Yeah, so current events have you and me holding our heads in our hands, if not banging them against the wall. But while reading this post by Evan Hurst, in which he notes the sudden lack of reluctance, just since the Bush years, by a number of big-name Republicans and conservatives to be seen being human towards gay people, I thought once again of the Glenn Beck Lawn Chair Rally and Lardfest: say what you will about the ridiculous and unfounded anger of those people, one point that cannot be emphasized enough is how hard they all were trying to appropriate the image of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Superficially, to be sure, and forgetting a lot of the important stuff, no doubt, but the fact remains that two generations ago, this same sort of crowd would have been calling for him to be jailed, if not lynched.
So, we may not make progress as fast as we'd like on our agenda. Our president appears a tad too cautious and catering for our taste. We don't have a political party that likes to represent our interests consistently. We might even have a messy midterm election, in which we allow our irritation to manifest as apathy, and let the worse of two evils win one.
But if you step back a bit and reflect, you see that our way keeps winning out over the long run. We have to work too damn hard at it, we do sometimes feel like it's ninety-eight steps back for every ninety-nine forward, but when all is said and done, we do drag the reluctants along with us, and we do outlive and outlast the reactionaries. Women vote. People of different skin color get married, and soon, people of the same sex will, too. We may bicker about how much in crisis Social Security is, but it is now taken as a given that old and disabled people should be cared for, and not just by hoping private charity will do it. We are stuck in some unpleasant wars, but we now think individual casualties are of real importance. And so on. I'm sure if you put your mind to it, you can come up with another couple dozen big examples.
It is not at all like me to be upbeat, but despite my usual air of cynicism and despair, I always believe the above. And so I thought I would remind you, who pay so much attention to the details that maybe you sometimes forget the big picture, to keep it in mind, too.
We're better than they are, we're smarter than they are, and dammit, people like what we do.