The past eight years were rough, man. I remember very distinctly the feeling when George W. Bush got elected. I remember wondering what atrocities would be committed, wondering if I’d even recognize my country after he was done with it. And aside from the fact that he didn’t install himself as supreme fascist dictator in perpetuity, I gotta say that most of my fears about the Bush Administration were validated. He really and truly was the worst president ever in every way possible.
But it’s a new era. I don’t advocate that we fight dirty, cuz that would put us on the level of the Bush Admin and the rest of the American Taliban: conservatives, corporatists, and the Religious Right — the free-market and religious fundamentalist fanatics that were the Bushies’ chief backers and enablers. I don’t advocate lying, manipulation, or violence as tactics. We can’t operate under the assumption that the ends justify the means, like they do. But we gotta play for keeps all the same.
The American Taliban will do and say anything to build and preserve their power. And they’re getting desperate. We’ve got them on the run, at least for now. But that doesn’t mean they’re any less dangerous. We need to be prepared to fight fire with fire. We can’t let them drag us back into the Dark Ages, as they’re so intent on doing. We gotta push them, willing or not, into the 21st century. We can’t wait for them to “get it” or try and convince them that we’re right and they’re wrong or waste time building “bipartisanship” with folks who are on the wrong side of history.
It would seem the progressive movement gets that and is gearing up for the fight. Now is the time for us to press our agenda and make durable changes that can’t be easily undone in order to secure a sustainable, happy, and healthy future for all.
Gay activists have realized that “The time for saying please is over” (h/t AmericaBlog).
Commenting on the largest civil disobedience on global warming in U.S. history, a colleague of mine recently explained, “We’re done asking nicely.”
I’m glad we’re done asking nicely. But we also need to be prepared to stand up for ourselves. We can’t shy away from this fight. The American Taliban wants to secure the future for themselves and their way of life. We want to secure the future for the Earth and all its creatures. Our ends must not be used to justify abuse of power, violence, or corruption. But they certainly justify fighting like hell.
If people want to be on the wrong side of history, leave them by the wayside. What we’re fighting for will benefit them in the end as well. We’ll create a better tomorrow with or without them.