Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Praise the Lord...and Pass the Ammunition!

Well, wa-hoo, hallelujah and amen! We've DONE it! We, the People, have elected Barack Obama President of these United States!

Praise the Lord. And pass the ammunition.

In order to be elected, of course, politicians must appeal to "the center." Even a would-be progressive like Barack Obama is not immune to this necessity. As much as I'd like to believe that his progressive "base" did it all on our own, if I succumbed to the desire to believe this, I'd be living in a fool's paradise.

I believe I warned on this very Blog, some time ago, that he would do some things (or fail to do others) that would disappoint or heartily displease us. And he didn't wait long. Already he has disappointed me. The opposition he voiced against California's Proposition 8 (and, by extension, other anti-gay measures, like Proposition 102 in my own state of Arizona) was too little -- and too late.

He had to "appeal to the center," you see. And unfortunately, in this case, that was how he did it.

We've got to move the "center" to the left, folks, or we will effect no real progressive change in this country whatsoever.

All the "center" is, really, is what the combined forces of Left and Right make it. As its very name implies, the center has no relation to anything except in its relative position to everything else. That's why all claims to a "committed centrism" are so vapid. For its very existence, the center depends upon the Left and the Right, as it can exist nowhere except in between them. Without them, there's no "there" there.

Over the past thirty years, the conservatives and reactionaries in this country have succeeded in pushing the political framework so far to the Right that, were it to slide any farther in that direction, it would drop right off of the map and be devoured by sea-monsters.

Progressives MUST be the agents of change; that is our function. If we aren't bringing about change for the better, then we have no function. And because we sometimes err and make changes for the worse, society needs conservatives to balance us out. That is the Right's ONLY legitimate and constructive function.

The Right derives its very reason to exist from the Left. Without an active and vigorous Left, the Right is simply unnecessary -- or even destructive. And when the Right tries to effect change on its own initiative, disaster is the inevitable result.

That's exactly what this election was all about. The Right tried, all by itself, to run the country. And now that the sea-monsters gape before us, the nation has cried "stop!"

I believe that when President-elect Obama says he wants to effect change, he does, indeed, really mean progressive change. Including for marginalized and embattled groups like GLBT Americans. He says it, and I think he truly means it.

But we will have a war on our hands right here at home, trying to help our new leader bring that about. Our adversaries are wounded, but a beast is never more dangerous than when it's received a grievous and painful wound. They are also armed -- which means that we must be, too.

The anti-gay-marriage initiatives passed yesterday are unconstitutional. They violate the First, Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments. Were this nonsense ever to be passed at the federal level, it would violate the Tenth, as well. Thanks to the election of Barack Obama, we won't have to worry about a federal marriage amendment for at least the next four years. But during that time, we must beat back and reverse the horrible blows our Constitution received yesterday. This is more than an attack on gay people -- it's an attack on the very Constitution itself. If these measures are allowed to stand, then the supreme law of our land will not stand.

The American Taliban is still determined to take over this country and run all our lives. Barack Obama doesn't want them to do this. But he doesn't even pretend that he can govern all alone. He frankly and freely admits that he needs our help. And we must be ready to give him all the help he can handle -- and maybe even more than he may want.

May God protect our new President -- AND our Constitution.

This is a time to praise the Lord. It's also time to pass the ammunition.


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