If everything goes the way it’s supposed to go, by the end of this week, health care reform legislation will have been signed into law. I have other things to say about this, but I wanted to focus on something Markos just said over Twitter.
As this debate nears its end, lots of progressives are, understandably, disappointed in the end result. Because of this, you’re hearing a lot of overwrought promises that this time, I’m done with Democrats. Done, you hear me? Donezo!
Along with that has come an abdication of responsibility. That’s what Markos is responding to. If we want the Democratic Party to reflect our values, as opposed to some other set of values, then we have to work for it. The responsibility is ours, not the party’s.
The Democratic Party is a vessel, a tool – nothing more, nothing less. A lot of the more retrograde members of the Democratic Party are counting on you to be disillusioned and walk away – because that’s the only way they can stay in power.
Nobody said the process was going to be easy. Stony path we trod and all that, &c.
Look, it’s like this: you can choose to withdraw yourself from the political process because it doesn’t live up to your expectations. But if you do that, you lose the right to complain about the process.
Your choice, because it’s your power, not theirs. They’re just renting it based on your disillusion and lack of action.
UPDATE: I’ve had some people ask me, “Well, what about blogging? I blog and I comment and I sign petitions. Isn’t that participating?”
I guess…but, frankly, to me, limiting your participation in the political process to online activities is a lot like ordering a supersized Big Mac with fries and a Diet Coke and expecting the Diet Coke to do the work of a healthy diet and exercise. It doesn’t work like that, and I think you’re trying to make yourself feel good by telling yourself otherwise.
I’ve been blogging since 2001. Nearly a decade – and, with the exception of two years that I was in Korea and Iraq, I’ve voted. When I left active duty and felt more free to engage in political activity, I knocked on doors and elected party officials – the whole nine yards. I do these things because I want to vote for more progressive candidates and advance progressive ideas. I suppose I could’ve just blogged about it – and I do that, because I like to think I’m a good writer – but just blogging about it would’ve done very little to change the process.