Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Moveon.org, Me, & An Important Story

I think I joined moveon.org some time in 1997. Moveon was a grass roots organization that was started to urge the legislators and the people, to just move on from this Clinton impeachment stuff and get back to running our country and making it better. It was coordinated through email campaigns and telephone calls. It was not a monster, left wing club trying to change the world, but a common sense organization trying to say to the country, "let's get on with it." I remember that we did have some success. I'm not sure if our emails and calls really pushed many legislators into moving on, but the movement did bring to light to the country, the absurdity of the political right wing nutters whose only motivation was to bring down a president who they hated and did not vote for. I am proud of what we accomplished.

Today, we have much the same atmosphere. We have a president who was elected with a large majority of people who felt it was time for change from the disastrous 8 years of a lying, morally corrupt, anti-rule of law, anti-constitution scaredy cat president and administration. We waited our turn, worked hard, and elected our president. But the atmosphere is once again of the right wing nutters saying and doing outlandish things to scare and move the country in their direction. That's their right. But if they want to be the party of fear, lies, and NO, then the media, and everyone of us who have a brain, has an obligation to speak out, let the truth be told, and fight for the things that the majority of people believe in, and the reason that we elected this president.

Health care reform is a good example of this. While polls show that the majority of people do favor some type of reform and the majority favor some type of public option, the facts have been hi-jacked again by the right. We have stories of seniors being told that they would have to go before death panels to determine how they want to die. We have the birthers movement who decided that the president is not a citizen therefore cannot lead us. We have corporate sponsored, right-wing group vigilantes go to town hall meetings where people are there to discuss the issue, and whose sole purpose is to shout them down and disrupt the meetings. We have people showing up at those meetings armed with loaded guns to show their support of the second amendment but perhaps more honestly to scare people. It is frightening.

To show another side of the story, Todd Gitlin posting @Talking Points Memo tells about a candlelight vigil held in Central Park, some old, some young, talking about their health care horror stories. Read "Enough Lamentation"

"I think the tone was a mistake. There was more bemoaning than indignation, more personal testimony than resolve to fight for a good (not perfect) bill. The pageant of human suffering has the capacity to move people, but not to fire them up, not to convince them to turn out again, not to make demands of their recalcitrant legislators. To me, the parade of victimhood chronicles said of the reformers: we're losers. It wasn't just too bland for New York. It whimpered.

"The tone was far too much Me-Me-Me, I Suffer, not nearly enough We Have a Right."

"Please do not tell me I lack compassion. Don't get me started on my own medical chronicles. After 60 years of successful crackpot attacks on "socialized medicine," an outraged citizenry needs to speak up as a citizenry, not as a ward."

It's now or never time to get fired up, show that health care for all is a right, not a privledge, and speak up as an outraged citizenry.

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