Tag Archives: progressive

My Problem Is Not That I Don’t Understand … It’s That I Do

My past three posts have been about the areas that went overwhelmingly for Donald Trump in this past election, and why they’re going to be disappointed, to put it mildly.  Those aren’t the only places like that, and most of them are going to suffer the same disappointment, along with those who are suddenly finding out that the Republicans and Donald Trump meant what they said about repealing or “reforming” various programs and taking certain actions.  Although my nasty side is looking forward to it, at the same time my better side is worried about it.  You see, I live in a place like those.  Very rural, clannish, virtually entirely white, and yes, things have been declining for years.  It’s a place that went 2-1 for Trump, and during the campaign I heard all the reasons and justifications for it.   Most of which were the result of cherry-picking statements, hearing what they believed, and a healthy dose of denial.

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Protests Are Good … But Not Enough

Saturday, there were a number of protest marches being conducted around the country and the world, with the largest one in Washington DC.    They were marching about women’s rights and civil rights, and against the threat being posed to them by the Trump presidency and the Republican Congress.  It’s a very real threat they were marching against, because a great many rights that have up until now been taken for granted are no longer safe.

Every Republican-held state has been busily passing laws to remove funding from Planned Parenthood clinics, and close abortion clinics.  Every one of them has been passing laws that do their level best to remove or drastically reduce things like “equal pay,” maternity leave,  and a host of other protections that women enjoy.

The marches are a start, but they are only a start.

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Young People Have It Backwards

Over much of this primary season, if there’s one constant I’ve seen from various self-identified young people (under 30), it’s that the Democratic Party needs to reach out to them, to do what they want before they’ll consider voting for Democrats.  There usually follows a laundry list of demands, along with saying that the party should select candidates who would “excite the base,” or more properly, excite them.  They even have reasons why the party isn’t doing that, things like “corporate control,” “the Establishment,” and of course the ever popular “Blue Dogs.”   The reality why the party isn’t reaching out them is what they don’t realize or want to admit:  They have it backwards.

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Membership Has Its Privileges

Over the course of my life, I’ve belonged to many organizations, and held offices in a number of them.  When I was 15, I was elected to the board of directors for my church (no, I didn’t seek it), and at 16 I was a delegate to the state convention.  I’ve been on committees, boards, and even President of hobby clubs, professional organizations, and social groups.  I’ve been “just a member” of many of them, and happy to do just that.  But the one thing they all had in common was that you had to be a member to have any say in what the organization did, and who they elected.   It’s a simple concept, and one that apparently is lost on a number of people these days.

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Letting The Perfect Be The Enemy Of The Good

Back in my military days, we used to have a saying which drove the perfectionists nuts: “Close enough for government work.”  What that meant was that whatever the project we were working on was completed, and while it may not have been pretty, it was not worth spending the time and effort at the moment getting to perfection.  That doesn’t mean that there weren’t things that had to be exact, but for those things where exactitude wasn’t important, it wasn’t the best use of time getting there.  I’ve said here in the past it’s experiences like that, that made me a pragmatist.   In politics, it turns out to be much the same thing.  The idealists have a “perfect.”  Depending on what issue you’re talking about, they have an ideal solution for it, and they want it implemented.  The problem?  If they don’t get it, or it isn’t on the current agenda, they walk away.

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