To the “working people” in America: 2

I can not, even for a moment, understand why you’d even consider voting for Romney in November.

OK, maybe you’re a racist.  It happens, and we do know the Republicans are far better at catering to racists than are the Democrats.  It wasn’t always that way, to be sure, though since the Strom Thurmond “Dixiecrat” days, that’s how it is, and in presidential politics, it goes back to Nixon’s “Southern Strategy”, Reagan opening his campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi, and Lee Atwater’s openly racist Willie Horton appeals on behalf of Bush the Elder, also, notably, the father of the single worst president in US history.  I can see why it appeals to you then, repellent as the ideology may be to most people.

Or maybe you’re an anti-gay bigot.  We’re fighting, then, because I have gay family members and I do take that sort of thing personally.  Again, they’re far more inclined to pander to that particular prejudice, so I understand.  Go forth and hate, secure in the knowledge that you’re a dying breed, and you’ll soon be irrelevant.

Maybe you’re mad at women and don’t want them to have health care because to you that says “abortion” and you just know that’s bad.  Think about this: Can any woman you ask (and you’d better, if this is your reason) honestly claim that to be a casual decision?  It’s likely the very last, worst option, and for all that, one that can’t be precluded just because you don’t like it.  You’re not going to have the kid, you don’t get to make the call.  And what is it with hating women’s health care anyway?  Didn’t you have a mother?  Do you have a wife, a sister, a daughter?  Won’t their lives be drastically better if their concerns are seen to?

Or you don’t like that nasty “Obamacare” thing.  How dare they try to give health care to all Americans, no matter who?  Try this once: Substitute a Canadian area code for yours, call the number, and ask them if they’d like to give up national health and pay our exorbitant American rates, just to be denied coverage by a private insurer when they need it.  (When they stop laughing, I’m sure they’ll have a bit of advice for you on that one.)

Maybe somehow, you’ve bought into the Grover Norquistian anti-tax nonsense.  Ask yourself this, then: If we’re in debt (and we are) then we have to pay it off, don’t we?  If you’re in personal debt, do you think decreasing your income is a worthwhile option?  Would any corporate CEO ever survive claiming that because times were hard, they had to reduce their revenues?  If those make sense to you, go right ahead.  Understand this, though, as you do.  Government spending on things like roads, bridges, education, and the like is not waste.  It is an investment, in the future for all of us, including the businesses you patronize and work for.  They benefit by it, they know it, some of them just hope you don’t realize it.  And the money made, and then spent, by those working on these things generates further ecnonomic activity, which helps all of us.  Economists call that a “multiplier” and it’s real.

Or you hate unions.  Lord knows, they’re evil – looking out for the concerns of working people just like you, bleeding and dying to get you weekends and overtime.  Maybe they’re not getting paid too much, maybe you’re not being paid enough.  Want help with that?  Romney’d just as soon outsource your job to China and laugh at you as you are marched out the front door.  That’s what he and his other vulture capitalists do.  They get richer out of throwing you out of work so some guy in China or Indonesia can do your job for a dollar a day.

If, after all this, you’re still thinking of voting for Romney, just do this instead.  Glue feathers all over yourself, get a beak and glue it to your face, and vote for Colonel Sanders.  It makes just as much sense.

A Gentle Reminder to “Progressive” Democrats 2

We have an election coming up this November.

President Obama is seeking a second term, every Representative and one-third of the Senate is up for election, and there are many state campaigns being waged as well.

Now that the basic facts are out of the way, here’s the reminder: Grow up.

This contest is not between President Obama and some abstract concept of perfection in the Oval Office.  It’s between President Obama and a shape-shifting, job-killing, pathological liar named Willard Romney.

Now is not the time for whining about how you didn’t get everything you wanted in January 2009.  Neither did I.  The difference is, I didn’t expect it.

Now is not the time for sitting on your hands to “teach President Obama a lesson” like you did in 2010.

How’d that work out?

Want to ask the folks in Wisconsin about that one?  Michigan, maybe?  Florida, where noted healthcare fraudster turned Governor Rick Scott’s voter suppression efforts have only just been sidetracked by a Federal judge?

We’re on the mend, to the extent that we can get anything at all through the single most obstructionist Congress in living memory.  Sit this one out and you’ll create a monster – a Congress (and possibly Senate) giving Willard Romney everything he wants.  And all he wants, to quote Southside Johnny, is everything.  Everything of yours, that is.  Your job.  Your house.  Your car, what’s left of your pension plan, maybe even your dog, to strap to the roof of Air Force One.

That can’t happen.  America can’t survive that.

Occupy tells us nothing can be fixed.  Everything’s too corrupt to be remedied, they say.

Really?  And sitting in a park or plaza banging on a drum will fix that how, exactly?  Waving signs and chanting solves what problems?  Having no leader or defined goals doesn’t mean you’re a new kind of movement, it just means you’re a crowd milling around wondering what to do next.

Here’s a hint: Vote.  If you’re not registered, register.  If you are, go help someone else get registered.  The regulations are more onerous now, thanks to 2010’s tantrums, but it still can be done.

Here’s why: No movement that accomplished its goals was ever leaderless, and no movement that accomplished its goals ever secured them in the streets and parks.  Not civil rights, not gay rights, not at all.  They secured them in courtrooms and legislative chambers, and that’s where these battles will be won or lost.  It takes time, it’s frustrating, it’s not instant gratification.

It’s still worth doing.

I’ve sat across a table from a very good attorney who’s secured the freedom of people confined in Guantanamo.  Can fauxgressive/Cato libertarian Glenn Greenwald, for all his bleats of concern for civil liberties, claim even one?  Of course not – he’s a clicktivist only, preferring to sit back in comfort in Brazil and pen his screeds from a distance where he doesn’t even have any real skin in the game.

Don’t be that guy.

Don’t be a do-nothing whiner.

Don’t be a clicktivist.

Call people, work to make things better, even if it’s not as fast as you like, and get votes out in November, we need Congress back and we need President Obama back in Washington.