“You want a hero.”
I have heard that, or some expanded concept, many times during the drama of this past week, almost always followed by “It’s not going to happen.”
Disclaimer: I myself said it several times as well.
I said it when I was feeling cynical, which was frequently. Also when I was trying to be realistic about the practicalities of politics. The “none of it matters if your side doesn’t get elected” practicalities.
I found myself more often than not on the receiving end of the charge above, and very much less concerned about practicalities. This was particularly true of an ongoing email discussion with two other friends. The three of us involved in the discussion/argument are old friends who have never met offline but usually chat via email at least several times daily. The relationship began some years back over a femslash ‘ship we all enjoy in the BtVS fandom. For the uninitiated, the Whedonverse is full of such families. These families are, in turn, all related to everyone else in the ‘verse:
… everyone who actively participated in the online
fandom knew us and trusted us. People who hated us would still trust us
with their PINs and would possibly co-sign for us on car loans.
The three of us could not be more disparate geographically, generationally, “and in other measurements as well.” [/izzard] The way things fell out in this discussion, two of us wanted Edwards to stand up, challenge the nutjobs, try to change the discourse, etc. The other, a North Carolinian who has been a devoted supporter of Edwards for years, quite justifiably wants him to get elected and was upset to see his candidacy taking hits from all sides. I can respect her passion- she doesn’t want to see him hemorrhage resources he will need for the long fight ahead.
All by way of saying, like most of us, I can see the electability vs. changing the status quo issue from all sides.
But at the end of the day, in my heart, I still want hero(es) to fight the big fight(s), for the right thing(s). Especially as I get older, and especially against the current administration, and its continued madness, its excesses and its sins of omission.
Which brings up the Obama rally yesterday. What a beautiful day. What a great crowd. What a great performance by the candidate in his element. It was exciting, wasn’t it?
Now, granted, I’m still feeling pretty promiscuous about the field of candidates. Most of them have swept me off my feet on at least one occasion, and even Hillary has impressed me with her surety. It’s a heady time of year, and campaign promises can be so seductive.
So I was caught up in the moment and when I first heard the word “gay” come out of Obama’s mouth in a seemingly positive context, I was buoyed right along. Yes, by all means, I’m damned tired of being scapegoated. Yay team.
But then came the end of the day. More looking ahead at a campaign season that, in all likelihood, will end either way without much in way of progress toward gay marriage rights, adoption rights for GLBT families, or even a meaningful expansion of the concept of civil unions that mitigates its separate but equal nature. And that would be the good scenario. The more likely scenario involves more scapegoating, and possibly getting thrown under the bus by at least one of the candidates on my side.
I’m a lot more than just a lesbian American, but even so, that’s my status 24/7, and I want more. I’ve been through a marriage, a partner’s life-threatening illness, and a divorce. All three were more difficult than they should have been, because of the deferment of basic family rights.
Now, go read Baba’s post and tell me that this family and others should keep settling for less.