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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...

Poll

Is it all worth it?

68%28 votes
17%7 votes
4%2 votes
2%1 votes
7%3 votes

| 41 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  The election was a month ago. (8+ / 0-)

    Change will require many fights over a long time. Pundits speculate, and that's all it is, speculation. The Koch brothers and their ilk have been working on this forever. Every day we hear of another place they've left their mark. So, don't expect rainbows. Just be ready to fight. Despair isn't an option.

  •  The parties must be held accountable for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    libcharisma

    what they do not what they say they will do or you think they will do or hope they will do or imagine they will do or what they might do if there were more of them to do it or if there was a majority in the House or 61 votes in the Senate or if the rest of the party would vote like your Senator..

    We have to vote on outcomes.  

    If they raise the Medicare eligibility age I will vote on that outcome, from the top of the ballot to the bottom of the ballot.  

    They can disappoint me on many things but they cannot betray me by disconnecting the 3rd rail from the reality of the lives people live.  

    I have a line and they will cross it if they do this.

  •  Apathy and self congratulatory stances that (0+ / 0-)

    lend to downplaying the urgency of the fight are liberals biggest enemies. No, wait, strike that ... certain DEMOCRATS are liberals biggest enemies, you know the kind, the ones that claim they believe in the (old fashioned liberal and) Democrat ideals but have no interest whatsoever in bringin the fight to Republicans or conservatives once they are in office. We need to purge those bastards ASAP.

    Send conservatives to FilthyLiberal.com for re-education.

    by filthyLiberalDOTcom on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 01:25:18 PM PST

  •  don't look behind the curtain (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto

    Theoretically elected Democrats would fight hard for the values they campaigned on. Theoretically Democrats would be smart-thinking problem solvers who would say "Social Security and Medicare are not a problem. A bloated military, wars that benefit no one except profiteers and corporate bailouts are the problem. And we're going to raise the highest tax rates to 60% (or choose a number...obviously an increase for 36 to 39.6% is pitiful).

    Theoretically that's what they'd say if they actually were committed to the principles of what we think the Democratic Party stands for.

  •  Change come incrementally (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA, mindara, pswiderski, FG

    Rarely does chance happen overnight and even less often does so successfully. See for comparison: Evolution. Get used to it.

    •  That arc of social justice (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      librarisingnsf

      it curves in the right direction, and you have to have some patience.  In fou years, we have gained much. Healthcare reform, elimination of toture, gas mileage limits beyond belief, a greener grid, the end of a pointless war, and a re-election of a minority president despite all the forces arrayed against him.

      We will get immigration reform, a more balanced budget, more gender equality, and hopefully more action on climate change.

      Patience.

      "It's a Christmas Miracle!" (SNL, 9/15/2012)

      by pswiderski on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 02:57:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We have not already lost. (8+ / 0-)

    Because this isn't the kind of fight that can ever be wholly won or wholly lost.

    We keep working.

  •  Well It's Simple Math That We Can't Legislate a (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pswiderski

    progressive economic agenda. None of us was expecting that unless there was a huge surprise and we retook the House.

    Economically the best we can look forward to is reducing the downward slide of most economic brackets.

    We already are an economic aristocracy, and we are making some progress toward becoming socially egalitarian.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 01:38:44 PM PST

    •  We aren't even trying to legislate a progressive (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rlochow

      agenda. We're trying to stop the Democratic Party from repealing its progressive legacy.  We're trying to stop the Democratic Party from acting like a profligate trust fund brat gambling away its inheritance.  

  •  How do you define economic fairness? Is it equal (0+ / 0-)

    opportunity and access or more.

    "If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost." Winston Churchill

    by Kvetchnrelease on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 01:46:01 PM PST

    •  If your question implies (3+ / 0-)

      that I expect equal outcomes, then that's not the right assumption of what I'm trying to say. It's indisputable that the income gains in this country have been widely unequal, yet our productivity are at record highs. I'm not saying a part-time graphic designer should bring in 7 figures; I do think that work should be rewarded in a country that says work is rewarded. Economic fairness means a living wage and a fair day's pay for a hard day's work; the opportunity to not have to work until death; the opportunity for someone to get a quality education that doesn't shackle them in debt for 20 years after completion. You know, the usual commie pinko stuff.

      •  More must be done to provide quality education at (0+ / 0-)

        the post secondary level WITHOUT the huge debt burden being carried by students today. That is key to fair access and opportunity. I get frustrated with the AARP (my) generation and their selfishness with regards to our youngest generation. I went to a private college and the total cost, tuition, room and board was $4,700. Today that same school costs over $45,000. Asking our children to take on so much debt is not economic fairness and should require some sacrifice from the baby boomers who experienced the greatest economic boom times known to mankind. How many people nowadays expect their homes to double in value over their lifetime, yet boomers experienced triple to sometimes double digit multiples on the value of their home.

        It's time to stop pandering to that generation and our ceaseless whining about Medicare and social security benefits. We can make do with less so our children have more opportunity.

        "If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost." Winston Churchill

        by Kvetchnrelease on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 06:05:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  You're right, & this is what gave birth to Occupy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    libcharisma

    This is why we can't sit back and let politicians, even Democrats, do things their way.  We must stand up and make our demands loud and clear in the streets! That is the only thing that can reverse this trend.

    I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.

    by Futuristic Dreamer on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 01:56:15 PM PST

  •  What really drives me crazy: nuking Medicare by (5+ / 0-)

    ...raising the age of eligibility is not just anti-progressive, not just a heinous assault on the working class to benefit the billionaires, not just shitty economics, not just a moral atrocity....

    what really drives me crazy is that it's really fucking stooopid politically. It's handing Republicans a club they will beat the Democrats with over and over in the next election.

  •  Since only about 20-25% of people support (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kvetchnrelease, rlochow

    progressive positions, it's hard to expect too many victories. Take whatever wins you get and try to get more.

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