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I have finally graduated college. Now that I have had a sufficient amount of time to reflect, turn in my final papers, take my final exams and detox from a heavier than usual influx of Pabst Blue Ribbon and Hoegaarden from my liver; its time to get back into politics.
I will be honest with you all. Over the past three months, I’ve been pretty removed from the political world. I followed it more than the average American, I’m sure, but I really took a break from it to focus on other things in my life. I focused on graduating, having fun, running, being at my internship and just doing other things.
I got into music, I got into sports, I got into fantasy football again and having a few months of a mini-kinda-not political exile; it felt good again. To be fair, it wasn’t all just me taking a break from politics but me being fairly downtrodden about the state that we are currently in in this country. I’m not even talking about Americans, but being a progressive.
It is a tough thing to be a progressive. Hell, read that sentence. A few years ago, I would openly call myself a liberal but that term has been thrown through the ringer so much that its only slightly more favorable to call yourself a liberal than it is to be Dick Cheney.
Why was the word under attack? Well its always been. For some reason, liberal has always seemed to be an insult as opposed to a call for political change. That’s ignoring the fact that people were accused of being “liberals” for supporting marriage equality, health care reform, gun reform, Civil Rights, women’s health and most notably; anti-war. All of those seem to be pretty good, right?
So now I have to censor myself and call myself a progressive. Great, I’m a censoring liberal. That will definitely go over well when I get called out on this the first term. I can already picture a #tcot going “he’s scared of the term librulll! :proceeds to load shotgun and spits out Skoal:”. I know, I know.
But what is it going to ever take to have some type of mini liberal….anything in America? The Occupy movement was covered at first, but no one is touting the “Occupy” candidate that wants to challenge some Third Way centrist Democrat in a blue state. Hell even one of the most prominent liberals in the Senate, Bernie Sanders, probably won’t ever be taken seriously as a presidential candidate unlike Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Michele Bachmann for that one day and Rick Perry before he opened his mouth in a debate.
You would’ve thought the “Great Recession” would’ve at least inspired SOME type of reform in a good or bad way. Well, we didn’t get that. I’ve been told this recession is over and while it seems that way, I can’t pretend that our family is doing any better than it was in 2008. Some things seem to have even took a turn for the worse though at least my father is employed which is awesome. Now I got to find his lead, but that’s life.
Maybe the great displeasure of the war on terrorism would have sparked some major reforms and while we have yet to be attacked; it always seems like we are on the cusp of war. Maybe that’s just a pessimistic way of looking at things.
I have no problems being a Democratic loyalist. The only way I will get progressive achievements in my lifetime is by fighting for the party that has the best people on its team. No, not all Democrats are great; far from it actually. But as long as Sherrod Brown, Tammy Baldwin, Elizabeth Warren and Jeff Merkley are Democrats; then I can call myself one and hold my nose when it counts.
But jeez, isn’t it hard to stick up for the healthcare law that we weren’t too keen on. Of course, we weren’t getting single payer but man we were fighting for that public option. Alas though, maybe we are on the way to that in the future.
I guess that’s what being a progressive is about. The past has its ugly moments. The present always needs to be fixed but there’s always the future to look ahead to. We have to move forward or the only way we will accomplish anything is to just progress. That involves not giving up, getting your voice out there, actually trying to accomplish something that is worth it.
No, you won’t be the reason why background checks on guns will be implemented. You won’t be the catalyst for Wall Street taxes or improving our public schools. But you will be the person that fights for that in the belief that one day, you know what; we might get closer to it.