Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tired? Frustrated? Ready to give up?

Have you had it with the Democratic Party? Are you sick and tired of the lily-livered "compromises" that strip away any breath of Progressivism from bills and laws debated and passed by Congress? Are you ready to "sit-out" the next election to "teach them a lesson"? Yeah, I know -- I feel that way, too! I tell myself, "They're not getting another dime from me!" "No more doorbelling; screw the phone banks; voter registration -- who's voting for these losers?" "They can just whistle for support; llke I'm whistling for that oft-promised 'Change' I can believe in!"

But then I look at my Drivers License and remind myself that I'm not two years old anymore -- and, as an adult, temper tantrums, stubbornness, storming off, and holding my breath are incredibly ineffective tools for resolving real-world grown-up problems.

Then I put on my "grown up hat" (which has been wadded up, stomped on, and thrown in the corner!) and consider the meaning of democracy, activism, citizenship, and self-responsibility ... and I remember my mom's advice when I was in the throes of a momentary childish anger; threatening all manner of short-term retribution that would provide me with momentary satisfaction and do long-term damage. She would say, "Well, you could always take your dollies and go home. Just be sure you don't cut off your nose to spite your face."

Lately, we are hearing Democrats, Liberals, Progressives, and Independents saying, "I contributed to him, doorbelled for him, phone-banked for him, voted for him, and wept when he won." "I believed in 'The Audacity of Hope'." "I thought this guy was different." "Never again." "I'll stay home next year." "I'll vote for the third party candidate."

To these people, I would say, "Now let's not cut off our noses to spite our faces. Let's not take our votes and go home." In this crazy, fractious, argumentative, exciting and wonderful country we call ours, change has never been easy -- or rapid. In the days of the Continental Congress, Abigail Adams petitoned her husband, John, for women's rights. In the decades after the Civil War, Suffragettes set aside their campaign for womens' voting rights in favor of voting rights for recently-freed (male) slaves. Women finally won full voting rights in 1921. Abigail would be so proud!

Before we decide to "take our toys and go home", consider the long-term effect of a weakened Democratic President, and a diminished Congressional majority. Consider the havoc that can be wreaked by an emboldened Corporatist Republican Party.

And, most of all, remember Democracy is not a spectator sport; activism doesn't stop the day after the election; we must not hang up our passion with our campaign signs; our Government IS "We the People" -- and it is up to every single one of us to suit up, show up, and hold our elected officials' feet to the fire when they break campaign promises and/or work against the best interests of "We the People".

If we don't like our electoral choices, it is our job to recruit and support a primary challenger. Whether or not we score a Primary upset, the \competition will help move the eventual candidates in a different direction ... a direction that "We the People" have influenced. Now, that is Democracy in action! In fact, just this past weekend, Ben Nelson (D-Ne) withdrew his demand for perpetual Medicaid funding in his state -- we shouted so loudly, he actually heard us and was shamed into doing the right thing! Democracy works! ...And we must never stop shouting!

In his Innaugural Address, President Obama told us to "pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and begin the work of re-making America". As we all know, the mess we are in has been in the making for 30 years or more; merely accelerating in the past eight, and will not be cured in days, or weeks, or months -- or even a short span of years -- and the burden cannot rest on the shoulders on only one man -- or even 535 pairs of Congressional shoulders! The burden rests on all of us.

This is THE marathon; the big race that will define the future of our country -- the race that really counts. Are you ready to roll up your sleeves and do the hard work of fixing and re-making our country? Are you ready to commit every spare minute and resource to the job ahead? Are you ready to suit up, show up and save our country from blowing up? I am! Let's go!

Paula Joneli
PCO DES 33-2625

1 comment:

Watchout5 said...

It's demoralizing to spend a year campaigning for someone who says one thing and does another. It's demoralizing to realize that the person you just spent the last year getting to know isn't as close as you thought to your political beliefs. I've yet to see anyone claim they just plain won't vote, and if I found anyone making such a claim I would attempt to explain to them just how democracy is supposed to work. I also think it should be the job of the party to elect people who are...electable, and get people excited.

"If we don't like our electoral choices, it is our job to recruit and support a primary challenger."

I don't know if I entirely agree with that, sure from the perspective of someone who's intimately involved with the democratic party it would be "our job" to find different candidates, but I'm doubting that's what people who are considering not voting are thinking about. They aren't looking for candidates to run, they're waiting for the democratic party to give it to them. If the party doesn't give it to them, they won't vote, and while it would be nice that they take on the responsibility to find these candidates who agree with their positions I'm doubting they will to do it.

If democrats don't answer the calls of the American people they will lose their power, just like what you saw happen with Scott Brown. My hypothesis about why has to do more with democrats running candidates based on seniority, or whatever their largest corporation behind them is, and not the merits they run on. Democrats are getting cocky, and think that they can run anything with a D to get a win.

Personally I'll never not vote, I've voted since I was 18 and I think everyone should, but this might be the first year I hesitate on democratic leaders. I don't feel like the democrats are selling me what I want anymore, and it seems to be coming from the top. Obama claiming we need to protect our intellectual property from China, the health care bill with very lacking progressive values, the stimulus bill that was 40% tax cuts (getting back a few extra dollars a paycheck, to me, was a bit of an insult, and while I know it helped a lot of people, I would have rather put more people back to work on public infrastructure) that got 0 republican support

There's so much that can happen between now and election day, but voting is a civic duty. I've voted for "no" in the past, and I reserve the right to vote for "no" in the future if the democrat wants to pander to interests against the people with one side of their hand, and try to coddle me with the other. Voters are not that stupid, they won't vote for a party that regularly bends over and begs for special interests to fill their coffers only to delay action. I know the democrats are in a tough position, being that their co-workers are immature, racist, fascist and batshit crazy, but voting for the "lesser of 2 evils" is still voting for evil, and I think too many people are fed up with voting for evil.