Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin
queerbychoice

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I Wonder When I Will Start Writing Occasional Nonpolitical Entries Again

The article "Outrage in Ohio: Angry residents storm State House in response to massive voter suppression and corruption" cheered me up a bit:
Across Ohio, demonstrations were held in Toledo, Cleveland, Oxford, Athens and Cincinnati. Throughout the United States on both election night and November 3 people erupted in protest -- some involving 1000’s of people -- with marches, direct actions, civil disobedience, and vigils. Marchers in San Francisco smashed bank windows. Rallies were held in at least 40 cites and likely many, many more. Many of these actions were planned in advance, advertised with flyers headlined, "NOV 2: VOTE! NOV 3: MAKE IT COUNT!"

Most of the actions planned by groups were to take place regardless of the election outcome and were focused more on the deeper issues of democracy, not empire; healthcare, not warfare; and education, not occupation. The day of action was initially called for by the Beyond Voting network, whose call for actions read in part, "When your government has troops stationed around the world, lets big corporations write the rules of the global economy and pushes racist policies that promote fear, undermines civil liberties, and rips off working people, you are living in an EMPIRE! Empire is as system of global control that combines international aggression with domestic repression to create a deeply undemocratic world. REAL DEMOCRACY means we the people have direct control over the decisions and resources that matter in our lives. Real democracy means that we make the decisions that impact our neighborhoods, workplaces, schools and the state of the world we hand off to our children. This year the world is counting on us to expand the election year debate beyond Democrats versus Republicans to the larger issue of whether the U.S. will be a Democracy or an Empire."

. . .

Let's be honest. Kerry would have been an improvement to Bush and sent a much better signal to the world, but he is more reactionary than Nixon; a pro-war, pro-corporate capitalism millionaire who wants a more multilateral approach to wars and US empire building. It's also an important to remember what makes deeper changes in the world is movements and communities and people power, not politicians. And if we step back and look at things globally, Bush and his gang are fringe extremists whose empire is overextended, and lacks any global legitimacy while we are part of a global majority, an ever growing movement of movements that is creating common sense alternatives that will undermine the empire from below.
That's just a small piece of a big article, and the comments at the end of the article are worth reading too. Follow the link I gave you at the beginning of this entry.

Also, this morning I sent slightly modified versions of the LJ entry I wrote yesterday to both my senators and my congressional representative. In case you have Democratic senators or representatives you'd like to send it to, I'm including form-letter text below the LJ cut.

First, this is the version I sent to Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, who I have already heard quoted saying that Democrats need to back away from supporting queer rights because having supposedly done so supposedly cost John Kerry the election. (To find out whether your own senators or representatives have been quoted saying anything like that, try searching Google News).

I hear that you, as a heterosexual Democrat, now believe that supporting same-sex marriage cost Kerry the election and that in order to win, the Democrats need to have a candidate who won't support it anymore. The following is my response to that.

1. You already DIDN'T support same-sex marriage. Your presidential candidate already DIDN'T support same-sex marriage. Democrats already put ABSOLUTELY NO PROPOSITIONS ON THE BALLOT IN ANY STATE that aimed to give queers more rights.

2. Moaning about how in order for your party to win the election, you have to not be seen by homophobes as the party who's failing to defend the homophobia of marriage is not exactly likely to stop Republicans from sponsoring any further such propositions. Rather, it is likely to encourage them to sponsor more such propositions than ever - causing the Democrats to lose more elections than ever, since no amount of having Democratic candidates disclaim all support for same-sex marriage is ever going to break homophobic voters' habit of viewing Democrats as the ever-so-slightly less homophobic and therefore less appealing political party in anything less than 50 years, unless maybe Democratic candidates start actually walking the streets mass-murdering queers, and possibly not even then.

3. That being the case, it's in all Democrats' best interests to start ACTUALLY supporting queer rights, since the Democrats are already firmly associated with us in homophobic voters' minds anyway, and the only way to make being associated with us stop being such a handicap for Democrats is to start actually working to cure homophobic voters of their homophobia.

4. In order to have any chance at doing so, it would probably help considerably for Democrats to bother curing THEMSELVES of their homophobia first. This includes recognizing that for you to go around telling us we should just shut up and stop demanding the right to marry who we love until sometime when it's more convenient for you, while you show no willingness to sacrifice your OWN right to marry or remain married to who you love and to benefit from all the legal rights associated with marriage, means that you believe you have an inherently greater right to marry than we have.

