Checking the various new sources to get a feel for current events, I've come away with a weird sense of dread that the victory of 2012 will ultimately mean nothing; not for what was prevented but for what won't be accomplished. Now, I get that if you're a gay couple that's been together for decades, you may disagree(possibly vehemently). Or if you are a woman who was worried about your uterus being under the jurisdiction of Health and Human Services Secretary Rick Santorum, you may no longer feel it necessary to read this diary. Nonetheless, I can't shake the feeling that the cake has already been baked and anything else will be frosting and sprinkles.
More below the orange pastry...
I don't write this diary to minimize the gains that have been made for our fellow citizens in the LGBT community. I actually have been amazed at the pace of change in our country's attitude toward marriage equality, DADT, etc.
I don't write this diary ignoring the fact that progress in the arena of women's rights was very much under attack during this election in a way not seen in quite awhile. Being married to a very intelligent, strong progressive woman would not allow me that mistake.
I do, however, worry about the fact that those of us on the progressive side who care most passionately about economic fairness see a troubling pattern. It seems that every time we see a news headline about some progress on social issues, it almost always seems to be accompanied by some corporate power-grab/assault on working and middle class people.
Sure, Big Pharma pulled its funding from the Boy Scouts over it's discriminatory membership policies; but didn't they also aggressively lobby against provisions in the Affordable Care Act allowing the federal government to negotiate for lower drug prices, including ones manufactured in Canada? Of course, we'll all write diaries and applaud them for their social stance but does it matter as much if a gay Eagle Scout can take his troop on a camping trip if some of the scouts can't pay their membership dues because their parents can barely afford their grandmothers' medications?
While much has been discussed in recent days about how the myth of America being a center-right country has been exposed on November 6th with not only the re-election of Barack H. Obama, but also with the legalization of same-sex marriage in some states and the legalization of marijuana in others(or, in Washington's case, both), we're also seeing yet another assault on workers' rights by a Republican state government in the midwest.
Are we headed toward becoming a nation that is a socially egalitarian, economic aristocracy? I know that sounds alarmist (and more than a little contradictory) but the pattern, you must admit, is starting to get more and more obvious. As long as the progress doesn't affect the 1% monetarily, we can get a few wins. Consider how some of the most influential plutocrats on Wall Street were instrumental in the passing of marriage equality in the state of New York. Consider the fact that we as progressives are forced defend a health care law that greatly benefits the insurance companies and was almost completely modeled after an idea born from an organization which will be led by Jim DeMint. It's like living in Bizzaro world.
Look at the current fiscal
cliff curb crap negotiations and how they're being conducted and covered. It'd be interesting to see a word cloud. My guess would be the words 'jobs' and 'unemployment' are very tiny while the words 'eligibility age' and 'Medicare' aren't. It's almost as if Rmoney wasn't the one who got 47%.
It's starting to feel that elections only have consequences for the poor and working class, no matter the results. Feel free to disabuse me of my notions. The floor is yours...