Thursday, November 04, 2004

I feel like I should have something rousing or at least insightful to say about the election, but I don't. Sorry. The weird thing is that on the local front, things look pretty rosy. With one exception, everyone I voted for was elected, and the one exception was a pure protest vote. The one referendum on the ballot, guaranteeing substance abuse treatment to anyone who wants it, passed overwhelmingly. I feel like I live in an island of sanity amidst a sea of total craziness.

Anyway, on gay rights, things look pretty grim, although I truly believe that the tide is turning, that this is a temporary backlash against the inevitable trend towards equality, and that in 20 years people will look back on anti-same-sex-marriage amendments and be as baffled by them as contemporary people are by anti-miscegination laws. For people living their lives now, though, the whole thing really stinks.

I do think Roe will be overturned, but I also think we need to take a deep breath and not flip out about it too much. I would be very surprised if we go back to the days of coat hanger abortions. I think what you'll see is a lot of traveling to pro-choice states and a thriving black market in RU-486. We're going to need to get organized first to fight Bush's Supreme Court nominations and then, once they get through and take away the right to abortion, to fight anti-abortion laws on a state by state basis. I think we'll probably win a lot of those battles, but when we don't, we'll need to organize to help women who need to travel to pro-choice states.

I've lived in a country in which abortion is illegal. It stinks, it's an abomination against women's equality and autonomy and human rights, but people cope with it, and we will, too. The sky will not fall. We won't let it.

So here's what I propose we do. I think now is the time to invest in a third party. We probably need a new one, because I think the Greens carry too much baggage. Anyway, the third party should concentrate on genuinely-progressive economic measures: single payer healthcare, for instance, and federalizing school funding so that children in poor areas receive the same funding as kids in rich ones. (We'll probably need to give some extra money to the poor districts to modernize their facilities, but we can talk about that, too.) Work at the grassroots level and start running candidates in local elections next year. The idea is that by 2007, the Democrats should both be scared shitless of us and realize that there are votes to be gained by embracing economic progressivism. We need to impress this upon them before the presidental primary season begins. We'll probably need to run a presidential candidate in 2008, but the real hope is that the Democrats will accept enough of our ideas to lure some of our voters away.

Anyway, I'm currently experiencing the emotional perfect storm of menstrual hell, weird health issues*, and election despair, but I'm actually surprisingly energized. I don't know why. I think I have despair fatigue, and the only place to go from there is optimism.

*my eyes are dry. No, seriously, my ophthamologist claims I'm not producing enough tears. It's without a doubt a less annoying eye condition than iritis, but it's actually bothering me more than my asymptomatic iritis did. Also, preservative-free eyedrops are fucking expensive.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?