Alcoholics living the 12 steps face the fact that there are things they can't change. We progressives must face the fact that there are things the Democratic congress WON'T change. We're going to have to do it some other way.
Our faith in America's resilience is certainly being tested and has been since Bush took office. The extreme actions, policies and strategies Bush has been taking-- abusing executive privilege, the signing statements, along with the support of the judges he appointed without senate confirmation suggest that faith in the constitution is not enough. We must fight to protect it, because the congress-- our elected officials are failing to do so.
Another reason the USA is in such deep doo doo, at such great risk of losing so much, is because the media we have depended upon to play an essential role in the protection of our democracy have failed us. They have, as they've morphed from mainstream media to megacorporation controlled lamestream media, betrayed the people and the nation who provide them with their license to operate on the airways.
It has become clear, since the November '06 elections and the resultant unable and unwilling to get anything done congress-- that it is not enough to just sit back and depend upon elected legislators to fix the problems, to fight the fights that must be fought.
WE must build the organizational structures.
WE must recruit the warriors who take on the corporations and the weak, election money blinded and impaired members of congress who are doing nothing or getting in the way of getting done what must be done to rescue America.
I am not, at least not at this time, talking about violence, armed revolution or even breaking any laws. I AM talking about getting much tougher working within the law-- using all the tools that activists and revolutionaries throughout the world have already used. We do need to support the leaders we already do have who have been willing to engage in acts of civil disobedience for the sake of our freedoms. We need to build funds for bailing them out and defending them.
The challenge, when the fight is ramped up to the next level, is leaders will be at greater risk for being attacked and picked off-- probably by many-- the power holders on the right, the weak lefties, like the DLC, the Democrat supporters who don't get it that the Democrats are also part of the problem, as long as money plays as big a role as it does in elections.
We need to learn from people who have gone all the way to full revolution and beyond, to successful change in government. Again, I'm not advocating for revolution, but that we learn about all the tools and learn about what to do when your political group wins. Currently, if we on the left did "WIN" and take back America, we'd probably lose it, almost immediately, to the centrist lefties who watched we on the further left who did the heavy lifting. We'd lose it to them because we don't have well laid out, formulated and expressed plans for what to DO when we win. It is essential that if progressives are going to ever take back America-- from the right wingers- republican and democrat alike-- we must have a lot more intellectual, visionary infrastructure already built and in place-- leaders and thinkers who are envisioning what a Renaissance constitutional America will look like and how it will operate, what changes will be made-- beyond getting rid of the bad guys and revoking and reversing the worst of the rules they've put into place or suspended.
That can start NOW. It can be a people/grassroots initiated process. YOU can start. Instead of writing about what's wrong with America TODAY, with all your heart, in all your articles, you can put a half or a third or quarter of your energy into writing about your visions of what the next phase of a free, just, democratic America looks like. You can write about what it looks like at a national, international or local level. You can write about the media, about elections, about the environment, about the workplace, about rights, about research... anything. Become a futurist for democracy and the constitution. Become a warrior for the future of peace and freedom. Forget about just depending upon our legislators. Ultimately, we may be able to persuade them, but if we don't do it first, now, and if we don't get tough and determined, strong and dedicated and courageous about it, like our children's futures depend upon it, IT won't happen.
I must confess that I wrote this after writing a review of Giocondo Belli's autobiography. Read the review, then read her book.