Red Construction Paper
If you had a piece of red construction paper, what would you create? How would you use this paper? I have to ask myself questions like these at “Crafty Happenings” get-togethers, where my friends gather at one of our homes to finally complete personal unfinished or forgotten craft projects.
When I look at red construction paper, I used to imagine cutting out hearts for a collage or using the paper in a scrapbook, in a cozy but cluttered room surrounded by people I love. Unfortunately, my imagination recently expanded to include other possibilities.
Disrespect. Disappointment. Dissatisfaction. Disillusionment. Distrust. Discouragement. Disenfranchisement. So many disses. So many reasons for many of us to be moved to action. And I’ll bet you can think of a slew of moments in the last two years that generated at least one of these feelings. I know I can. Too many to count in fact. And every single one of those outrageous moments was accompanied by an angry image of the man who has hijacked our democracy and the minions who serve him instead of serving our nation and people.
And yet this weekend I had an experience that has pushed all of those moments aside with such a sudden epiphany I was nearly blinded when the light finally went on. I was phone banking for the TDP this weekend and I spoke with a gentleman in El Paso who agreed with our value statements but when I asked if we could count on him to vote for democrats he responded, no way… he’d take a pass on that. I was stunned. But he then he went on to share that in ten years no one had ever asked what his concerns were or what his people needed. Even when he asked Beto’s team to canvass his neighborhood, they didn’t. And so he felt that we cared about his vote but not about him.
Democrats’ greatest strengths are our diversity; our inclusion; and our passion. Together they create a powerful weapon that that can overcome the terrible threats to our very existence as a free and open society. But these are also the qualities that work against us if we are unyielding in those passions and unwilling to find common ground. The democrat upon democrat verbal violence of 2016 cost us dearly. We found our unity in 2018 but it wasn’t always easy and it wasn’t always universal. We must hold together even if that means compromise. Yes, I know that compromise is a dirty word for many activists – but in politics as in life and business it’s often the only path to accomplishment. Without compromise, we fail.
For the Martyred
Last week fifty innocents were killed and another fifty injured in the name of hate and fear. 100 shot as they gathered to worship with no refuge save their faith. 100 men, women and children. I’ve heard people say, we shouldn’t politicize their deaths and I agree – it feels disrespectful to the horror of what’s happened.
And yet, isn’t it also wrong to disregard the fact that fifty were killed by a terrorist who proclaimed our president as the symbol of white identity? How can we ignore the culpability of the man who proclaims Nazis are ‘very fine people’; who touts nationalism as an ideal; who on the very day of sending thoughts and prayers continues his assault on immigrants by declaring a fake invasion as justification for a fake emergency just days after threatening Americans with “his” army and “his” police force should he lose in 2020? How can we ignore the danger around us lead by his words? Isn’t it more disrespectful not only to the fifty martyrs but to all of those in recent years who have fallen in the name of fear and hate?Read more
I sat this month staring at a blank page. This page. The glaring white bouncing back, vibrating in rhythm to the buzzing in my brain so full of thoughts that I struggled to decide what to say to you all this month. What fabulous insight could I provide to inspire you to rise up and rise above? How do I pick from such a numbing excess of reasons to rail and rally?
We could start, I suppose with all of the damage caused by Trump’s $1.2 billion dollar shutdown that still continues to impact contractors who will never recoup their loss pay. That number comes from Politifact who also points out that doesn’t include the lost taxes on the lost revenue; equating to somewhere between $8 million and $15 million for every hour of the shutdown adding another $280 to $525 million to the cost. But the real emergency is at the border right?Read more
This month I yield the page with limited commentary to the words of a young student in an essay I came across recently.
Democracy! It is a strong word “Democracy”, for it gets into the blood. At first it is only a puff of wind and then it becomes a strong gala. It blew through the crooked streets of Boston, through the farmlands of Pennsylvania and through the rolling hills of Virginia. It is tapped out on the drums where men march and drill in secret, “Come all ye sons of liberty, and unite like free born men.” It is like a tide rising and a wind blowing and a drum tapping – tapping out the years that are past and the years to come. Democracy! We will stand for democracy!Read more
Prayers and Condolences
“Prayers and condolences”… an oft used platitude uttered in that moment when one should say more and yet what is there to say? Oh yes… you could say, “No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school.” True enough but then what is being done to ensure their safety? Nothing. Not a thing. Because this isn’t the right time and never is because the economic and political power of the gun lobby carries more weight than the desire to protect our children. Because their real power, the power of their membership, has been wrongly convinced that AR15s are their God given and constitutional right and those rights are more important than the rights of our children to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The propaganda has left the machine even before the bodies are cold.
Voting in primaries are very low compared to voting in the General Election. Many voters do not see a reason to vote because they mainly focus on the Presidential ballot. Since many voters have decided to vote for the nominee of the party, they do not see a reason to vote. There are many benefits to voting in the primary besides choosing between candidates.Read more