Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Liberals and progressives are pretty demoralized, based on my informal and sloppy research. It's like an infected boil and needs to be lanced. But I'm not sure how to achieve that.
In fact, we have material for a horror movie: We had an election which took an astonishing feat of getting so many new people to the polls, enormous grass-root work, enormous expenditure of money by those who don't have that much of it, because the alternative was so frightening. We were tied to the seats of a bus driven by a brainless cowboy straight into the Grand Canyon, and we had to find the brake pedal, had to!
Then the high point of the story: Election victory! Or at least a disaster averted! Time to rest, to relax, to do laundry, right? Except that the movie didn't end. The music turned slower, more French and suddenly you weren't quite certain what was being said. Who was the audience now? Why didn't you count as the audience?
And the plot was changed mid-movie. Suddenly the election was a victory for semi-wingnuttery! It was the semi-wingnuts who pounded the pavement and knocked on the doors and spent money on the Democrats' election campaigns.
And we were told to hold hands across the political aisle, while those on the other side keep smashing our outstretched fingers with their made-in-Murka (not) baseball bats, cheerfully continuing Liberal bashing on every television channel. I'm not sure about this administration but that kind of hand-holding used to be called violence or at least dysfunctional behavior.
Then the oil pipe burst and will not stop spewing oil and we are all helpless, waiting to find out what British Petroleum will do to save the world it apparently owns. It sounds almost a metaphor for that demoralized feeling, causing instant mental paralysis and a desire to live under the bed. And even when we are angry we are paralyzed, at most managing a few petty spats with others who agree with us.
The movie I'm sketching out is still less frightening than the alternative (about a wingnut administration). But getting the movie changed cost us a tremendous amount. Yet we appear not to count among the desired market segments for this movie. So we feel blue and paralyzed.