A revolution of citizenship

The usual suspects on the Left are back to calling President Obama a bumbling fool. Take a look at any of the diaries on Daily Kos, or the usually level-headed PM Carpenter, or Ezra Klein and Sam Stein calling Obama's fiscal cliff press conference "jerky".

I'll still read them, because I write for this blog, and it serves me to know who I'm mocking. But none of us should be under the illusion that they're "progressive" in any sense of the word's definition. I'll leave it to others to deduce the reasoning behind their constant carping of this African American president. But there is no doubt that there's a sense of entitlement on the part of large sectors of the Left media; they believe that it was mostly through their efforts that Barack Obama was re-elected in November. Without their bullhorns, they reason, we'd have President-elect Romney measuring the drapes.

Here's the funny thing: I volunteered a lot for the Obama campaign. And not once were any of the left blogs mentioned. No Daily Kos. No Firedoglake. No Huffington Post. They were unknown to the citizens who made calls, tabulated the data, knocked on doors, opened up their homes, made the coffee.

I'm not saying that they're completely without influence. The screeching of the left, including people like Ed Schulz, landed us in the predicament we're in right now, with a Tea Party House and a GOP leadership too craven to stand up to it.

2012 saw a bit of the fever break, as the left media more or less fell in line behind Obama's campaign. And now that he's won, just as in 2008, it believes that he should follow their prescriptions, their strategies. It is beyond their understanding that he won in spite of them, not because of them. As I said, on my volunteer days, Kos' latest posting was not top of the agenda. We had a goal, and that goal was to re-elect the president, and hopefully get him a Congress to work with. We succeeded on the first part, and we enlarged our Senate lead and gained a few more seats in the House. And if Democratic voters had come out in force in 2010, the House wouldn't have been an issue.

And this is where we need a revolution of citizenship. If you're eligible to vote, register. If you're registered, vote. And don't only vote in the big elections. Vote in the midterms; vote locally; vote for school board, because that is where the Right gets its bench. No vote is unimportant, no vote is okay to skip.

Citizenship is more than voting. It's caring about what's going on in DC, in the state capitals, in your city hall. It's about being informed so you can make informed decisions. It's about getting information from a variety of sources, and then using that intelligence evolved over millions of years to make a decision about a particular topic or policy. If we do that, if we weight the arguments of Democrats and Republicans, it's no surprise that Republicans come out the losers in that evaluation.

Citizenship is more than being informed. It's about supporting those candidates and parties who support your political and social views. If you thought this was the time to stop donating to OFA and the various Democratic entities, you were wrong. Get used to it, folks; this will be the next two years. There will be nothing of note done legislatively, unless the House GOP caucus fractures completely. The goal is 2014, and unless we want Sheldon Adelson to try to buy those elections, we have to step in proactively and give our side the resources to start the fight now. Too many of us stayed home in 2010; we are reaping the consequences of that now. Fortunately in Barack Obama we have someone who can navigate those treacherous shoals. We won't always have him, or someone who has his political skills. It's much easier to make sure that we don't have to fight those fights by winning elections in the first place.

Pundits of both left and right exist solely to drive readers and viewers to their media. They, for the most part, shed no light, provide no expertise on the day's issues. Their only brief is to stoke the anger and disillusion of their audience, while promising that they have the answers. Of course, they never provide those answers, but know that people will keep coming back to them. They are, obviously, not a source for analysis, but instead part of the paralysis which grips our politics. They thrive on that paralysis, and profit from it.

We have to take that power away from them. We have to be engaged citizens who will no longer abide by our "betters" doing the thinking for us. A clear-thinking, reasoning electorate is what pundits and many entrenched office holders fear. When we acknowledge that all sovereignty comes from our decisions, nothing stands as it once did.

November 6th was a battle won. The struggle continues. It's up to us to decide how it will turn out.

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