The observations of a 50 something with lots of experience in politics, government, life and learning.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

So Why Am I Doing This?

Women's voices. Carol Gilligan. Mount Holyoke College. The collapse of civilization as we know it.

Pick one.

So let me give you a ferinstance. I spent Saturday this past weekend at the state Democratic convention. While it was an issues/platform convention, not a nominating convention, it still held interest for those of us who are true political junkies. I spent the first part of the morning with the wonderful John McDonough from Health Care for All and a panel that included former Gov. and presidential candidate Mike Dukakis. Mike may SAY he's 72 but his ideas are fresh, well-presented and badly needed in this era of the "lowest common denominator" being what seems to sit in the "corner office" as it is lovingly referred to....ok I ended with a preposition. Sue me.

We go to the convention and hear a good speech by Ted Kennedy, mundane prosaic speeches by Galvin and Reilly and inspiring speeches by Howard Dean and Deval Patrick, the contents of either of which could have been headline material the next day.

So what is the headline in the Berkshire Eagle? "Democrats pass gay marriage plank."'s the law of the Commonwealth, last I looked. It also took up MAYBE three seconds of time. It would have even been ok if the headline said "Democratic Party stands up for civil rights" or "Democrats battle discrimination." But NOOOOOO.

This subject has now become tiring. I've said my piece.

In any case, I'm doing this because I'm tired of hearing from the usual suspects. I'm frustrated with the lack of vision in this county, this Commonwealth, this country and this planet. I am downright SCARED that we are at risk of entering a McCarthy II era where people are afraid to teach evolution or admit they voted for the "wrong" person or dare to criticize demogoguery.

No "side" has a monopoly on this. Yes, the right wing is worse, but the left DOES have contempt for people of faith (of which I count myself as one) and an inability to listen to people who don't toe the line, who aren't pro-choice or who don't hold college degrees.

I leave you with this bizarre but simple thought. At the convention on Saturday people up in the vendor area talked right through the invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem. People on the floor were speaking during the benediction. Not only was this RUDE, but frankly is one of the reasons why some independents think we're godless Communists. Some of us apparently DONT share the same values, and throwing in a few biblical quotations isn't going to convince someone that you share their faith.

Should they be ASKING that, or requiring that? I don't know. But what I do know is that voters want to know who you are inside, whether you are comfortable with yourself. Whether you understand their triumphs and tribulations.

And you can't fake it.


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