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Member since: Sun Sep 27, 2015, 09:47 AM
Number of posts: 14,389

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The responsibility of being White, Male, Straight, and Liberal

Late on election night, as polls closed and the inevitable occurred, my wife and I sat on our couch, embraced in a sadness that I know many of you experienced as well. We sat there in silence, each of us overwhelmed by the reality that was transpiring in front of us. My immediate thought was "What do we tell our kids in the morning?" My daughter, 14 at the time, had been experiencing bullying at school because she was the "new girl" and had been taunted constantly for being herself. She was the new kid from RI, although she was born in LA because she came from RI she was stuck with that, and she was different. She was called a "lesbian" because she stood up for another girl who was being bullied. She was called unmentionable names because she sat at a lunch table with another freshman, a star basketball player who happens to be black but also happens to be just as much bullied as she is because they attend a predominantly white private school. I thought of my 7 year old son who had cheered when Hillary won the Nick Kids election, thinking that she had won the presidency.

As we sat there in stunned tears, I looked to my wife and said: "The sad thing is: we have nothing to worry about. We're white professionals and we will be safe from any on coming persecution." I said that, not with any sense of self importance, but, rather, a sense of overwhelming guilt over what I fear will come from a Trump presidency. After I had said that to my wife, I immediately said "What we have to worry about are those in our life that will be affected by this." I thought of our gay friends, friends who happen to be Muslim, and on and on. But I sat there shaken by the irony that I was fearing for everyone we knew who would be affected or potentially affected by a Trump presidency, all the while our own lives would likely go on untouched, at least in the present.

That moment made me think hard about who I am, what I believe and what I could do going forward to ensure that, at least in my own daily surroundings, I was being a representative for those I knew and loved who would certainly be attacked in the new administration. I looked back to my own personal history. My grandfather's grandfather had been a Methodist minister and abolitionist who helped ferry runaway slaves from TN to other ministers in KY on their way to freedom. My grandfather, a sharecropper as a young man, worked beside other workers who happened to be white and black and Hispanic and when the work was done they were all welcome at my grandmothers table, and anyone who questioned that met the wrath of my grandmother. I was told about how when my grandfather opened a country store in rural TN in the 1950's he got resistance from some people because he didn't segregate his store. My uncle told me about the night several of the local "hooded men" showed up to pressure my grandfather and he called them out by name while holding his loaded double barreled shotgun.

I could ramble on about my own history, but I'm sure that would be boring at best and pandering at worst.

My point, after all of the grief and angst over election night had passed, we woke up the next day, and we sat our kids down and told them what had transpired. We told them that no matter what, we had to fight for what was right and what was fair, even in the face of bullies. I don't know if that was the best way to answer their concerns but that was ours.

So, here we are facing an inauguration of a man that we despise, I think we can all agree on that. What now?

I think that my personal situation gives me a bit of power that I think needs to be used and must be used in the fight going forward. We white, straight, male liberals must speak out against the Trump minions every chance we get. We have to. The opposition will take notice when we fight for the voices of our friends in ways they otherwise would not. Now, they will bully us and they will threaten us but, at the end of the day, we must help provide a voice for our LGBT/POC/women/Immigrant/Muslim compatriots. Right or wrong our voices will have impact and we must provide support and help to shine a light on all resistance to the storm that is coming. In no way am I suggesting that my voice should carry more weight than someone who doesn't happen to fit into my particular ethnic/religious/sexual background, I'm merely saying that pasty boring straight white guy liberals like myself cannot be silent and we must stand arm in arm with all of our brothers and sisters on the left because dark days are upon us. Let us face this fight together.

JFK was spot on in '62 and it should be our message today..

