I started this blog as a result of wanting to retort to my wonderful conservative aunt's posts (which she sends to me every once in a while). I was (and still am) relieved over the mid term congressional elections. While I do not live under the illusion that the Democrats have the solution for everything (they have they're substantial work cut out for them), I do see this election as a turning point for the nation. No longer do the conservatives in office or the conservatives in the media (more often the most vocal yet rarely do they make sense) have this illusory mandate or monopolization of the "marketplace of ideas". In other words, the terms and subject of the debate have shifted and their yelling the loudest has lost currency. I got to thinking about things and why the Republicans got so trounced and I also realized that they lost their moral currency as well. The recent upsurge in people of faith or people who are religious within the ranks of progressive movements and among the ranks of social justice and environmental movements has swelled this last couple years and so I thought, what a better way to turn things on their head and own it: The Religious Left Ascendent!
Yet, what does the term "Religious Left" really mean? Does it mean we are bent on converting every last person to our way of thinking and believing? No. Does it mean we are just as intent on manipulating elections for our own power? No. Does it mean we want to make politicians kiss our ass? Kind of. Yet in a different way. It means that we are interested in reintroducing a spirituality, ethics, and common sense back into the political dialogue. It is based on what we perceive to be truly spiritual approach over religious dogma and corruption, over the hypocritical, disgusting political tricksterism of people like Tom DeLay and his minions, and over judgemental viewpoints on such issues as homosexuality and abortion, all of which have been the modus operandi of the Religious Right. In other words, we hold the seperation of Church and State to be Sacred! It means that all people of faith or not of faith are welcome under the tent of the Democrats (and the Greens, for that matter, whom I suport on the local level) and that is in itself a power and a strength with which we will proselytize. It means that mainstream churches no longer have to remain silent while imbeciles like James Dobson hold court with every "conservative" politician as though they were visiting the Pope and pass judgement over others for their sexual orientation or objection to misguided foreign policy! It means that there is a renewed sense of hope, faith, and patriotism and a calling to everyone to get out of their complacency and become active if they wish the world to be a better place. It is also a bit of a play on words or pun in that there is no real Religious Left, there are people of faith and people who are simply good and moral who can feel included in the democratic process and within the Democratic Party or other parties who may oppose the corrupt cronyism and plutocracy which is the real core of the Republican power-hungry machine. Unelected zealots like Dobson or crafty win-at-all costs tactics of Karl Rove no longer have as much credence and that is real political capital. Draft dodgers who utilize the tactics of Rove and Dobson to "win" elections are going to be soon a thing of the past as well.
And this is our only "jihad": We will no longer tolerate questions to our patriotism, our love for the United States of America and we will equally no longer tolerate equating a multilateral, diplomatic approach to foreign policy as Unamerican, as much as we will no longer tolerate equating the desire for sensible and effective public policy as tax-loving or simplistically in favor of big government (where did that Clinton budget surplus go?). If someone were to come up to you, say, in the grocery store, and question your patriotism and call you a terrorist-lover because you were a Democrat or a progressive, even though you might be a peaceful person, wouldn't you just sock them? I would. These jerks on the radio, these jerks like Hannity on TV- wouldn't you just belt someone like that if they had the gaul to question your patriotism in real life? That's the feeling a lot of us have been feeling over the past six years. Well, guess what? The times they are a changing and we're not gonna take it anymore. But, guess what else? Democrats and progressives, by and large, are not vindictive, nor are we violent, so most, if not all, are ready to move on and start addressing some of these seemingly intractable problems which 6 years of corrupt one-party rule and dogma have wrought. We honestly, truly want to make the world a better place, starting with the country we live in and love so much. Republicans and anyone else are more than welcome to join in and help!
I posted this on tribe.net the early am after the election:
I can't say I was very much in tune with the elections around California. I consider myself a Red State Refugee and keep my vote where it counts back in CO.
I have to say, though, that I am THRILLED that Jerry McNerney just defeated that squalid little excuse of a rancher, Richard "Pave the Forests...Pave it ALL" Pombo. Almost as thrilled as the little congressional enema we've just had- as of this hour it looks like our single party system is about to get back to the checks & balances mode: from here it looks like the GOP is about to lose both the House and the Senate. Hallefuckingleuiah. I wish Hunter S. Thompson were alive to relish in this, the political junkie he was. I could go on and quote some of Al Franken's account of this last group of fetid stench that refer to themselves as "conservatives" in the 109th Congress, yet I want to focus on the positive.
When I clicked on his profile on CNN's website, I was even more impressed with McNerney's background and what he could do for his district, the state, and the country.
"Jerry McNerney was born in Albuquerque, N.M., [hey! another Rocky Mountain kid!] and lives in Pleasanton. He is a wind engineer who heads a company that manufactures wind turbines for energy. Jerry McNerney, a long-shot candidate who wasn't the Democratic Party's first choice, is trying unseat a seven-term Republican in a solidly conservative district.
McNerney supports staged withdrawal of troops from Iraq and has promised to introduce ethics reform legislation, including completely banning gifts and travel paid for by lobbyists. He has sought to highlight ethics questions that have dogged incumbent Rep. Richard Pombo.
McNerney said he entered the race at his son's urging. Michael McNerney signed up for an Air Force commission after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.
Jerry McNerney, a wind engineer, has introduced an energy plan that calls for increasing fuel efficiency in new vehicles, more incentives for developing renewable energy resources and creating more public transportation.
McNerney also called for a plan to provide affordable health care for everyone and proposed expanding Medicare to cover children under five."
Pombo raised and outspent McNerney by almost 3-1. Gotta feel a little better about the world today.