Fellow Travelers

Friday, November 11, 2016

The arc of the moral universe is long

Trump only won by 1% in three states to win the election. The Republicans are taking this to be a mandate, even though the Democrats picked up a seat in the House and Senate. Good. They're overreaching. 
The majority of younger voters voted Democrat. The majority of voters didn't vote for Trump. But the Republicans still think they have a mandate. Good. They're overconfident. 
They think that votes against corruption and bad trade deals and machine politics were votes for Republican ideology and for discrimination, and they're wrong about that. Good. Gloating victors, ingracious in their victory, are engaging in a wave of harassment and hate crimes. Good. They're showing their true colors instead of hiding it behind false smiles, or worse expressing their hatred through worse violence like bombings and mass shootings.
Every year there are fewer conservatives. 
Every year they lose electoral power. 
Moreover, every year there are fewer corrupt old guard liberals like the Clintons, who used social issues simply to get people to then back exploitative neoliberal economic policy and a destructive militaristic foreign policy. The militarism supports by the Clinton camp of Democrats, as well as by Republicans, made us many enemies by the millions oversea. The Clintons didn't care, same as they don't actually care about us.
Politics are a pendulum. It swings one way, and then it swings the other.
Let the Republicans be overconfident. Let them overreach. Let them get their petty barbs in. Let them fill Trump's cabinet with buffoons and corrupt Republican machine politicians. 
Get mad about it, get mad about everything he does, and be the pendulum that swings back. 
Remember 2004 and 2006 and 2010. The Republicans control a majority of state governments, the US Congress, and now the White House. They're behind the wheel now, and they have no idea how to drive, and we will outlive them. 
Lenin reportedly said "the capitalist will sell you the rope to hang him with." Well, the Republicans will sell us the rope we can use to bury their ideology forever.
Instead of gridlock in Congress for 4 years, four years of any Democrats who felt so inclined having to defend the corruption and mismanagement of Clinton's policies and government, we have the offense now. The Democrats fumbled. The Republicans got the ball and scored. Now we're on offense.
We may have lost the rest of this decade, but in so doing, we won the next one, and probably the future. If we hadn't, if we been able to lurch through the rest of this decade, we'd have likely lost the 2020s and been sunk until the 2030s. Maybe more, because a Clinton victory could have led to Republicans rewriting the Constitution to suit them, at the state level. Now, that's not a danger. The Republicans will take what victories they get and think those were the war. But the war is ours to win.
Everything the Republicans do, every single overreach, only strengthens the inevitable backlash. It only puts fuel on the fire of our revolutionary fury. Let them come.
MLK said "the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice." He was right, but he was quoting an earlier preacher, a Unitarian minister and devoted abolitionist called Theodore Parker who wrote a sermon in 1853:
"Look at the facts of the world. You see a continual and progressive triumph of the right. I do not pretend to understand the moral universe, the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways. I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. But from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.
Things refuse to be mismanaged long. Jefferson trembled when he thought of slavery and remembered that God is just. Ere long all America will tremble."
Things refuse to be mismanaged long. That was 1853. In 1854, the Republican Party was formed. It was formed as an abolitionist party, a progressive and radical left wing party. In six years, they'd elected Lincoln. In a little over ten years, slavery was defeated.
Anne Braden was a civil rights activist from the south jailed in the 1950s for the work she did to fight institutional racism. Ten years later, the Civil Rights Act became law. She said once:
"What you win in the immediate battles is little compared to the effort you put into it, but if you see that as a part of this total movement to build a new world, you know what cathedral you're building when you put your stone in."
We will win. Either as part of the established political parties, like when we took over the Democrats, or by starting a new political party like when we made the Republicans, or maybe even both, but we will win.
All we have to do is keep fighting.

No comments:

Post a Comment