Nina Simone covering a rather well know Bob Dylan song:
Yes folks. The times ARE changing. Marriage equality. Our first black President. Global warming.
This is NOT the world I was born into and mostly that is good. But it can go horribly wrong.
When I was born mixed race (let alone same sex) couples were ostracized. Recycling was abnormal. And every election I was told "we aren't ready for a [black/woman/hispanic/Jewish/Martian] President." And I was told we wouldn't be ready for a non-white male Christian President in my lifetime.
Folks, things have changed. And our kids are even more on the right track than we have been:
But along with these good changes, where suddenly mixed race couples and same sex couples are mainstream, we also have global warming threatening everything we have worked for.
Folks, we are the forward looking activists and we can't let the progress we have made since I was born get screwed up.
We have to fight. Come join me below.
My first point is that progress that once seemed unimaginable (e.g. a black President!) can come true far more easily than anyone thought. So let's stop thinking progress is impossible. Progress is just waiting for you and me to push for it.
My second point is that all progress we have made can be thrown into a new Dark Ages by climate change. The more history I read the more I realize we are at risk because of our foolish energy policies and we need to make some changes. JUST like we changed our attitudes towards mixed race couples, black Presidents and gays, we have to radically change our attitudes towards energy usage.
We have already made changes...recycling has gone from an anomaly that was hard to do to the law in many areas. Los Angeles has gone from massive pollution to relatively clean air. We CAN make the change. We HAVE made changes.
We just have to keep going.
We have to move forward.
We have opposition. For reasons I don't really understand though I know it has to do with Greed (though in the long run they screw themselves as well) the right wing opposes moving forward. They want to mire us in racism, homophobia, environmental and economic crises. They want to hold us back. We HAVE to move forward against the tide of right wing extremism.
First off, let me be clear that the pie fights here on the left where we fight over minutiae of policy get us nowhere. Not to say we have to all agree. We should DISCUSS differences and EMBRACE differences. But getting all pissy about our differences is counterproductive. We need to get together and move things FORWARD.
There are a thousand ways we can do this. You all know many of them. You all already are doing many of them. Don't think I am a prophet telling you what to do. All I am doing is reminding you that we are part of a VERY long process and we just need to keep pushing forward. Push Am Forward dudes!
First things first. 2014 can't be ignored. Off year elections tend to be low voter turnout and that favors the folks who want to stop progress. SO let's fight to move forward in 2014. Fight for every district in every state...just like Howard Dean suggested back before we started actually winning! Fighting every scrap of ground remains our best strategy. Let's move it forward.
Let's not stop at 2014...let's build a Farm Team for Progressives to win and keep winning for YEARS to come. Progressive Majority is the most successful progressive organization that gets the best folks elected. They focus on progressives, women, LGBT and minority candidates. They rock and they deserve our support.
And finally folks, let's NEVER forget that WE are the ones who have to lead the change on climate. Change has NEVER happened without folks like us leading the way. Start by figuring out your carbon footprint. Then cut that footprint back! You are the leaders of the future. Get busy leading. Some simple guidelines: cut back on meat (particularly beef), buy recycled products, buy green energy (most utilities companies have a green option...my wife and I have been buying all wind energy for 10 years now), and cut back on consumption as much as you can (it saves you money as well).
Change government, change society...and change yourself. THAT is how change happens. Always has. And since I was born, we have come a long way baby. Let's keep going.