By Doug Ballard
Aug 9, 2010
If we really believe in ourselves, and in our system, and in our society, we must call for economic and social justice for all, and justice to be brought to those who violate our most sacred principles. Until we do this, we will not be able to regain the moral high ground that this country had been known to occupy.
Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels, and can be used to justify the most abhorrent behavior. Those who advocate justice, ethics and moral principle are portrayed as weak. Ironically, the courage lay with those willing to stand up against injustice, when most say otherwise. The weak are those who succumb to urges of fear, manifested by lies and persecutions.
It seems we’re in a time when absolutism, hate, and religious fundamentalism are in ascendancy. One of my favorite quotes is from Sinclair Lewis: “Fascism will come to this country wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross”. Holy War on the infidels (Democrats, the poor, the blacks, the browns, the gays, the educated, the intellectuals…). It’s a familiar pattern in hard times.
There is still hope, though. The election of Obama was a great and historic achievement. A white, angry backlash was both predictable and inevitable, and fits the GOP like a glove – with their penchant for using hate and fear. Ever since the Civil Rights Act, they have courted and embraced the Dixiecrats and the worst elements of our society. The economic downturn has made people, who had otherwise been politically asleep, easy prey to the fear and hate tactics of the right.
Our job, as Democrats, is to wake up the public to the lies, the hate tactics, and the fear mongering. As the economy improves, that job will be made easier….unfortunately, in part, because many will go back to sleep. Still, we have much work to do, and there are many good people who really care about the future of this country, and who really care about the well being of their neighbors. Therein lay the hope, and therein also lay the reasons I’m a Democrat.