Tears of Politics

Embers

Embers

Shed no tears because it has been an unfair fight between the moneyed class and the rest of us.

I hear laments about lack of organization, policy and management within the Democratic party and shake my head.

Neither “organization” nor “policy” nor “management” reflect an answer to the question why Republicans were so successful against Democrats in 2010 and afterward.

I hear about “wings” in the Democratic party: progressive, establishment, left, moderate and neoliberal. I don’t know about you, but I came to the Democratic party and stayed because of the big tent it continues to represent.

After the Jan. 21, 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United, a few very rich people took advantage of the political climate and used vast amounts of money to organize a political staff that would work toward effecting long held policies. Rich people declared war on the rest of us and appear to be winning.

Key Democrats, including the Obama White House, were caught off guard by the rising influence of dark money, had no viable response, and suffered the November 2010 defeats with which we are familiar: lost majority in House of Representatives, lost half dozen U.S. Senate seats, and Republicans gained control of legislatures and governorships in about two dozen states.

Moneyed interests have been fighting progressive reforms for a hundred years. They didn’t like Roosevelt (Teddy or Franklin) and in my opinion the current times have parallels with the Harding-Coolidge-Hoover era when moneyed interests last governed. It didn’t turn out well then nor do I believe it will now.

Today’s trouble is while people are becoming politically active — more now than when it would have mattered last year — there has been no sustainable response to the advent of dark money in politics. That is the progressive problem wanting an answer.

My ancestors and I have never been moneyed. Privileged by our Midwestern farm, coal mining and manufacturing roots, occasionally we had windfalls and were flush with cash — only for a while. More often, living paycheck to paycheck has been our stock in trade.

Hardened by the shit storm politics has been, many, including me, accept it and work toward remediation as we can. My people know disappointment and how to go on living. I don’t cry much, nor should any of us who believe we can do better.

As the current administration destroys our work, it’s hard not to wonder if any trace will be left when they are done. The taste of salty tears awakens us to a life we knew and believe we can know again. It is no longer our time.

With purposeful work it could be again.

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