took root in frustration. (And you thought “The Malcontent” was born of sunshine, lollipops and rainbows!)
Yes, when I started this little number over a year ago, I was pissed. But time and reality have set in. I’ve mellowed. I’ve recognized the progressive struggle for the ongoing thing it is and always will be, not some switch that is flipped when election results come in.
Okay, okay, so the point:
Despite our desire and hope and belief and sincerest wishes that the Right will extend its hand in mutual cooperation, it won’t.
Exceptions to this rule certainly exist – and, when they take human form, they are regularly drummed out of the GOP. But in general, and call me a dualist if you like, I believe now as I always have, based on experience and not propaganda, that we (the Left) care more about people and they (the Right, which includes a goodly swath of Democratic Party leadership at present) care more about things.
That we have a clue about what government can, and should – and cannot, and should not – do, while they are pretty much without clue, and (worse) couldn’t care less in this regard.
That we are realists – with a healthy dash of idealism in the mix, certainly – but realists nonetheless. And they, when it comes to politics and government and how those two might help meet the needs of our fellow humans, are not. In that sphere, they are lunatics.
Nice people, most of them. The vast majority, in fact. But politically?
Loon. A. Tics.
And it is this fact that keeps me “after it,” as we say here in NC. It is this fact that allows me to hold out hope that - prodded along through the little bits of activism I practice daily and the cumulative effect of similar acts by thousands of others – things will one day change.
The rest of the civilized world has recognized that citizens-first social democracies are light years ahead of rightist, top-down, profit-first states. Most of us in the U.S. have realized it, too. Yet we’re allowing that knowledge – even as it becomes more and more intuitive! – to be subverted by a small cadre of criminals and profiteers, and the tiny choir to which they preach.
We need to wake up, grow up, and kick some corporatist ass.
But not in the streets.
If we’re as smart as we say we are, we will beat them over the head with their own flawed system, and after we’ve fixed them but good, we will fix that flawed system, too.
The popular uprising so many are speaking of needs to take place over the next two years, and the bus is about to leave the station: Right here.
I hope you’ll climb aboard and lend your voice.