Pragmatism Or Powerlessness


Democrats, independents, progressives, people of conscience; we’re in the minority now in a way we haven’t been in recent history – on new terrain never before traversed. We don’t face the type of majority opposition we’ve experienced in the past. Across the aisle might as well be across the abyss with respect to behavioral norms and established conventions. We no longer sit across from an opposition with the moral center progressives have demonstrated when we have been in the majority. We face a congress who never realized any repercussions for bold and even illegal obstruction. This emboldened, oath-breaking display by corruption-happy  actors in citizens employ are not tempered to fairness or compassionate to reason.

The desperation revealed in the past eight years –  racist actions against a president of color has contorted reciprocal honor into mercenary advantage, and Christian Right ethics to reprobation. The use of taxpayer dollars to malign and even destroy opponents. The dismissal of treasonist acts against our nation by citizens to foreign interests, because those acts in this election favored personal and party profit – both politically and financially. The hypocrisy of ethical demands honored by progressives, while conservatives now openly dismiss the very same they insisted receiving from us, and did. All reciprocity in established norms receive conscienceless  disregard for mutuality. Not only arrogantly and maliciously denied, but literally exploited for show, laughing and mocking without shame from their new position of power.

A president and congress Installing in almost every department, executives who disdain the offices under their new purview of leadership, to the degree that some believe their own departments should be abolished. Departments created to preserve human rights, environment, safety and financial ethics, transparency and accountability – eliminated.

A group whose first orders of business were to eliminate ethics oversight, and place the discourse by republican caucus behind closed doors rather than open to media and the public. Essentially, allowing the discussions about the laws American’s all will live under to be secret meetings as they discuss the reasoning for enacting any of our laws.

None of this is new information to anyone reading it. But collectively – this list, and the many other line items you could add to it represent an intent which we cannot combat by votes – and it’s towering. We can’t combat these by pleas of conscience or morality to an unapologetic and truant body of elected ‘private self-servants’ making hay with their temporary but almost sovereign power.

So what will be important – vital – is public voice. Remembering to add our support more broadly when asked. Lean in on issues that aren’t necessarily those we usually champion – perhaps for noble reasons such as staying in our lane when we know more qualified activists speak eloquently enough on those issues affecting them. We need each other now more than ever before. We’ll have to lean in and lend mass to more issues than we have in the past – and ask for that from others because it is the only currency – the only leverage we will have in preserving human and civil rights currently under wholesale attack.

Ask and educate those less familiar with your cause – and be willing to listen and support causes ours may not have felt called to before. The question not being “is this issue mine” but rather, “is my absence its demise?” As MLK said – “we’re all n the same boat now.”

Anyone sinking, is all of us sinking.

We can stay afloat through this – Together