First off, let me just say that this diary is in no way intended to offend anyone of any religious persuasion, and to clog the comments with angry posts would just serve to detract from the point, which is that there are people in Boston who need help.
Since the news of the Boston explosions broke earlier today, I've noticed that social media has been saturated with posts calling for prayers for those affected by the blasts. Not one post about donating blood, or volunteering, or donating to the Boston area Red Cross, nothing but prayers, prayers, prayers. That strikes me not only as a bit self-serving, but more than a little lazy as well.
Here we are, three days past the Presidential election, and I'm still elated in a way I never have been after any political race. I was young enough when G.W. Bush was elected the first time that I was still sheltered under the umbrella of my parents' conservative leanings and didn't have any convictions about who the president was or wasn't. By the Bush-Kerry election, my political beliefs had matured some, but I was still very much torn between the new liberal ideas I was realizing I aligned with more and more, and the conservative beliefs I had been raised with and until then had not questioned. In any case, I was one month too young to vote in that election, and got to watch America drop the proverbial ball from the stands. Obama's election in 2008 was the first Presidential election in which I was allowed to vote, a fact I'm rather proud of and will proclaim loudly for the rest of my life. I was ecstatic when he won--Bush would be out in January, and more of his ilk would not be taking his place in Washington. I think all Democrats were beside themselves with glee that day.
The 2012 election, while accompanied by that same thrill, feels better, deeper somehow. I think it's because the message of change that won it for Obama in 2008 has finally begun to come to fruition. In 2010 Tea Partiers and the GOP played off of America's desire for instant gratification on Obama's campaign promises and overall Democrat indifference to push them into a position of power, a position to stall or thwart Democratic efforts in Congress and wage an all-out war on unions, women's and LGBT's rights, and the underprivileged. On November 6, 2012, thanks largely to the efforts of OFA and GOTV, I saw my fellow Americans push back. Ten of the pollution deregulation "Dirty Dozen" were voted out of office. Tea Partiers lost Congressional seats left and right to Democrats, most of them women. There are still not enough women in Congress, but thanks to this election there will be more than ever before, and that's a huge start.
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The Amendment One result was par for the course for many who expected the South to claim another anti-LGBT victory, but for those of us in ground zero making calls, going door to door, and trying to bolster every shred of funding we possibly could, the result was also devastating. We knew it was a long shot that the Amendment would be voted down, but every single person fighting this was still holding on to the hope that reason might overcome misinformation and hate in our state. To quote Harvey Milk, “Hope will never be silent.” Out of the ashes of this defeat rise some important insights about campaigning for LGBT rights in the South, lessons not just for the minority progressive voters in NC (a minority that is gaining steadily, if a little too slowly, on the religious right), but for all citizens supporting the rights of the LGBT community in the US.
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Every so often in the news, I come across articles about how our uncertain future as a country stems in part from the fact that the new crop of Americans (known as Generation Y or "Millennials") isn't on par with the rest. The terms "lazy," "apathetic," and "materialistic" get thrown around quite a bit. While these adjectives may line up with certain members of our ranks, the rest of us would appreciate it if you wouldn't lump us in with them until you take a closer look at who we are.
A decent chunk of Baby Boomers and older generations seem to view us as ungrateful "adult-children" who aren't capable of or interested in being involved in our government. I'll even admit I've met my fair share of apathetic cretins who would rather let every single life form on this planet perish before pulling themselves away from their iphones and Facebook, but I'd be truly terrified for our future if I thought they constituted the majority of my generation. Among many in their late teens/early twenties, I've seen a new trend emerging from the rubble of media over-saturation and apathy: We are getting downright pissed...continued below the fold.