This is my first diary on DailyKos after being a regular reader here since 2007. Much of the constant back-and-forth over the actions of the Obama Administration has hit home with me. I worry a lot about the 2010 Mid-Term Elections. It is very disturbing to me hearing friends offline now echo much of what many say here because I believe people aren't thinking long-term. It isn't just about right now.
6 months from now, how will we feel if the GOP takes back the House? How will we feel if they should also take the Senate?
There's constant coverage of the Gulf oil spill, Elena Kagan, the financial reform bill, etc. But we're so focused on reacting to right now, we may fail to look at the future. Speaking as a middle-aged gay man living with HIV, believe me when I say it matters very much what choices you make and what the consequences will be.
I left the Midwest 20 years ago and moved to California because I wanted to live out & proud since I couldn't where I was born. Being 21, I made most decisions based on merely reacting to what was happening at the moment without thinking about how things might turn out. I didn't consider all the alternatives or how others could affect what happened to me and those I cared about. I didn't prepare for the future and imagine what might go wrong.
Result? My failure to prepare for adversity led to consequences (poverty, addiction, homelessness) I could've foreseen if only I'd taken the time to thoroughly think about what I needed to do to improve my life. When I finally started to look at what actions to take to correct my mistakes, it took over 15 years before things have now changed for the better.
Many liberals may be disappointed in the choices Obama has made in the past 18 months. All items on the left's agenda weren't addressed perfectly and so there's disillusionment, anger and impatience with the Democrats. However, we can't just think solely about short-term results; we have to think about long-term consequences.
Make constructive criticism. Call out the Ben Nelsons, Blanche Lincolns and Joe Liebermans for what they do wrong. Question the President and insist on accountability. But having made so many wrong choices in my own life, I know it's very dangerous to merely react to what's going on right now and think it doesn't matter if we give full support to the Democrats in the Mid-Term Elections. Think about the day after Election Day.
--Imagine a gloating John Boehner, a smug Mitch McConnell, a ratings-resurgent Glenn Beck and a pompous Sarah Paln crowing all over CNN, MSNBC, Fox, the front page of every newspaper, every magazine and every news website.
--Anticipate bills being pushed in Congress to expand offshore oil drilling, reinstate the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, repeal the healthcare bill, institute a national "present-your-papers" immigration bill and even worse. (And say goodbye to all action on ending Don't Ask Don't Tell for probably the next 6 years.)
--Visualize the Tea Party, Operation Rescue, Focus On The Family and all the other right wing extremists re-energized and foaming at the mouth as they join the GOP in taking back "their" country.
So often in the last 20 years I said, "If only I'd known then what I know now." So many times in the past decade have I read comments from Ralph Nadar voters who are horrified at how their well-intentioned actions helped elect George Bush. 6 months from now after the Mid-Term Elections, it will matter if the Democrats still control both houses of Congress.
We have 6 months to take the recent positive poll numbers and help the Democratic Party snowball them into even bigger numbers--and keep the GOP out of power where they belong! Please think about how you will feel 6 months from now if the Republicans "take back" our government and what that means for the next 6 years of your life.
Make choices you can live with.