(I was well into writing this entry when I stumbled on a notice of the Rally to Restore the American Dream at Daily Kos. It's a good start for what I'm talking about, but only a start. And how does it happen that I only just discovered it? I try to keep my eyes and ears open... It's far too late in coming to the attention that is needed.)
We need to hit the streets, in massive numbers, everywhere, throughout the country. Not just on one day, soon forgotten about and dismissed by those in power. We need a determined and sustained effort to make our voices heard.
We now have superlatively brave examples in the least likely places, from Cairo to Tripoli, to Madison, Wisconsin. Yet we continue to sit down passively under the onslaught of mindless, nation-destroying right-wing rhetoric.
There is no need for this, no reason for it. I believe that "we" are more than "they." They are just louder, more ruthless, more domineering.
We are a compassionate nation. We care about those less fortunate than ourselves, and we are prepared to sacrifice in order that they have a better chance at equality--not to mention the basic protections they deserve against poverty, disease and hunger.
We expect no less a sacrifice from the very fortunate, the very wealthy individuals, whose numbers and wealth continue to grow in defiance of all need and reason. We expect those individuals to share proportionately in the common sacrifice. We expect the same of corporations now posting unprecedented profits: they should be shouldering their share of the burden. Too many of them have fed shamelessly at the public trough and still manage to avoid taxes altogether.
We complain about the weakness and inefficacy of the Democrats we elect to represent us, too easily forgetting that they need more than just our vote. They need our continuing support and our reminders. They need to know that they can count on us to back them up. They also need to know we'll keep them honest when they show signs of selling out.
The initiative I mentioned earlier is unfortunately nowhere near achieving national groundswell in the United States. My guess is that few people beyond the more vocal activists have even heard of it, and it's scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, February 26. Even if it manages to draw large crowds, as I would hope, I'm afraid that it will simply come and go, like the Jon Stewart Rally to Restore Sanity.
My wish is for organizations like Daily Kos to join with MoveOn, ActBlue, Democracy For America and others, and with bloggers and social activists nationwide to spearhead a sustained, unyielding campaign of protest marches against shamefully unfair budget cuts and deficit-exploding tax evasion. Perhaps this is their intention. I hope so. I commit to joining in any march or demonstration within reasonable travel distance.
We need to make it clear that we refuse to worship at the delusional altar of "deficit reduction" without appropriate tax increases, and demand that politicians work to reinstate the concept of tax payment as a privilege, not a punishment. We need to make it clear that we are not ready to sacrifice vital services like education, health care and public safety at the feet of the demonstrably false idol of "spending cuts."
It's time to hit the streets. Time for us to be heard.