So, I have to come clean and admit that but a few years ago, I was a person that sort of scoffed at voter mobilization movements and reluctantly participated in what I saw (and still see) as a broken system. But these past few weeks, I've been extremely excited about the election and ODing on the CNN and what have you. And yes, Republicans got the freaking smackdown hardcore yesterday (YAY!) and with that there was a host of other really great news:
-no abortion ban in SD and no parental consent in CA
-lots of minimum wage increases
-Nancy Pelosi in charge of the House and staunchly anti-war
-highest young voter turnout since 1982 (F*ck yeah!)
-Rumsfeld's resignation - about freaking time
This all makes me feel pretty good, but I have to say there is something about all this that is bothering me:
We've been so caught up in making sure that progressive folks get elected that I'm scared we are blindly equating this to getting dems elected. What won this election? It's been said now that it could be socially conservative Dems running for office and voting. . . and what does socially conservative mean? Forget about civil rights for gay folks. The ban on gay marriage has passed in at least 4 of the eight states where it was on the ballot and it's not looking good for the other states. In some cases this included making domestic partnerships illegal and voiding the potential for LGBTQ people in partnerships to have the any of the benefits hetero married folks get. CNN talked about how people turned out to vote for the marriage bans and then voted democrat signaling a marked movement towards social conservatism in the Democratic Party. . . and I'm thinking, isn't that what being a Republican was before it got all praise Jesusy in the last 10 years? And then there is Arizona and the anti-immigrant shit. Ridiculous!
I know we've got to be thankful for what we've got
-a potential end to a dead end and illegal war
-a staving off of the anti-choice zealots in some places
-consensus that george bush really does suck ass
-and more and more engaged young people
These are all really good things. But I just want to throw it out there that we've got to stay on our toes here as progressives and not sell out the movement. Short term political ends cannot replace a shared value that everyone deserves equal rights. Period.