Paul Loeb weighs in, but is anybody listening?

July 22, 2011 by barbara

barbara writes

Worth reading. Stuff to ponder. Loeb is a thoughtful, well-informed, articulate progressive with a national rep, fyi. But in his article, he references a group doing good progressive stuff that has named itself Rebuild the Dream. (Article link below)

Paul Loeb article

I have a bias that “Rebuild the Dream” sounds like poofy-fluff (even though it may not be). It’s another squishy descriptor for what needs to be an in-the-trenches, sweating-like-pigs effort to take back America (a title unfortunately replaced a few years ago by the now Campaign for America’s Future, in deference to the hope we placed in Obama). It has no gut-grabbing appeal. It floats.

A dream is not what’s called for.

What is called for is grassroots, kick-ass activism and monumental moral indignation, writ and spoken large. And p.s., all of that based on facts, all documented, all the time.

We have tried unsuccessfully for decades to be nice little liberals. And make no mistake—at heart, that’s who I'd prefer to be, too. But in so doing, we have allowed the radical right to stomp all over civil liberties, economic and social justice, and now they occupy the catbird seat. We gave that to them. Gave.It.To.Them. Beginning with Gore’s too-soon concession in Florida and every day since.

We are generally characterized as the party of unprincipled union thugs and mealy-mouthed literati. How very appealing to voters (not!)

George Lakoff must be spinning in his chair at the “frames” we ceded/cede to the right. We are complicit in this perception evolution. We are. But for a few notable dissenters (Nancy Pelosi and Al Franken come to mind), we have allowed, even nurtured, the radical right’s increasingly successful attempt to seize control of everything we value.

Nurtured? Yes. When the Tea Party emerged, we chuckled amongst ourselves about those loonies. Tsk-tsk’d their radical notions. Were initially annoyed but somewhat amused when they ran for office in huge (and coordinated) numbers, believing the people would reject their trash talking, simple-minded, neo-Dark Age notions. We all know how that turned out.

Meanwhile, it appears that the man at the top of the political hierarchy has lost touch with ordinary people. Did he ever have that? I've begun to wonder. As Franken said in his response to Focus on the Family's Minnery this week, it's difficult to believe in something/someone cloaked in dissembling.

Blah, blah, blah.

I'll rise up out of this slough of despond yet again, I suppose. But it’s getting harder and harder to do.

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