5. Really though, if all the heterosexual Democrats in the nation, or even half or even one FOURTH of the Democrats in the nation, all stood up en masse and filed for divorce, announcing that they were doing so purely in solidarity with queers' inability to marry the people they love, who knows what the sight of all those heterosexuals "living in sin" might SCARE the homophobic Bible-thumpers into agreeing to?

6. 23% of the queer electorate voted for Bush. Granted, these people do have something seriously wrong in their heads. Even so, the odds of your getting them to vote for you or for any Democratic candidate would be a lot better if the candidate in question didn't go around announcing all over the place that he or she doesn't believe they deserve the right to marry the person they love.

7. Just to summarize, in case you still haven't gotten the point: It's not QUEERS who cost Senator Kerry the election. Rather, it's HOMOPHOBES who cost Senator Kerry the election. Therefore, instead of ditching the queers and committing yourself to extinguishing queerness from society, you need to ditch the homophobic campaign platforms and commit yourselves to extinguishing homophobia from the electorate. Including the red states. Understand?


And this is the version I sent to the senator and representative who I was fairly confident would continue supporting same-sex marriage, to whom I just wanted to provide an argument to use against anyone who advised them not to:

I'm writing to you today because I've heard that many Democrats such as Senator Dianne Feinstein now believe that supporting same-sex marriage cost Senator John Kerry the election and that in order to win, the Democrats need to have a candidate who won't support it anymore. I hope that you do not fall for this argument, particularly because I just voted for you last Tuesday. (By contrast, I resolved never again to vote for Dianne Feinstein when she voted to support the invasion of Iraq, so I suppose she has nothing to lose by further offending me. But you still have my support because you voted against it.)

I presume that many of your fellow Democrats will now be urging you and each other, and especially future presidential candidates, to abandon support for queer rights in response to Senator John Kerry's election loss. The following is my response to that argument.

1. The Democratic presidential candidate already DIDN'T support same-sex marriage. Democrats already put ABSOLUTELY NO PROPOSITIONS ON THE BALLOT IN ANY STATE that aimed to give queers more rights.

2. Moaning about how in order for the Democratic Party to win the election, Democrats have to not be seen by homophobes as the party who's failing to defend the homophobia of marriage is not exactly likely to stop Republicans from sponsoring any further such propositions. Rather, it is likely to encourage them to sponsor more such propositions than ever - causing the Democrats to lose more elections than ever, since no amount of having Democratic candidates disclaim all support for same-sex marriage is ever going to break homophobic voters' habit of viewing Democrats as the ever-so-slightly less homophobic and therefore less appealing political party in anything less than 50 years, unless maybe Democratic candidates start actually walking the streets mass-murdering queers, and possibly not even then.

3. That being the case, it's in all Democrats' best interests to start ACTUALLY supporting queer rights, since the Democrats are already firmly associated with us in homophobic voters' minds anyway, and the only way to make being associated with us stop being such a handicap for Democrats is to start actually working to cure homophobic voters of their homophobia.

4. In order to have any chance at doing so, it would probably help considerably for Democrats to bother curing THEMSELVES of their homophobia first. This includes recognizing that for Democratic candidates like Senator Feinstein to go around telling us we should just shut up and stop demanding the right to marry who we love until sometime when it's more convenient for Democrats, while she shows no willingness to sacrifice her OWN right to remain married to who SHE loves and to benefit from all the legal rights associated with marriage, means that she believes she has an inherently greater right to marry than we have.

5. Really though, if all the heterosexual Democrats in the nation, or even half or even one FOURTH of the Democrats in the nation, all stood up en masse and filed for divorce, announcing that they were doing so purely in solidarity with queers' inability to marry the people they love, who knows what the sight of all those heterosexuals "living in sin" might SCARE the homophobic Bible-thumpers into agreeing to?

6. 23% of the queer electorate voted for Bush. Granted, these people do have something seriously wrong in their heads. Even so, the odds of getting them to vote for a Democratic candidate would be a lot better if the candidate in question didn't go around announcing all over the place that he or she doesn't believe they deserve the right to marry the person they love.

7. In other words: It's not QUEERS who cost Senator Kerry the election. Rather, it's HOMOPHOBES who cost Senator Kerry the election. Therefore, instead of ditching the queers and committing themselves to extinguishing queerness from society, Democrats need to ditch the homophobic campaign platforms and commit themselves to extinguishing homophobia from the electorate. Including the red states.

Thank you for actually representing me. That's what I voted for you for.


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