Sunday, November 13, 2016

The only way forward is to stay the course

[Updated from 8:26 p.m. 11/12/16] There's no denying the historic blow to progressive citizens, Democrats, women, gay men and lesbians, minorities, environmentalists and multiple others - - and to a variety of causes and realities for which people have fought for decades, entire careers and even lifetimes  imperiled by Donald Trump's electoral college win.

Even those words and summations do not adequately encompass the breadth of the heartbreak, the consequences and the imminent danger because we have never seen a national election so one-sidedly vicious and devious - - engineered by the so-called 'winning side' which lost the popular vote but will take power with shady, unprecedented and disqualifying assistance of law-breaking hackers, the Russian KGB and the US FBI.

But I see some understandable responses among liberals and on the left that I hope, upon reflection, are short-lived. 

Angry finger-pointing. Pledges to disengage, or to forever step away from social media, where even with its obvious limitations there is vital information exchanged, error or disinformation corrected and opinion swayed and changed.

I'm not saying that people aren't entitled to their grief. I'm knee-deep in it and I know millions and millions of other people are right there, too.

Look: it's clear that The Democratic Party needs a complete remake nationally and in Wisconsin because the status quo is unacceptable.

And youth must be served. It's more their future than it is mine, at my advancing age. 

But we are in this together. 

If we fall away or turn on each other, the other side will have an easier time continuing to win, and, of course, that is unacceptable, too.

Elizabeth Warren said one thing people can do right now is dust themselves off and to join an organization and get involved, or more involved.

Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, One Wisconsin Now, any of the major environmental organizations...all working at the grassroots nationally and in Wisconsin and which will play a role in the Big Remake that, of necessity, is coming.

I will do that. I will continue to write. And organize for social justice as I have since high school back in the early days of the civil rights movement, before many of you were born.

It's just what I do. It is how I was raised. And I know many of you are doing the same thing, on your own terms, lifting up your family and friends, because that is the way you have always rolled.

People my age have had plenty of political disappointments, though this is by far the biggest. None the less, this is not the time to abandon the fight to make Wisconsin and America live up to the best promises and goals of the US Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the continuum of risk and reward and achievement snd results by union heroes to suffragettes to Native American pipeline opponents to Black Lives Matter fighters, through the visions of Martin Luther King, Jr. to Cesar Chavez to John Lewis, to the historic achievements of Barack and Michelle Obama. 

And to and through and by many, many other people - - especially the young who are going to reshape American politics and who are out in the streets across the country right now protesting an Electoral College-conferred 'win' on a bigoted, dishonest, dictatorial Presidential candidate who has put American democracy, human rights and world peace at risk.

The protests will continue, and will hit a crescendo on Inauguration Day in Washington, DC because people understand the essential wrong that just hit them:

Imagine you are an abused spouse, finally get your day in court, and the judge says that while your case is clear, there is a technicality that requires the admitted abuser not only be allowed to walk, but gets to live in the house as the dominant resident for at least four more years.

Or imagine that you are a harassed worker, and bring the convincing evidence to a workplace judicial board, where the final ruling is that despite the evidence, and a confession by your harasser, a technicality in arcane rules requires your harassing co-worker is to be promoted to CEO and allowed to name the rest of the board members, division administration and department heads for at least four more years.

That is why protesters will keep making a case in the streets, and why they will have a better change of succeeding on our collective behalf if we stay the course and pledge to carry the day.

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