And I was reminded that as I lay whining in my azure safety, there were others who were struggling in ruby red states. How the hell did they do it? Which led me to the Texas Observer
. Sure `nuff, there was Jim Hightower writing, it seemed, directly to me:
The wails of woe and despair from progressive friends began pouring into my telephone very early on November 3: "What are we going to do? What ARE we going to do? We'll have to move to Canada. I can't go another four years. It's so much to bear. I give up."
Get a grip.
Ah, yes. There was the voice of reason and experience and strength cutting through the fog. He continued...
But, give up? Give up the fight for our essential American values--the values of fairness, justice, and opportunity for all? Surrender our nation's historic possibilities to these ideological zealots and corporate front men? Not a chance.
He also reminded me that
democracy is a long-haul proposition. It took decades for America's founders to build enough public support to break with England. Likewise, the abolitionists, suffragists, populists, labor, civil rights, and other movements didn't achieve their historic successes on their first outing--and it'll require the same perseverance on our part.
Yes, it's a long, hard slog. But like Skinner's rats, I need a little intermittent positive reinforcement along the way. Just a little glimpse of the faint light at the end of the tunnel. And twice a month, that's what I get from Molly and Jim and the other excellent writers at the Texas Observer. Here's one I came across recently that just tickled me to death.
In the March 4 Political Intelligence report, Pickets to Profits tells of the kind of creative turn the tables political activism that warms my heart. Seems that the Waco Planned Parenthood clinic began a fundraising scheme in January 2002 which has been turning anti-abortion picketers into profit centers. Donors pledge between 25 cents and a dollar everytime a protestor arrives.
"It truly is a winn-win situation," says Trudy Woodson, director of public affairs at the clinic. If a large number of demonstrators appear, the clinic gains financially. But if opponents choose to stay home, Planned Parenthood gains a day of peace.
Money raised goes to the clinic's patient assistance fund, which helps clients, 97 % of whom live below the federal poverty line, gets critical services like Pap smears, breast exams, and Patient Assistant Loans that subsidize surgical abortions.
If you don't live in Waco and you want to support your local clinic, google, Pledge-a-Picket, you'll see that the idea has spread to clinics across the country.
I'll probably be posting irregularly on items from the Observer, but y'all really should go get a subscription of your own: $32/year, $18/year for students.
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