Skip to main content

I had been ranting for years before I signed up at Daily Kos. As my outrage grew at President George W. Bush and his administration's actions during his first term, I transformed from a quiet, studious, politically inactive person into someone who ranted. A lot. So I paid close attention for the first time ever during the 2004 presidential election campaign. And for the first time ever, I went to hear a presidential candidate, Senator Kerry, when he delivered a speech in Houston on Earth Day. For the first time ever, I bought and wore t-shirts and buttons for a presidential campaign and put a bumper sticker on my car. I was a huge supporter (it's okay--go ahead and laugh at me now).

What I read and heard in the mainstream media infuriated me as I recognized they were protecting their buddy in the White House and enabling the swiftboating of John Kerry. Every evening leading up to the 2004 election, I sat on my couch and monitored the news coverage, yelling at the television and launching throw pillows whenever someone made me really mad. For the first time ever, I sat down at my desk, with my cranky old desktop computer and dial-up connection, and wrote and sent emails calling out the tv news media for their biased coverage.

For the first time ever, I sat up to watch the election returns, having somehow deluded myself into believing that the American people wouldn't send that dangerously incompetent man back to the White House. Suffice it to say, I was stunned that it was even close and ultimately blamed the media for the outcome.

A few days after the election, President Bush then had the audacity to claim a mandate and went on to boast that he had earned political capital and planned to spend it. I thought my head was going to explode. Much to the dismay of my family and friends, I spent the next few years much as I had spent 2004. Ranting. Monitoring the mainstream media. Throwing things. Sending emails.

Fast-forward to the 2008 Democratic primaries. I watched the Democratic debates and eventually decided to support Senator Barack Obama's candidacy. I bought campaign t-shirts, buttons, and bumper stickers. I was an enthusiastic supporter who was planning to vote for the first time ever in a Democratic primary election.

For the first time ever, I donated to a political campaign. I also subscribed to OFA's email list and learned of the Texas Two-step's existence. So, for the first time ever, I attended our precinct caucus and was elected as an Obama delegate to our Senate District Convention, where the Obama delegates in our precinct took advantage of our chair's OFA training and managed to elect her as our precinct delegate despite being outnumbered by Clinton delegates in our caucus. See, even though Hillary Clinton had won the Texas primary, OFA had taught us how to win our caucuses, so Obama ended up with a greater number of delegates from Texas.

When Barack Obama accepted his party's nomination at the Democratic National Convention, I was so proud to have played a small role. Then John McCain announced his selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate, and I was shocked and angered by such a breathtakingly cynical ploy for women's votes. After Hurricane Ike struck Galveston and the Houston area that September, though, I had to devote most of my time and energy to my job when I returned to work 2 1/2 weeks later. So I donated a few more dollars and continued my previous pattern of yelling and throwing things, especially when the media covered Palin's remarks.

I anxiously watched the returns on election night and was elated when the media called the election for Barack Obama. Between that night and his inauguration, though, I saw the huge mess that President Bush and the Republicans were leaving, and knew that the early years of Obama's presidency would be spent cleaning that up.

Fast-forward to the disastrous 2010 elections. In Texas, the GOP maintained control of all statewide offices and ended up with a super-majority in the Texas House of Representatives, where they proceeded with one of their favorite hobbies here: gerrymandering. And what had I done in the time leading up to the 2010 election to elect Democrats? Practically nothing, even though I supported Mayor Bill White's campaign to unseat Governor Rick Perry. See, I was back to my old habits of mind, thinking that Texans wouldn't be dumb enough to re-elect Perry, even though the media had allowed him to get away with not debating White. Plus, no one had contacted me, and I didn't have confidence in my ability to help rather than to just waste organizers' and other volunteers' time.

In the following months, I finally began to focus on what I could do rather than on what others could or should be doing. My efforts to reform the tv news media had had no perceptible impact, so I decided there was no point in continuing to focus my attention on what they were doing. But I didn't know how to be an effective political activist, so I began to focus more attention on Daily Kos. During July 2011, I finally signed up here and planned to continue ranting among like-minded people. Eventually, though, I ended up posting my first diary during last December's impromptu gift subscription drive and found a community full of warm and wonderful people.

So here I am today, asking readers to consider spending $40 for a 1-year subscription for themselves, or to give a subscription to one of the kossacks in the list below, or to donate to the site. I'm doing this because I want to thank Daily Kos for everything this community has empowered me to do.

See, I came here to rant, but I've stayed because of the politics and the community. I've stayed because I went to Netroots Nation for the first time this year and learned so much. I've stayed because of series such as Black Kos, The Inoculation Project, Election Diary Rescue, and Obama Nightly News. I've stayed because I want to continue running New Diarists to help empower others on the left to be heard. And I've stayed because navajo is now helping us to find and organize kossacks in Texas.  

Gift Subscription/Donor List

 1. ✓lpggirl  given by boadicea
 2. ✓scarletraven given by boadicea
 3. ✓Fishgrease given by Raina? where4art?
 4. ✓stevie avebury given by boadicea
 5. ✓scamperdo
 6. ✓secret38b given by boadicea
 7. ✓Texdude50 given by Wendella and Steveningen for a second year?
 8. ✓BoiseBlue given by eeff
 9. ✓Homer177 given by SoCaliana
10. ✓Kaos given by Lorikeet
11. ✓empty vessel given by blue jersey mom
12. ✓Ole Texan given by politik
13. ✓Annalize5 given by joanbrooker
14. ✓luckydog given by Shockwave
15. ✓pale cold Thank you diary
16. ✓suesue
17. ✓northerntier
18. ✓LilithGardener
19. ✓blue91 given by m00finsan
20. ✓Senor Unoball given by paradise50
21. ✓Sand Hill Crane
22. ✓gabriella given by smileycreek
23. ✓KentuckyKat
24. ✓entrelac
25. ✓teknohed given by Glen The Plumber
26. ✓kbman Thank you diary
27. ✓Bob Love
28. ✓misterwade given by mergenow
29.  von Dutch
30. ✓smiley7 given by 3goldens
31. ✓MajorKong given by SoCaliana
32. ✓InsultComicDog given by RenaRF
33. ✓OIL  GUY given by zenbassoon
34. ✓CherrytheTart given by zenbassoon
35. ✓ncheyenne given by TomP and Effervescent
36. ✓FloridaSNMOM given by joanbrooker
37. ✓Thomasina given by side pocket
38. ✓dadadata
39. ✓eXtina given by Steveningen
40. ✓gritsngumbo given by maggiejean
41. ✓grannycarol given by proud mom and grandma
42. ✓jillS
43.  Nebraska68847Dem
44. ✓Majordomo
45. ✓Yo Bubba
46.  chandu
47. ✓dweb8231
48. ✓imonlylurking
49. ✓chancew Thank you diary
50.  timmyc
51. ✓mconvente Thank you diary
52.  ThirstyGator
53.  BigOkie
54. ✓GreenMountainBoy02 given by northerntier
55. ✓mattc129
56. ✓trebligoniqua
57.  marzook
58.  Railfan
59. ✓doraphasia
60. ✓cosette
61.  Grizzard
62.  john07801
63.  mali muso
64.  gypsytoo
65.  sboucher
66.  liz dexic

Subscribe    •    Gift a Subscription    •    Donate

Update: One of the benefits for subscribers is the ability to download free ebooks. Hunter's The Chronicles of Mitt has just been added!

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site