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Tuesday, August 7, 2007

There's Good News and Bad News...

The Good News:

Electing Democrats in 2006 did change a lot. They have done more oversight in the last 6 months than the 109th Congress did in the last 6 years, resulting in stronger and stronger attempts to hold the Bush Administration accountable for their lawbreaking. They have also passed domestic legislation, such as a raise in the minimum wage and government help for students who are struggling under punitive loans, that will have real, positive effects on working people.

The Bad News:

Now that we have a slim Democratic majority in Congress...everything's still not okay. The war drags on in Iraq, we're still in Afghanistan for Jeebus knows what reason, and our civil rights are still being eroded to an alarming degree.

So what's the answer? Should we just throw up our hands and say, the Democrats are useless? Everything sucks, we might as well just give up?

Sadly for some whom I read on the Internets, gone are the days when we could just vote for our D or R and assume everything would pretty much go on as we wished. For us lefty folks, even if we get a Democratic President and a super-majority in 2008, there might still be enough DINO's and Republics in Congress to slow the progressive agenda down.

But you know what? We've got to get back to what it means to be an American. Yes, we elect our representatives to do our will, but after decades of deliberate conservative corruption of the system, our Congresscritters (almost all R's and some D's) have become more responsive to corporate money than they have to their own constituents.

So it's not enough to vote. And I think it's rather pointless to throw the entire Democratic Party under the bus because there are some bad apples in the bushel. What we have to do is get active and keep active. And I hate to say it, but we've got to keep doing it. Every day. No matter what. For many, MANY years to come.

In Howard Dean's keynote speech at Yearly Kos, he pointed out that it was 14 years between Rosa Parks' civil disobedience and the passage of the Civil Rights Amendment. I'm sure that Martin Luther King wanted to give up some days, and tragically, he gave his life for his cause. If we want real change in America - such as election laws that take out corporate money and equalize campaign spending, giving rise to multiple political parties; a neo-con free foreign policy; a sane energy policy based on renewables; re-investment in our infrastructure and education, for starters - then we, the people, must be the agents of that change.

So march, write, call, show up, talk - but make sure you are participating in whatever way seems best to you. Americans want our country back from the mega-corporations, and we won't stop until we make it happen.

Even if it takes more than six months.


Chris Tucker said...

It's called participatory democracy for a reason, after all.

madamab said...