For my great grandmother Bernstein, who marched with the suffragettes and was arrested for chaining herself to the gate of Gracie Mansion. My grandmother Marker, who was the first woman licensed as an insurance broker in Brooklyn. Both of whom resigned from DAR when it refused to rent Constitution Hall to Marion Anderson.
For my grandfather Feld, who was a union organizer.
For my Mother, who got run out on a rail from Yonkers for pushing integration, worked on school desegregation in Boston in the 1970s, and worked on drop out prevention in Providence.
For my Father, who instilled in my the value of social justice.
"The stone that was rejected by the builder has become the cornerstone! It is from the Lord, and it is wonderful in our eyes. This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice in it!"
Back when I was in law school, I was arguing with someone about the best way to address problems of persistent poverty and racism. This fellow volunteered with Big Brother, worked in various community programs in minority neighborhoods, and utterly infuriated me with his cynical insistence that creating economic and social opportunities would have impact. When I argued that given a real opportunity -- in fact not merely in name -- to go to a school like Harvard and a drive to take part in society and make a real, lasting change, he snorted in that cyncial way that substitutes for wisdom and said: "Yeah, right! And anybody can be president! Because this America and the land of opportunity and anyone who works hard and applies himself can grow up to be president some day. Right." And for him, that was the killer argument.
Whose laughing now? "Cynicism is the most morally supine position in the universe. It's real comfortable, ya know. Because if nothing makes a difference, you can just lie there and not worry about how you're adding to the stink." -- Miles Vorkosigan.
Salty language on last.
Hope is not for pussies. "Bipartisan" does not mean an invitation to get fucked. This is a movement or people who just quietly and without fanfare kicked ass so hard that the other side hasn't even figured out yet where the heck it is landing. Cynical does not substitute for wisdom, nor does believing in people make one naive. For Republicans hoping that Obama will prove a naive Wilsonian waif out of his depth, I invite you to consider how he effectively absorbed and handled the Clinton supporters and the fractious elements of the traditional Democratic party and managed the supposedly untameable Joe Biden, while the mighty Republican machine crumbled into dust and dissolved into petty bickering.
This is a movement designed to be effective. That does not mean the lack of principle and worship of political expediency that politicians have mistaken for "pragmatism." It means refraining from wasting time and energy or compromising effectiveness for the sole pleasure of venting the spleen and feeling like lords of creation. There will certainly be investigations, purges, and prosecutions. God knows there is plenty to investigate. But they will not be witch hunts for the pleasure of it, despite the fact that you will no doubt see them as such. Still, you would be advised to cooperate when given an opportunity, because this is not about revenge but about trying to repair the damage and make government function properly again.
Do not mistake the failure to take revenge as weakness. Or, perhaps better, do make such a mistake. You will only make it once. Think of it as evolution in action or, if you prefer, relentless and intelligent design.