Please...I say again, please watch the entirety of this video. In this speech, JFK laid the groundwork for the bill that would become Medicare. In his time, the AMA opposed it, a subset of doctors opposed it, and their reasoning was the same then as it is today in opposition to the ACA, Medicare, and Medicaid. Yet, JFK's rebuttal remains prescient to our current struggles. When Paul Ryan decries that individual freedoms must allow for a reduction in entitlements, we must demand that our leaders respond the way JFK did and shout "Nothing strips away individual freedom like being faced with medical bills which would otherwise drive us to backruptcy". We must take this stand and take all measures available to ensure our leaders likewise stand with us. (As an aside...I was so inspired by this, I want to run myself for congress against our current rep Dianne Black. I've said before I have dreamed about that fight. Maybe I should make that a reality...either way, as JFK's call at the end pleads, I will fight for those who need a voice.)

Holiday Offensive???

Is anyone else offended by this transition between showings of "A Christmas Story" on tbs?? I was truly shocked by this:

Anyone else remember...

Back during the summer, Bernie's crowds were dismissed as being Ron Paul-esque. The rising support of Bernie was dismissed by prominent Dem strategists as being a blip on the radar, even some very prominent web site hosts claimed that Bernie would never break the 20% then the 30% national support! Remember when we were told that Bernie would be lucky to win any states beyond VT, and, if he did, only NH, because it's so close to Vermont! I sure do! I saw it as a lurker here and as an active member, at the time, of Daily Kos. No matter what happens in this primary, Sen Sanders has helped to shine a light on the corruption and cronyism that taints our political landscape. He has take on the voice of the people, and the people are beginning to respond. Today's glorious wins are amazing, and we should all take the time to enjoy the moment, but this is a movement. It is a movement that must continue beyond this election cycle. It is a movement of ideas, not personality. It is a movement that has been ignored by both Dem and Repub for far too long. This is the moment....let us on the left continue to fight for the movement!

To my heart giver...

I'm extremely grateful and humbled that you would share a heart with me, given my limited time on this forum. Cheers and lots of hugs...

Once the dust settles...

I fully admit that I bounce between sites like DU, where I lurked for years, and other left leaning message boards and news. I lived through the '08 primary season, with all of its outrage and glory online. This year is so very different. This year we have three strong candidates, and the supporters of two of the three seem to be content to throw poop bombs and innuendo against the other camp because they feel like they are rooting for "their team". Now, I've left the MOM supporters out of this intentionally because I have yet to see them spew the kind of bile and vitriol that Clinton and Sanders supporters have thrown on the interwebs, neither here or on other sites or social media. This election will have consequences, the balance of the Supreme Court and the age of several justices being only a small but significant part of that equation. At this moment, the country faces the absolute worst of the Tea Party movement and all of its associated stances. As Democrats, we must stand against the rise of bigotry, misogyny, and overt racism from the right. No matter who ends up being the Democratic nominee, we must fight against the rising tide of the right.

So, my question to all of you is this. After the dust settles, how will we all come together to fight the right? I realize that DU is a limited worldview, but there have been so many vile and atrocious posts from all sides, how do we as a community survive past the primary season?

I fully support policy debates and wonky discussions of particular stances, but things have become so personal for many here that I fear that a huge portion of the electorate will be so angry and disinterested in the general that whomever the GOP nominee is, they sail to the White House.

So, I say all that to say this: left, center, center right, DLC, green, Socialist Democrat or other...we must be able to find common ground with those on our side, even if we disagree, in order to continue the fight against the far right.

Please, before you post an attack on a candidate or a poster, think about your words. Will your post be so divisive that it turns someone away from the Democratic Party? We are currently cannibalizing ourselves. I am a leftist to my core and always will be, but I have enough sense to know that some will disagree and I can find common ground with others. The right, as disfunctional as they are, could very well take this next presidential election.

So, I implore all of us, please...focus on policy and not personal attacks. The future of this country is to important to cede ground to those on the far right.

Cruz stopped when discussing deportation...

He pointed out deportation of undocumented immigrants for Clinton and Bush II but stopped to suggest Obama was soft on this issue...2 million is the number you were looking for Ted, 2 freakin million...more than any prior president. But proceed with your unchallenged bs

"I'm glad he decided to wear his dad's suit on national TV"

My lovely wife's observation on Reince Priebus' appearance tonight...lmao, I love her
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