This has been a wonderful community to be a very small part of. When Matt and Chris said they were leaving MyDD, I knew I would be following them to wherever they were going. I thought they were full of wild and crazy ideas, but ones that could be implemented.
They knew that principles mattered because they set the course of events. Principles told you when you were veering off course.
My identifier on this site was this quote from a Matt Stoller piece during the 2008 election cycle
“Incrementalism isn’t a different path to the same place, it could be a different path to a different place”
I have been doing politics in different ways at different levels for many years. From being one of the founders of the first women’s “liberation” group in Boston, to marching in the streets against war and for equality, to helping to make films about the history of the left and its repression in America, to being involved organizationally with the abortion rights movement. Being a liberal, one who thought we should be loud about our liberalism….Well, it was often a very lonely place for an unreconstructed liberal like me.
You know that hackneyed phrase. “I haven’t changed, I haven’t left the Demcoratic party, the Democratic party left me,”? It is always used by right wingers to justify themselves…for whatever heinous betrayal of principles they have just engaged in. However for me, it’s also true. I haven’t changed, I am just the liberal I always was. It’s just that the Democratic party has become less so. However, I keep refusing to accept that that is to be the final outcome, a constant drift rightward. So I try mightily to pull it back to where it once was
The community on the internet and on the blogs, alleviated that sense of loneliness. Actually it made me realize I wasn’t the only one who was crazy. Crazy for freedom and equality and all those words everyone uses and abuses. To me the truest and most fundamental expression of freedom and equality are to be found in that space known as progressivism now and liberalism then.
Matt was very right about the dangers of incrementalism. If the arc of change is too long and too curvy, it gets diverted from its final object. Diverted by corruption, diverted by fatigue, diverted by a misplaced sense of comity, diverted by money and the distortion in power that money creates, and diverted by the idea that if change doesn’t come now it will come later. Well it may, but it won’t, by then be the change that is needed and that we liberals have fought for. It won;t be the change people NEED. The more it gets diverted, the less power real people have to make the change that is best for themselves. It is a downward spiral instead of an upward one. Patience is not always a virtue.
FDR made big change and he made it fast. It has had a lasting effect. We are still trying to fill in the gaps in the vision he brought for.
I want to thank Matt and Chris for the oppurtunity they gave me to write for this wonderful blog. When Matt asked me to write here, I replied I wasn;t a good enough writer. But he said I stuff to write about, that I was passionate about…so I did. I hope I got better.
I want to thank Paul Rosenberg for all his wonderful posts and the help he has extended to me since he’s been editor. And to Mike Lux for being himself, smart, left but centered. And to Adam Bink for being himself as well and fixing my techno screw ups. ( Adam say hi to your mom for me)
I have been asked to write about abortion, choice and women at Crooks and Liars. I am thrilled to do so.
And I want to thank my colleagues here at Open Left when we won the Pub Quiz at Netroots Nation when we were in Pittsburgh in 2009. I never had more fun at a conference in my life. Maybe that’s why John asked me to write for C&L!
To the commenters on this site, I want to say that this is smartest, most insightful and most courteous group of commenters on the internet. I thank you for letting me write for you.