Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The Progressive Machinery 

Liberals and progressives are fond of waxing eloquent and fondly on the beautiful chaos and disorganization of the progressive movement. "We're a big tent", I've read on occasion. We're a coalition of so many groups, I've heard, that coordinating a unified movement is next to impossible. We're a beloved chaos; we encompass so many beliefs and groups that unified movement is like traveling the L.A. freeway: slowly admidst jammed up ideas and goals not quite finding traction.

Folks, compared to the machinery of the New Right, this tortoise ain't even in the race. She's basking in the sun somewhere oblivious to the looming ecological and economical apacolypse.

Yes, we're all fond of each other. And that's a good thing. Just check out the bursting with love threads on Booman tribune, for example. Supporting, loving, stroking with positive thoughts. This mutual admiration society ain't gonna win us any battles though. It is the firm foundation of a building not yet constructed. This building we will call the progressive machinery.

The word "machinery" itself has connotations of cold, lifeless steel, impersonal and anti-thetical to the goals of humanity. You may call it something different if you wish. I favor "progressive machinery", because I wish to conjure something structurally tough, gritty and hard-working, like a grease monkey whose face and hands are smudged with motor oil after a hard day's work.

Grease is what keeps the machinery running, along with regular maintenance. Call this a maintenace check, if you will. Mam', Sir, you're long overdue.

Your mechanic might tell you something like this: Mam', many of the parts of this car are in relatively good shape, but, the chassis is shot, or, the steering needs to be completely rebuilt. Otherwise your car may drift all over the road without any firm direction, and then "crash!"

The passage of the bankruptcy bill and the repeal of PUCHA was just such a crash.
I don't know about ya'll but my head's in a neck brace right now from the trauma of this crash. I mean, these crashes keep happening, with grave consequences for the quality of life in this country.

Not to mention the unaddressed environmental issues that are beginning to show in symptoms such as the massive bird kill that is washing ashore on our Pacific coast.

I'm using this, uh, downtown time to reflect on our losses, and what has gone wrong. How is it that we are so far off track that we, as a progressive movement/group, aren't even keeping in touch with for-reaching legislation that is being steadily rammed down our collective throats?

Where is our agenda and why isn't it more visible? Why wasn't a coherent, unified energy strategy proposed eons ago in anticipation of the eventual attempt to pass the President's energy policy, which keeps us shackled to the old ways and further erodes consumer protection, drastically?

I'm not letting myself off the hook either. I've been lazy. I've been complacent as I rested in the fog of denial, "there is always time..." The time is now folks. The issues were never more urgent. Our immediate and devoted efforts are required yesterday.