Liberal/Progressive/Dem/Whatever Moms..

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-20-2003
Liberal/Progressive/Dem/Whatever Moms..
16
Fri, 11-05-2004 - 9:52pm
... what do we do next?

OK - the election is over and the country remains quite divided. There are very few states where one candidate/agenda won decisively/overwhelmingly over the other (Utah is the one that comes to mind - think they were 70% Bush, but that's not unexpected), but reality is reality.

So what's next?

My close friends and I, who are spread throughout the country did our little mourning sighs, but if we really feel strongly about change, what are we going to do? My concern/belief is that the Democratic party (1) tries so hard to be inclusive of a MUCH wider range of views than does the Republican party and (2) allows itself to be backed into showing it's most extreme stance versus more balanced stance during campaigns, so much so that it is hard to see how we recover for another national campaign. (Of course, people always feel defeatist after a defeat, but...). So, what should we do? Just brainstorming among friends via email, our focus has been on appealing to moderate Republican (particularly the Senate, as the house is just crazy...)members to look past the rhetoric and try to strike balance. i would like to believe that the President, in his lame duck term, could try to do the same, but I do not believe that he will do so, as party leadership best interests would be additional polarization, not less ---- the more we can divide the country between us and them, the more those red states on the map guaratee another win in the white house. Meanwhile, there are judicial nominations, foreign policy decisions, and who knows what coming down the pike.

So, what should be our top priority?

(1) Appealing to moderates to accept that a more conservative agenda will be put in place, but to request that it be a moderate implementation - to address those 49% who voted the other way. This approach addresses some of the 'fears' we've expressed - that things we see as rights or civil liberties are at risk, that the American position globally is at risk, etc., but it requires that we concede the ground to conservatism and instead look towards moderating that view.

(2) All out battle --- fight at every turn. It's not defeatist nor is it weak, but I think it just sets up the Dems to fall into their same old trap of coming out looking like ultra liberal flakes --- frankly, I don't need or want to make my point about free speech by defending child pornography, nor defend the right to choose with a drug-addicited prostitute - and those are always teh extreme examples we allow ourselves to get pushed into when we go all out

(3) Forget today's Government - it will be what it is and with the balance of power as it is, there is little chance of affecting change. Instead, focus on grassroots, how do you build community support - in the red states, in the supermarkets, etc. for a moderate progressive platform - in other words, give up watching at the national level and ask what can I do here and now? I think this works, but only if we get enough troops in play to get it moving everywhere, and only if it's moderate. It means forgetting about the focus on unlimited access to abortion and instead saying let's keep it available and safe, but limit it's use/funding. It means giving up a whole anti-gun stance and instead asking soccer moms to band with you to stop cop-killer bullets. It means banding with the friends you have who are gay and say, let's make sure that you cannot lose your job, fail to get in to see your partner in the hospital, and maybe be able to die without a will and not have the probate court ignore your partner of 23 years, but let's agree that we aren't going to legislate to call it MARRIAGE, OK?, and you'll have to find a church who will bless your union on your own - the county justics of the peace isn't going to. It means stop arguing with every little small-town school that wants to put on a Christmas pagent - instead, ask if we can go and can we bring any cookies? Smile, be gracious, and invite your new friends to a festival of lights celebration at temple, or an ethnic festival at your community gathering. It means giving up so much of the little stuff to get at what MANY of us want --- open discourse which seems more inclusive, not exclusive, and is foounded on the tenets of love one another.

So - is it (A) focus on today's administration and ask moderate members to take up our call; (B) Focus on tody's administration and call all out war --- support obstructionist response to extreme conservative measures, appointees, etc. and try to craft a good versus evil fight where we hope we're seen as good; or (C) forget national, work local and start trying to make moderate Democrat and moderate Republican terms that are acceptable, embraced and most importantly ELECTABLE.

Those are my ideas thus far --- I think there are more options than A, B, or C and would love to hear ideas. Once we have A-X ideas, we all then have to talk about implementation. Some among us will be active on the ground - actually get involved locally, run for office even, while others will provide resources (thought, words, deeds, or funds). There need to be letter writers and there need to be people who are friendly and engaging to the woman at the church bake sale who feels differently than you. But I am tossing out the gauntlet and asking for your ideas!

What do we do next?


W

Lilypie Baby Days



Lilypie Baby Days

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-27-2004
Sat, 11-06-2004 - 12:34am


Why not this:

(3) Forget today's Government - it will be what it is and with the balance of power as it is, there is little chance of affecting change. Instead, focus on grassroots, how do you build community support - in the red states, in the supermarkets, etc. for a moderate progressive platform - in other words, give up watching at the national level and ask what can I do here and now? I think this works, but only if we get enough troops in play to get it moving everywhere, and only if it's moderate. It means forgetting about the focus on unlimited access to abortion and instead saying let's keep it available and safe, but limit it's use/funding. It means giving up a whole anti-gun stance and instead asking soccer moms to band with you to stop cop-killer bullets. It means banding with the friends you have who are gay and say, let's make sure that you cannot lose your job, fail to get in to see your partner in the hospital, and maybe be able to die without a will and not have the probate court ignore your partner of 23 years, but let's agree that we aren't going to legislate to call it MARRIAGE, OK?, and you'll have to find a church who will bless your union on your own - the county justics of the peace isn't going to. It means stop arguing with every little small-town school that wants to put on a Christmas pagent - instead, ask if we can go and can we bring any cookies? Smile, be gracious, and invite your new friends to a festival of lights celebration at temple, or an ethnic festival at your community gathering. It means giving up so much of the little stuff to get at what MANY of us want --- open discourse which seems more inclusive, not exclusive, and is foounded on the tenets of love one another.

