(note: these gallows are metaphorical)
Like many of you, the events of the past few years have filled with anger, outrage and even despondency. Since Obama's inauguration, the Republican Party has successfully managed to utilize a lethal cocktail of procedural tactics, electoral abuse and gerrymandering to obstruct the public's will from being manifested in policy change. For me, this government shutdown is the last straw.
For too long, we've kept our voices contained to the blogosphere and to the electoral arena. The punishment that we've decided to inflict on the Republican Party has certainly emerged: Obama won the presidential election, we won a plethora of hotly contested Senate races and we won the popular vote in the House of Representatives. 2012 revealed that had successfully convinced the public that the Republican Party is the party of "no". Unfortunately, 2012 also revealed that these actions aren't enough enough. Even though the Democratic Party won the votes of most Americans, it could not win control of the House of Representatives due to gerrymandering. This should serve as a reminder that massive leads in the polls and overwhelming disapproval does provide sufficient incentive to dissuade Republicans from sabotaging our country. In lieu of ineffectual electoral pressuring, we should organize protests to display our grievances publicly and in the process, galvanize the masses to a be a part of a movement that supports the promise of democracy. The promise that states that in our system, the public's interest reigns triumphant over profit-seeking special interests that seek to plunder us. The promise that states that elections are the primary mechanism in which decisions are made. It's time that we fulfilled the promise of our democracy and restore the powers of governance to those that were elected. Take the Republicans to the metaphorical gallows and show them that we aren't going to idly sit back and watch them hold our democracy hostage!
If you're a Portlander and feel that this movement is necessary, participate in a protest @ Pioneer Square on Saturday at noon.
If you're not from Portland, I encourage you to create your own events and start your own protests.
Occupy Wall Street taught us that rapid manifestations of public anger produce rapid results and are an effective means to change public opinion. Let's utilize this disgraceful moment to show the Republicans that we are mobilized and also to show Democrats that we have their back!
Please contact me if you're interested in taking part in Portland's protest or have any recommendations as to how to effectively spread the word!