Monday, February 20, 2006

Coalition of the Willing

What is going on?

It seems like every community site I visit in Lefty Blogistan is being roiled with heated exchanges and in some cases, flamewars, about the future of progressive politics. To my discerning eye there are three camps duking it out:
  • those that are supporting the Democratic party with unwavering loyalty, hoping to transform the caucus from within
  • those that have given up on the Democratic party and are working to push progressive ideals through supporting individual candidates and third-party initiatives; and
  • those who have decided to pop some Kettle Corn and watch the fireworks, chiming in every once in awhile with snark and questions.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I find myself caught in Progressive Purgatory Limbo at the moment, not able to stake my flag in the group of any of these camps. I understand the frustration with the Democratic Party leadership, a quick perusal of headlines give plenty of reason to scream in outrage at their corporate pandering. I also worry about the fate of the congressional elections in November because there is one thing I'm not ambiguous toward: continued Republican rule. They must be stopped. Soonest.

The fact is, the blogs are loaded with activists of all stripes. From newly empowered voters to veteran policy wonks, these sites gather an international community that are craving leadership. There is an empty podium right now on the left in the United States, and that more than anything else is what I think is causing the seething anger and frustration.

Who speaks for me? John Conyers? Howard Dean? Raul Grijalva (my congressman)?

It has been a long time coming for the Democratic Party to allow a liberal voice to ascend as their mouthpiece. Too many years of triangulation and lack of assertive pushback to Republican led war-, hate-, and fear-mongering is causing a hemorrhage of prospective voters in their camp.

Things do not bode well if they continue their current track.

More than anything else, the passionate voices I read on the blogs are hungry for an end to the nightmare that has been unleashed by the Bush War Council. We are sick of hearing about torture, rendition, lack of due process, continued (and spreading) war, and the consolidation of fascist power in Washington that seeks to divide our people based on any whim of an issue.

It is easy to give up when things get this bad. It's easy to turn off the television, or stop reading the papers, or flip the power switch on the computer when all you see is an uphill climb, but that is only half the equation.
Sam: "It‚’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn‚’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy. How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened."

"Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something. Even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now.

Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn‚’t. Because they were holding on to something."

Frodo: "What are we holding on to, Sam?"

[Sam walks to Frodo and gets him up]

Sam: "That there‚’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it‚’s worth fighting for."

linkage (emphasis mine)
These are the moments when Revolutions are born. People who have had enough of their oppression and marginalization. People who are empowered so strongly that the force they command surprises even themselves.

The time to plant our feet firmly on the ground has arrived. Whether you choose to work within the Democratic Party, or through outside resources, we must all unite against the forces of Wingnuttery and put an end to the suffering. If enough of us wake up to our collective power, and wake up others, we will be able to transform all facets of power in Washington. Believe it can happen, it's the only way we will be able to succeed, and remember:
Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.
--JRR Tolkien

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