Where do we go from here?

Mary Landrieu lost, which was expected. Maybe it’s the optimist in me, but I think it’s temporary. In two years, there will be a comeback. (Dunno why I think that way-I didn’t consult my stars-not yet, anyway)

Where do we go from here, and what do we do?

Build the support structure in the Democratic Party for the growing liberal issue groups-the minimum wage increases, pot legalization, the environment-gay rights and much more. Get some activists to run. And btw, stop bashing those who choose to run as “corporatist”. Some compromises have to be made, and I would rather have some progress than none at all.

I think some of this attitude is the left over from the 1960’s radicals that were more interested in overthrowing the system than actually working to improve it-or who had a disdain for politics because it was reformist and not revolutionary.

So noting that there has been progress, that things have improved is seen as reactionary or “hopey-changey”. Tell that to the women who now can get credit in their name, effectively run for office, at least be heard, get jobs other than secretary and nurse and teacher.

Tell that to black folks who now at least go to college in numbers that are unprecedented and now live in those once red-lined suburbs. Black professionals are no longer a novelty, someone who at least has a college degree not a rarity.

When I grew up, black people only were on tv as entertainers. Now I get to mock the clueless Don Lemon playing at being reporter, see black mayors and a governor and Neil DeGrasse Tyson. And the rest of us on YouTube and Twitter and god knows how many more.

Tell that to the millions who now have health insurance through a “corporatist” compromise system that the new medicine and treatment they are getting is a bad thing.

Tell gay people and even some trans people that the freedom to simply be themselves without fear, the freedom to marry is not good enough to tell that story. I grew up when the world “gay” was enough to put a book under the counter, when there wasn’t even attention paid to these issues. I was a young adult when Harvey Milk created a political earthquake, when books that blamed the activist lesbians for “derailing” the women’s movement came out.

Yes, many people are despairing at the non-indictment of the killer cops. But what I find heartening is the protests. Back in 1967, 1968, only a few whites even dared to stand by us-and the riots scared even sympathetic whites away. This time, there have been mostly peaceful protests that have been astonishingly integrated. The “race war” the racist morons wanted isn’t happening anytime soon. They have been dining out and getting points on those riots for decades-and expected the same to happen here. It didn’t-and won’t-due to better communication, better political representation and dare I say it-more integrated leadership. And unlike 1967-1968, there are people talking about practical solutions like cameras, independent prosecutors, and telling their stories. And we have people who know about all these matters in both elected and appointed positions with the skills and power to implement those solutions.

And btw, it’s been worth every vote cast, every dollar spent to have Obama there now. Some folks may not have liked some of his response-they wanted that swagger. But he has convened people together to implement what solutions he can-and he is in position to do some things by executive order. Beats the Kerner Commission report any day. (Not the original, but a second look)

And that’s something else I’ve noticed that may be the right’s weakness. They are facing the world of 2014 using the mindset that hasn’t changed since 1967. I realized that in my Twitter war with Peggy Noonan-she blamed ‘leftists” for leading this stuff. Earth to Peggy: there is no “leftist” group anymore. Just us, looking for justice. Because they don’t even begin to comprehend this era, they can’t really manage what’s going on here.

It’s like the obsession with Soros funding this. Soros sends a little money to some folks. But the vast majority for justice is funded by just us-sometimes it’s even unpaid stuff. The reason? The internet makes it possible to spread the word for free-and for little ventures to be funded by little donations.

Don’t let them get away with blaming “the culture”. It isn’t the culture-it’s toxic right wing talk on and offline They want to stop you from thinking about why it is that we can’t be open about our ideas without fearing violence, and why 600 radio stations feature nothing but retrograde talk all day and all night.

Don’t let them get away with false equivalence. There is no left equivalent to the blowhards on the right who are courted-and feared-by the legislators. The left crazies have at the most a blog or website somewhere and a podcast that is listened to by 50. The right crazies have networks and 600 stations and get tv time.

In the immortal words of Joe Hill: “Don’t Mourn-Organize!”


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