It's a new day; no
doubt about it.
We're about to turn
back into the United States of America, folks; isn't it exciting?
I think most who
occupy the center of the spectrum, including those who occupy the left and
right of center, will be happy with the Obama Administration, because there is
little doubt that he has the stones, and the ability, to right the ship of
state. It's also likely that we'll make
tremendous progress toward what should be our main goal, and that is to return
the government to the people. Those who occupy space a little farther out to
the right and left might be a little disappointed, however. The right wingers
will be very disappointed, of course,
because their view of the world has little to do with reality. In their world,
the greatest menace imaginable is apparently illegal Mexican gay people coming
over to abort their babies and marry members of the same sex, while getting
"free" medical care. Since I'm pretty sure that almost never happens,
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the above will not be a priority of
the Obama Administration.
Likewise, I expect
to hear a lot of whining coming from the far left, as well. It's quite unlikely
that far left progressives will get everything they want, either, and because
so many of them seem to think it's possible to get everything just because they
want it, there will be a significant amount of whining coming from the far
left, as well.
Here's my advice to
progressives. Never stop working toward what you want. Never apologize for
wanting social justice and complete equality for all people. No one ever won a
Super Bowl while hoping to finish the season with seven wins. All teams start
the season thinking that it's possible to go 16-0. But just as 30 out of 32
teams in the NFL didn't get to the Super Bowl, and only one can win it, we have
to understand that, as progressives, progress sometimes means failing 20 times
before we finally succeed, and accepting the progress we make each time we
understands this, and that's why the overriding theme of his inaugural speech
was, "Grow Up, America."
It's funny. It's
like he was reading my mind the last few weeks. I was thinking almost exactly
that when I listened to the constant whining and hand wringing over Obama's choice of Rick Warren to give
the invocation. Yeah, I get that gays feel offended by the choice, but for
Chrissakes; it was a goddamn prayer.
There shouldn't even BE Christian prayers at such functions, and yet
look at the miles and miles of column and blog space that was taken up with
this "issue." If the inaugural traditionally included a child
sacrifice as part of the ceremony, would we have protested more if he had
chosen one of Pat Robertson's grandchildren to be sacrificed, rather than one
of Angelina Jolie's kids? In other words, to deliver a prayer that is
technically against constitutional principles, he chose a right wing bigot.
Think about that a moment. It's actually more appropriate, under the
replacing a near-demonic corrupt and criminal administration that spent the
last eight years screwing us royally, and this country has some serious
problems. We need to grow up, and stop worrying so much about the little shit.
We have to tackle some really serious issues. Being the father of a son who
recently decided to enter the Army to pay for college, I'm here to tell you;
there are more important issues out there.
And that's what
Obama spoke about yesterday. It's time to grow up, America, and realize that we
can't do any of the things we really want to do, unless and until we right the
ship of state, and put our economic base on a sure footing. President Obama is not a wizard; he won't be
able to conjure up solutions to all of our problems right away. Before he can
do anything, he has to open up the government and air it out, to get rid of the
stench the last administration left.
We're entering a new
era, to be sure. It will be a good era for America, but it will be a long era;
one that will shape our future to a very great extent. But you can't just lurch society into a
completely new mindset because you think it's the right one. The way to move
forward — you know, to make "progress," which is what we're
supposedly all about — is to convince most people that what we want for
society would be best for them.
For too long, the
progressive movement has been dormant. And it's been dormant in part because we
have spent far too much time whining about what hasn't been done, rather than
proactively trying to move things forward. Part of that is because we haven't had
a president who listened to or cared about the people — and yes, I include
Bill Clinton in that group. Now, we have one. Now, we have a president who will
do what's best for the people. Our job, as progressives, is to get behind him
and push, not stand in front of him and yell. If we are going to make social
progress over the next four to eight years, we have to come to accept
incremental stages of progress, and make our case to the average American, in
terms he can readily understand. We have to communicate in hopeful terms, and
stop with the gloom and doom agenda. Hope sells; hopeless gets you right
wingers in office.
We've turned a
corner, as a country, to be sure. People voted for hope this time, and they
voted for some drastic changes to happen. But we have to accept that most of
those changes will have little to nothing to do with those issues that far left
progressives hold near and dear. For that to happen will take some really hard
work with a president who is willing to listen to us, and a public that is far
more preoccupied with the economy and the future of their family, to obsess over whose saying a prayer at the
Speak to the president and the public, not at them. And grow up enough to realize that
not everyone cares about the same things we care about. It's time we retire our seemingly permanent
sense of indignation, and start developing strategies that allow us to work
society toward our goals.
Obama's right; it's
time to act like grown ups.