This morning I was hopeful about politics and society.
Now I'm in tears.
The situation in the world hasn't changed. The only thing that has changed is my belief that I'm the kind of person who can participate in political discourse.
Now I see that I'm not. I'm just a mom. A preschool teacher who believes people should be able to talk about stuff without being rude and hurtful towards each other. We might have to get shitty with supporters of the Texas Taliban and those bastards at C Street, but we don't have to be nasty to each other.
This morning, I could see that all kinds of talents from all kinds of people are necessary if we're going to find the strength and stamina to push back against oppression so entrenched it's been part of human history for over 5,000 years. The tyranny of the wealthy over the rest of us.
I know that there is no real reform until we have a single payer system like the rest of the civilized world, but I believed that the very flawed bill signed into law today was a step in the right direction. Considering that many of the people in that chamber would cheerfully repeal the emancipation proclamation and outlaw birth control if they could get away with it, I thought it was okay to be glad for small victories.
I thought it was helpful for people like me to put off catalog shopping for spring clothes to send money to Actblue. The deal with the J. Jill catalog was that if you spent $80, you would get $20 off the entire purchase, but I chose to contribute to Anthony Weiner, Dennis Kucinich, Alan Grayson and Howard Dean instead. I knew there was less than a snowball's chance in Hell we would get a public option, but I thought I should show my support even after we lost this round. I saw the tired face of John Dingle on the TV the other night and was happy I kicked in a few bucks, sent a couple of emails and even called my congressman for the first time in my life.
In my heart I still believe that, but my heart isn't up to the challenge anymore. I don't care what entertainers on Fox News and Talk Radio say, and I'm not distressed by the appalling antics of teabaggers. It's Facebook Activism that upsets me.
Some people on Facebook feel compelled to piss on fellow progressives in the name of reality - as if we were somehow too blind to notice reality all these years. They can't even hear themselves saying that it is better to live with the status quo than to compromise. Even if that compromise could give a few million folks the opportunity to go the the doctor this winter when they get sick instead of leaving them to suffer or die without health care. These progressive fundamentalists must think it's okay if more people die. So many uninsured people have died already that a few thousand more or less won't make a difference over the next few years. Winning is much more important than a few thousand sick people. Or a few million. I guess we should consider their deaths and suffering honorable and necessary collateral damage in the class war.
Perhaps that is not what Progressive Fundamentalist intend to communicate, but I fail to see how insinuating you know more about everything going on in politics and society than your peers helps make the world a better place. Of course, when you're convinced the world will never, ever change no matter what - then the goal may be to suck everyone else into the vortex of doom with you. Misery loves company, after all.
That's when I try to remember that the individual who I find most distressing in this Facebook Frenzy is an alcoholic who lives in such deep despair he can hardly face the morning. He will not admit that people who are alienated by his comments could have a point. While he freely acknowledges that some people say he is pedantic and arch, he states for the FB record that if anyone is uncomfortable because he refuses to sugar coat the truth, they need to examine their own selves. The truth I see is that he might collect facebook friends who applaud when he vents his spleen, but you don't keep friends in real life when you believe you are the smartest person in the discussion. So much smarter that our thoughts are as worthless as the pile of shit passing for health care reform.
This morning I thought there was a place for The Menopausal Stoners Militia. A small place, but it might have done some good. Maybe, with a little help from my friends, it could have done as much good one day as The Reverend Billy or Billionaires for Wealthcare. Now I know that it was just the silly fantasy of a silly woman.
If participating in political discourse is like arguing with a drunk, then I'll be glad to stay home where I'm just a mom. A mom who was foolish enough for a season to think six inches down a twenty mile road was six inches up the ass of The Establishment. Six inches today, and three inches tomorrow makes a foot. After a time, we might have gotten a whole yard before the inevitable backlash. Maybe we still will. I'll still kick in a few bucks, write a couple of letters and maybe even pick up the phone, but I'm not cut out for discourse with adults. I'll stick with preschoolers.
A mom wrote, "Which Side Are You On," back in the day when coal miners challenged the mine owners. Her name was Florence Reece, and the Mine Owners sent thugs to beat up her husband, a union organizer. They received a tip that thugs were coming to their home, and the husband escaped. The bullies busted up the house in front of Florence and her children. After they left and she cleaned up the mess, she wrote this song. Maybe she wasn't as smart as the bullies on Facebook right now, but she was strong and brave - and I'll bet she was never mean to her friends just so she could face the morning.
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