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Monday, January 2, 2017

Looking forward.

Not sure it does much help to riff off Paine's "These are the times which try men's souls," but that is the state I feel I am in. A XKCD offers a little bit of consolation, but obviously I wish we didn't need any consolation.

We are going to be in for some rough times. Putting aside for a moment the behavior of the President Elect and his repellent cabinet choices -- and I do not do that blithely -- there are something like a hundred federal judicial positions which are open. You could be in the position where you look for silver linings in the behavior of former judges who didn't play to "type" (for instance, a judge nominated by a Republican president stood in the way of GOP efforts to block Terry Schaivo's husband's effort to end her life support -- so maybe it won't be that bad. But at the same time I've been reading Jane Mayer's "Dark Money," and the conservative foundations have been doing what they can to indoctrinate the up-and-comers with seminars at pricey resorts (a morning of exposure, shall we say, followed by great golf they couldn't afford otherwise).

We have some choices to make. Really only one, actually, so far as I can tell. The choice is how to respond. We can cower and give up (this is also called "acquiesce," or tip your hat that they won [they didn't, they won in the Electoral College, which matters for the WH, but doesn't really express popular sentiment], say "elections have consequences," and treat what happens as their due. Or, we can look for ways to actively fight back, to not let everything in the forest burn. Obamacare could well be toast, but then again it might not: "repeal" is the easy part, "replace" will be far more difficult. The GOP may not hold Town Halls like the ones which provided all the stirring visuals in 2009 of that woman whining "I want my country ba-ack," but that doesn't mean there are no other ways to be visual.

Do you remember Zuccotti Park? A bunch of people, angered over economic inequality, coalesced and took it over, to argue about the disparity. It was called "Occupy Wall Street." CNN's Erin Burnett quickly dismissed it on her show (mocked it, actually). Remember? It grew into a huge movement, and it changed the dialog. Conservatives like NRO's Jonah Goldberg tried to put it away by talking about Occupy My Couch, but ultimately this was a display of how little they understood.

There was also this little frolic called "Black Lives Matter." It riveted America, and made it aware of the differences in how people of color are treated in this country. And The New Jim Crow sold plenty of copies.

And there was this liberal senator from Vermont who challenged Clinton from the left, and actually got her to adopt more liberal positions as her campaign progressed.

All of these efforts and movements, while they didn't deliver the White House, garnered attention and shifted public opinion. They need to continue. They need to continue being public. You need to participate.

I'm now going to provide you with the lyrics to my favorite song for the last 40 years, Todd Rundgren's "Just One Victory," from his 1973 album "A Wizard / A True Star." I think the copyright is 1973, Earmark Music. You cannot understand me without knowing how I feel about this song.

We've been waiting, we've been waiting so long.
We've been waiting, we've been waiting so long.
We've been waiting for the sun to rise and shine,
Shining still, to show us the way.

Can you hear me, the sound of my voice
I am here to tell you I have made my choice.
I've been listening to what's been going down
There's just too much talk and gossip going 'round.

You may think that I'm a fool, but I know the answer
Words become a tool, anyone can use them
Take the golden rule, as the best example
Eyes that have seen will know what I mean

The time has come to take the bull by the horns
We've been so downhearted, we've been so forlorn
We get weak and we want to give in
But we still need each other if we want to win.

(Against that there is a repeating cheerleader chorus, in counterpoint):
Hold that line, baby hold that line
Get up, boys, and hit 'em one more time
We may be losing now but we can't stop tryin'
So hold that line, baby, hold that line.

If you don't know what to do about a world of trouble
You can pull it through if you need to and if
You believe it's true, it will surely happen
Shining still, to give us the will
Bright as the day, to show us the way

Somehow, someday
We need just one victory and we're on our way
Prayin' for it all day and fightin' for it all night
Give us just one victory, it will be all right.

We may feel about to fall but we go down fighting
You will hear the call if you only listen
Underneath it all we are here together shining still, to show us the way.

Somehow, someday section repeats, along with the cheerleader chorus in background.

Volition, backbone, perseverence. These will all help. Given the SCOTUS appointees which are likely to happen, and all the judgeships, this is truly a time to think of our children and grandchildren.

Home | 9:17 PM (DISCLOSURE: I work for Abt SRBI. My company does polling. My opinions should not be construed as representing those of my employer.)


 
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