Another year is almost in the books. We’ve almost made it all the way around the sun again and a lot has happened, some good, some bad and some so ugly that Medusa herself would fall down dead from terror if she were face to face with them. But we’re not Medusa; we’re citizens so it’s our responsibility, pleasure, honor and calling to do just that. We are obligated to stand up to the powerful and for principle in the face of civic violence and evil. We are charged with that most sacred of things in a democratic state. That we hold the powerful accountable and make what is just and right practical. It was not practical to end slavery or give women the vote. It was not practical to stop children from working in sweatshops or pass the New Deal. It was not practical to wage the Civil War or finance the Marshall Plan. It was simply just and light will prevail.
This year began the way so many of them do. In Chicago a man who sits at the intersection of the banking collapse by supporting the repeal of Glass-Steagall Act and being a hatchet man for the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act before transforming into an investment banker; the foreclosure crisis where he made hundreds of thousands of dollars and received illegal campaign money from Fannie Mae and would successfully prevent the creation of a universal healthcare plan or the Employee Free Choice Act became Mayor of Chicago. He has gone on to do horrendous things to Chicago’s school children and theirteachers, to the tax base and the civil rights of citizens but we’re not going away. Because we realize what he is going to be forced to understand. We have nowhere to go but at him and we will not go quietly into the night because light will prevail.
This year has been the year that we rose up in Wisconsin. We are going to recall a Governor and if you were wondering where Occupy Wall Street came from it came from here and places like it. This was the year when the Occupy Movement shook off the chains of “hope” and “change” and took up the challenge of direct democracy to demand what our elected President and his Democratic Congress failed to deliver. This was the year when we had the common realization that it is not our job to put good people in positions of power it is our job to make the people in power afraid of us, bargain with us and do our will and we will see our will be done.
In 2011 we got sick and tired of being sick and tired of every new betrayal of the very best values our country has being bargained away the name of pragmatism and shared sacrifice. In Ohio we defended collective bargaining rights, in Mississippi we protected reproductive rights and we have begun to put a face on our enemies ALEC and worse. We stalled the Keystone XL Pipeline when the fix was in to make it law. We did the impossible here, making President Barack Obama do the right thing instead of the practical corporate one, just this once and the fight isn’t over but we won one round because light will prevail.
In 2011, after a decade of economic inequality, unpunished financial fraud, financial bailouts, illegal wars, unchecked corporate power, massive unemployment, stolen elections, deregulation, run away childhood poverty, corporate personhood, civil rights violations, voting rights violations, torture, rendition, economic devastation and the abandonment of the poor and middle classes we said enough. We stood up to a system without a conscience and the prick-rat-bastards that run it and said enough. In 2011 we played defense with an offensive frame of mind. In 2012 we are going to play offense because we are just now beginning to wake up and it will take more tear gas, pepper spray, prisons, rendition, preventive arrest and the rape of the Constitution to stop us. Light will prevail because we see our society closing and we will not go down to darkness without trying to kick the door open.
We are not going to war because we are agents of light not darkness. We are going to restore the democratic process and save a country that is trying not to die from thirty years of neo-liberal, conservative, de-regulatory and social neglect and violence. We know that our foe is not Islamic terrorism or governmental overreach, its totalitarian capitalism and all the long dark night it has pitched us into. We are going to win because we are once again about to make what right practical President Obama. We are going to win because Ayn Rand’s Loki-like brace of children; the GOP, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and the rest of agents of division, fear and hatred don’t understand that at heart Americans are not selfish, cruel or terrified children. We will win because deep down inside most people aspire to be loved, protected, valued, respected and nurtured. That we are only as angry and frightened as we are unconnected from the love and cooperation that the hallmarks of humanity. We all need each other and that is a world and a way well worth fighting for and believing in. And because all that is so light will prevail. I will see you on the barricades in 2012 and Mayans aren’t right and neither are Mitch McConnell and John Boehner.