A Little Rain Must Fall
Yes, a little rain must fall on every parade. A great deal has fallen on Mr. President's but I think that a little has fallen on mine. Am I happy about the election results? Sure am! However, I know in my heart that my first loyalty isn't to my party but to my faith. The work, my friends, isn't done. We need to keep our new congress and governors accountable.
For example, as a follower of the Prince of Peace I am concerned about gun control. Many of our new Democrats are perfectly happy with the way things are. It was nice to see all that blue on the graphics behind Ms. Kouric last night, but will our kids stop killing each other at school?
How about the immigrants who have made this country the vital and energetic place it has always been? What about my Brazilian neighbors and friends here in MetroWest? My faith tells me that there is a place at the table for everyone. Still, I hear that not all of our party saviors are in agreement on what to do. I will be watching for the immigrants and for me, grateful for all that they have done to add depth and richness to my little part of the world.
Also, many of these folks have limited voting records. I need evidence of how they will actually vote before I am willing to relax. For example, my new Governor-Elect/Rock Star Deval Patrick (who I did vote for) is more than a little vague about actual plans and positions. I have a vague sense that he is supposed to be liberal. Why do I think that? Because the incredibly incompetant campaign of Kerry Healey told me so. So, is it true? I guess it could be. That would be nice, but his past actions send a mixed message on many things that I care about. I am not so blissed out by him that I will ignore what he actually does.
I am concerned about economic issues (like predatory lending and the minimum wage), many of which did not get a lot air time thanks to that war in Iraq and the odd actions of various Republican politicians from the President to Rev. Haggard. Their inability to communicate a rational conservative message has been so deafening that I am not so sure that I hear the message of the new Democratic leadership all that clearly. I am looking forward to its articulation. I would feel more comfortable that way.
Here is the problem. I feel more like I did when the Patriots won the Super Bowl than like the nation is on a new, better course. This election was about our President and about a party that had learned rather quickly how to abuse its power. It wasn't so much about ideas or about how to turn our nation around. Now that the smoke is clearing and the rhetoric has (hopefully) toned down. What, if anything will change? How will things improve for the poor of this country and for those who live in the many places of this world where the influence of our government and our corporations is a basic fact of life? I will be watching our politicians of either (and no) party. This isn't over. There is work to do and I, at least, expect it to get done.
Dan Harper will be in Boston tomorrow to fight for gay marriage. If you can make it down, why don't you go? It would be a way to let the Democrats know that we aren't so impressed that we will stop watching, caring, and speaking out.