You did a great job. Come meet me at the supermarket and we'll start working on cop killer bullets.

The last part, when you were talking about Christmas reminds me of Elmo's Christmas. It is just a really nice way to introduce children to all of the different holidays that are celebrated during that time of year without saying one is better or more important or the other.

I think (from the other side of the fence) that the biggest problem democrats have is Michael Moore and people like him.

I need to get to bed, but if that last statement isn't sufficient, I will post more later.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-10-2003
Sat, 11-06-2004 - 7:32am
Thanks W.

This has been the same conversation with my fellow Dems and Inds that did not vote for Bush. As I've stated *many* times, most of us are seen as liberal on some issues and moderate on others, overall most of us consider ourselves to be moderates desperately trying to find some common ground.

I take the 3rd possition. It's pretty much what I try to do in my everyday life. I think that if more of us take this postion, then perhaps our messages will float to the top and FINALLY be heard. I feel those of us who are moderate thinkers have been lost in the fight between the left and right. I feel like I'm standing in the middle of a field all alone and yelling...hey will someone please listen. And THIS is why I cried on this election day, not so much that Kerry lost but for the lost voice of those of us who are more moderate.

Can't remember who wrote the 2nd post to this question, but she said something about the Michael Moore's of the world having hurt us (dems)....Actually they've hurt *all* of us, just as the Rush Limbaugh's and anyone who's actively taken a VERY outspoken stand for the left and the right.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 11-06-2004 - 10:11am
Mamalyd,

I didn't respond on the other thread but since I wanted to answer your post here, I thought I would kill two birds, as it were. Thanks for saying you liked my posts, albeit with disagreement. That was generous of you.

I wanted to comment about Wen's ideas. C sounds good and I'd be willing to participate. Believe it or not, I AM friendly with people who feel the opposite of me politically, just not the rabid ones. The thing that needs to be realized is that in order for that to happen, Bush is going to have to let up on some of his agenda. Do you see that happening? I know he's talking about mending fences but I think he's going to have to prove it. Washington Post has a good article on this today and some of the Dems are commenting that that is what he said 4 years ago and it didn't happen. Also, some of the moderate Dems who DID play ball, feel they got scre**ed because of it and are loathe to make the same mistake. So I agree with the concept, I'm just not sure how we get there with a history of inflexibility on the adminstration's side. Yes, being on the defense makes the Dems inflexible, too.

You know, to pick a topic, I'm fine with some restrictions on abortion *after* the first trimester. I just wish people would look at the facts because in most places, these are already in effect. But I have heard PLs declaring that they won't settle until Roe is overturned. From my perspective, I have a daughter to raise in this country and I'll fight just as hard to keep it. What I *AM* willing to work on is fixing the daycare problem, making it POSSIBLE for single moms to go it on their own, more and better birth control and always, always educating people on the topic. In terms of the last, as long as there are people insisting on abstinence-only programs, we can look forward to more unintended pregnancies and spreading of sexual disease. It's another case of putting ideology in front of people. It doesn't work. I firmly believe that abstinence should be part of any sex-ed curriculum, of course.

The other thing I wanted to say is that it needs to be realized that the new environment, the Evangelical America, thing that's happening...this is Michael Moore's wet dream. Sorry to be graphic but think about it. This is what his ilk *thrive* on and because so many people are so unhappy with what has just happened, he will most likely *gain* followers.

I can't remember the all the names and states but I know that Bunning, the one who made the oh-so-enlightened comment that single moms and gays shouldn't teach, was kept in power. And the other brainiac who made the claim that lesbianism is so rampant it's not safe to let 2 girls use the restroom together. Um, hello?! Is THAT the representation that conservatives want? By all means, because that will be the undoing of the new regime.

If there's going to be compromise then Republicans are going to have to stop the "we are the only ones with morals" shtick. And Dems will need to stop being reactionary about it.

I think the fact that there is simply no logic to these claims is what should be played up. A thinking person is going to realize it's all a bunch of hype but seeing how many bought into it makes me wonder who is taking the time to think?

Come to think of it, that might be a good place for the moderates of both parties to start. If each side were willing to counteract the extremist claims in their own parties, rational America would take note, I believe.

Just musing,

KJ

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-10-2003
Sat, 11-06-2004 - 11:11am
You are so right. My more "conservative" days were when I lived in Burlington VT in the 80's. I grew to despise *some* of the socialist and liberal views that took no repsonsibility for their actions and gave to much freedom to the lazy people that work the system. Then I moved to San Francisco. I then realized I just needed to fight the extremists, in both parties, in this country and found myself happy being a moderate. If that makes sense...

I'm willing let go of some of my negative thinking towards GWB as long as I see an effort on his side to reach out to us.

Avatar for mom2noodles
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sat, 11-06-2004 - 11:19am
Can we nominate you for President?

Carrie, Mom of Alex & Anna

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Avatar for mom2noodles
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sat, 11-06-2004 - 11:47am

I'm fine with some restrictions on abortion *after* the first trimester. I just wish people would look at the facts because in most places, these are already in effect.

Carrie, Mom of Alex & Anna

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Sat, 11-06-2004 - 9:28pm

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2003
Sat, 11-06-2004 - 10:58pm

Hey, I agree with BOTH of you!


 


Mich

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2003
Sun, 11-07-2004 - 1:14pm

Hey Liberal and Progressive Moms:


This week, to soothe my feelings of sorrow, and remind myself to keep believing in what


 


Mich

Avatar for mom2noodles
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sun, 11-07-2004 - 2:11pm
Wow I need to get a copy of that (right after I read America the Book, Living Healthy in a Toxic World, and about a half-dozen parenting books in my pile...)

Carrie, Mom of Alex & Anna

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