by Joe Tortorici
The winds of optimism move across the country as a historic Congress occupies the chamber. Diversity, in all its forms, will at long last be represented in an equitable manner. It has taken one hundred years for women to fulfill the promise of suffrage. These women will create a base change in the tenor of law-making. The House of Representatives actually begins to look like “us”…black, brown, native American, Middle Eastern, urban, rural, straight, gay, Catholic and Atheist alike, all in one place, for one purpose. We are here to make real the promise of our Constitution.
It is important to note that in spite of this publication’s liberal leaning, it is impossible to espouse the sole dogma of any political sect. A rabidly liberal government would be as disastrous as a conservative one. However, we must separate “conservative” from “Republican.” Classic conservatism embraced fiscal responsibility in conjunction with deregulation. The current Republican platform is the polar opposite. Free markets and free trade have always been foundational pillars of the conservative ethic. Trumpian trade wars are the manifestation of a nationalist fever that defies the modern global economy. Individual liberties, without the nihilistic manifesto of Libertarians, and the broad power of immigration are also a part of the conservative language. They are all in jeopardy.
Diversity is just that…a multi-platform principle of values. Informed, pragmatic debate is our greatest strength. Separatism, our greatest vulnerability. Compromise, by definition, is a mutual effort. It is not what the Republican Party demands of it.
For so many of my intimates, Facebook is a town-square filled with wit and laughter, hockey and football, music and dance, food and drink (coffee!), and a healthy dose of outrage at the inequities of life. I began examining the declarations of far-right advocates on social media. It gives me nightmares. I find it hard to believe they do anything but pray and hate. Odd, you say? Some forms of prayer seem wed to hate.
Talk to your elected representatives. Let them know what you want. Protest and speak out for justice. Remember the day after Trump’s election, millions marched across the country to say “hell no.” The electoral sweep we saw this mid-term cycle was a direct result of that activism and motivation to right the ship of state. Let’s continue. Let’s mentor the new generation of leaders and blend their desires with the apparatus of good government.
Read, embrace new ideas, participate in the future of our nation. Breathe the winds of optimism.