Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Edwards Leaves The Race: My Winter of Discontent

“Waiting for the winds of change to sweep the clouds away.
Waiting for the rainbow’s end to cast its gold your way.” — Something For Nothing, Rush

This has really been a tough couple of week and a half. Maybe it’s just the season for sour moods. My beloved and unfortunately hobbled and injured Chargers went on the road to New England, and against the odds played a competitive and inspired game against an unbeaten juggernaut. They lost, though. About that same time we lost the last of the bright red, orange and gold foliage leaving nothing but bare ugly trees. We also began a series of mostly gray, cold and rainy days.

It’s debatable whether winter may or may not cause depression, but it certainly magnifies it.

There’s not been a lot of encouraging signs this year. Yet I was hoping for spring and a chance to finally have a primary vote in Texas that – for once – we might be able to have some influence as to whom might be our next President.

If there was ever a time for distinct change and an overhaul of the disparities that have become the reality of America, it was now. Poverty, bankruptcy, dispossession, under- and unemployment, economic stagnation and decaying dreams are blithely accepted with no true urgency. Any seeming attention these problems get is cosmetic and ephemeral. Any action proposed or taken is only a buttress for the façade of concern.

And yes, like a disproportionate percentage of the transgender community, hit home hard with me as well.

For the record, I’ve been a John Edwards backer throughout. He’s not only been the primary and distinctive voice pushing for comprehensive revamping of this “winner take all, losers die” attitude in 21st century America, he was doing so in the last presidential campaign of 2004. His voice has been the strongest and most unequivocal on poverty – a bright ray of hope for those of us at the bottom rungs of society – someone actually took notice and even concern!

Today I read the headlines that John Edwards ended his campaign for the presidency.

There are other candidates in the Democratic race, and certainly there’s a good chance that we can finally end the reign of unbridled conservatism gone amok. A vote for Sen. Hillary Clinton is tantamount to a vote for Joe Solmonese of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – if you’re gay or lesbian it’s great, if you’re transgendered it’s devastating. Sen. Barack Obama is a better choice, except Sen. Ted Kennedy (head of the senate’s anti-trans coalition) is now sidling up to Obama hoping to influence who he perceives as the next Prez.

Both candidates have been for the troubling notion of “working with corporate America” to negotiate change for the rest of us in need. If we know nothing else, we know corporations exist for their gains – not losses. They’ll take every compromise you’re willing to give them.

For those of us in the lower socioeconomic strata – those of us perpetually disempowered, we’re now back in the darkness and likely to be forgotten again. Status quo.

“Well, I might as well go to bed … at least I can dream ….” — Charlie-in-the-Box from the Island of Misfit Toys in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer © by Rankin-Bass

“I don’t want to sleep. I have nothing left to dream.” — Suzy the Doll from the Island of Misfit Toys in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer © by Rankin-Bass

Jack Cafferty from CNN mused about this ‘change that isn’t’ in his 1/30/08 blog:
“Ask anyone what they think of our government and most people will be happy to tell you. They are angry. I get thousands of letters a week from people angry about health care, immigration, the war, the economy, you name it. The consensus is our government is broken and our country is in trouble.

“The problems they complain about exist solely because of the actions of the Democrats and Republicans in Washington. The political establishment, if you will, that is in bed with the lobbyists and the corporations and, quite frankly, couldn’t care less about you.

Except now, at election time, when they need you. They travel the country spewing the same tired rhetoric we have heard for years. And like lemmings, we appear to be on the brink of continuing to send one of them to the White House.” Cafferty then asks the question “When it comes right down to it, why won’t we vote to really change things?”

Good question, though not entirely a true question. Corporate wealthy types voted for change in 2000 with Bush-Cheney and the coattail electees making their efforts a reality that paid like a busted slot machine. For the rest of us – collectively the overwhelming majority of this country – we haven’t been able to get it together to effect change.

Unless we can download John Edwards’ populism into Barack Obama and pull off a victory for the voiceless, powerless and despondent, it appears change isn’t in the forecast.

And just in time for this economic downturn and recent trend of hiring freezes, I’ll be rejoining the ranks of the unemployed myself. Yes … plenty of dark, gloomy cold to look forward to.

It’s my winter of discontent.

“Vows begin when hope dies.” — Leonardo DaVinci


Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your joining the ranks of the unemployed. I've been there and it sucks. I'm sending prayers and karma in your direction. Keep up the good work and don't forget there are people out here in cyberspace thinking of you. -- Jillian

Polar said...

I, too, am on the job market, albeit I am not trying to do so as a transitioned T. The market, frankly, sucks in my city, and probably sucks worse elsewhere.

Edwards' departure also sucks. I don't trust Hillary and don't think Obama has the experience.

Get out there, girl, you can get that job, you're good!