It's been a while without much writing. I wish I could say I've been working on the final touches of my NaNoWriMo but it's been more like post-election fatigue. Here we were, pushing and pushing as hard as we could, arguing our points online and during family dinners, hoping America was tired of war and corruption, and here we are now, the winners, like Dustin Hoffman at the end of The Graduate, asking ourselves "What now?"
So it's not easy, the sinking feeling that even if things change they will take their sweet time doing so. After all, we're dealing with huge bureaucracies filled with constant power struggles and tailored for a system that protects a status quo many of us don't believe in, no matter who is in the majority.
They will tell us things take time, and they will threaten us with insignificance when we get impatient. "Remember Lamont," they will say. They will point their fingers at us and say we sit on the margins of public opinion; the flip-side of the far Right.
But in spite of it all, we must continue our work to pull the Democratic Party away from the so-called middle and into a defined position on issues we care about.
After three years of membership in Democratic Underground, I had to get away after a comment I made was deleted. I dared to criticize a Democratic candidate who is an opportunistic career politician. This man, who destroyed his Democratic opponent and used corrupt and racist policies to fight his Republican opponent didn't deserve our votes. I called for people to stay home. My comment wasn't simply argued against; it was deleted. Apparently, no one needed to hear this kind of argument, or as Skinner, the founder of DU wrote me, "Our policies are clear about telling people not to vote for the Democratic candidate."
This is what we should fight against, first within ourselves and later in public: We do not support the Democratic Party's agenda because we support the Party; we support the Party because its values closely resemble our own. We must fight for the soul of the Democratic Party to keep it from moving to the Right. We must stay away from Tony Blair's "Third Way Labor Party," an empty political entity with no values and no backbone. We must reject Democratic leaders who will vote to ban gay marriage and abortions, we must reject those supporting an increase for defense spending for endless, pointless wars. Now that the Democratic Party has won the election it's time we won back the Democratic Party.
Only by standing up for our values rather than blindly following our Party leaders do we stand a chance of influencing the way the Democratic Party looks in the future; only by singling out and kicking out Democrats by-name-only do we stand a chance of the Democratic Party not becoming a party of Liebermans. Only by keeping our struggle do we have a chance of making history.