STAYING MOTIVATED – BY ELLIN CURLEY

There’s an interesting strain in Jewish history. When Jews are persecuted, killed, locked in Ghettos or severely discriminated against, as in most of our history, we stick together. We stay strong and united. We cling to our traditions and our religion. We stay proud and unbowed as we fight to survive, as individuals and as a culture.

From: Miami-Herald

During periods in our history when persecution was lifted, we are more openly accepted into the larger societies in which we lived. When that happens, Jews rapidly assimilate. In the process, we lose some of our Jewishness. We adopt the culture of our homeland. Intermarry and raise our children less Jewish. This has happened in America since the 1960’s. Without an external enemy, we lose our motivation to maintain our cultural and religious identity. We become complacent. We lose some of our unique spirit as a people.

I believe that Democrats/Progressives are, in some ways, like the Jews. When things are going well for us, we lose our identity and our will to fight. We don’t vote in off-year elections and we don’t participate in local and statewide politics as much. We don’t stay organized, motivated and active without an external crisis to propel us into action.

We were motivated by George W. Bush. We became a vocal anti-Bush, anti-Republican, anti-Iraq war force. We voted, we protested, we became a presence on late night TV. Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” became the most trusted man in America. “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” became some of the left’s major sources of news and sustenance.

Then Obama came along and we went back to our daily lives, leaving politics far behind. We stayed home for the mid-term elections and a large majority of states were totally taken over by Republicans. In the 2016 election, many Democrats were not ‘excited’ about Hillary Clinton. No one believed that Trump could win. So too many of us stayed home on election day or voted for third-party candidates. Now we have Trump to motivate us again.

These days, we sure are motivated! We are marching and organizing with a vengeance. We are running local candidates against Republicans, even in deep Red states. We are pulling in record vote tallies in special elections all over the country. Progressive organizations are raising money like crazy, with small donations as well as large ones. Now there are many more late night shows to take up the Democratic/Progressive banner. Facebook, Twitter and other internet platforms have been a big factor in this Progressive explosion. The outrage is everywhere.

Hopefully we can maintain this level of activism and enthusiasm into the mid-term elections in 2018. That may not be enough to win over one, let alone both houses in Congress. So we may not be able to get the major change in Washington that we want through the ballot box before 2020.

But we can also maintain pressure on Congress, the intelligence agencies and the media. That eventually might result in someone being able to link Trump to the Russian hacking of the 2016 election. Or to money laundering, or something else that’s clearly illegal, even to Republicans. That could result in a resignation or impeachment, if something else, like egregious conflicts of interest, haven’t already.

There shouldn’t be a problem keeping Democrats active as long as Trump or Pence are in the White House. Let’s just hope we’ve finally learned our lesson and don’t crawl back into our apolitical holes once we get rid of the current Republican scourge on our country.

4 thoughts on “STAYING MOTIVATED – BY ELLIN CURLEY”

  1. We just had our Federal election Ellin. It was quite an exciting night last night. It was very close. We have four parties, the Liberals (our present Prime Minister Trudeau) the Conservatives, the New Democratic Party and the Green. On top of that there is a splinter group of the Conservative Party and we have the Bloc Quebecois (which only exists in Quebec and is sovereigntist. These smaller parties managed to splinter the vote. The Conservatives won the popular vote but didn’t get quite enough seats to take control. Trudeau got more seats but is now head of a minority government. He didn’t get booted out but he got a slap on the hand and his wings have been clipped. I’m glad the election is over and I’m rather happy with the results.
    Leslie

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    1. So glad to hear that you are happy with your new government. I don’t remember what it feels like to be anything but appalled and horrified by my government.

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  2. Ellin, hard NOT to stay motivated. Donzo can take all the credit.

    Marilyn and I are innundated with emails from candidates seeking money. We haven’t heard from Donzo or his disciples. They must know about us.

    A few $5 checks would be nice “symbols” — for the candidates we like –but even that meager amount is beyond our “Mickey Dees’ Dollar Menu” income.

    Ed Markey — our senior Senator — is running against young Joe Kennedy III. Should be interesting to see how much clout the Kennedy name still carries. I remember Markey from his days as a Freshman Pol. We did a “Mr. Markey Goes To Washingto ” piece on him back in the 70’s. So, I have something of a personal link. I messaged Ed “good luck fro an old acquaintance”. He’s responded with daily “personal” emails, asking for money.

    And, so it goes.

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    1. It’s nice when you at least like your state’s senators and congressmen. Ours are great and we love them. So there’s no big movement in CT to get rid of any of our representatives. It’s funny how we feel proud when we see our guys on TV being sensible and reasonable and virulently anti Trump.

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