Reframe, Reform, Regroup

j-miller-we-can-do-it-rosie-the-riveterThere is a general consensus out there in the Pumasphere that we need to regroup and continue to voice our issues.  I have found that it is much easier, at this point, for me to list the issues that made me a Puma.  It’s much harder for me to suggest a blueprint for the regrouping.

Our political process needs reform.  Both parties have now won elections by perpetrating ugliness, fraud, and lies. Tactics used by Democrats this year were the source of much frustration and anger in the past when used by Republicans.  How can you claim higher ground while stooping to conquer?  We have to find a way to stop the parties from using the deep pockets of special interest constituencies to game an election.  I’ve been amazed at how the same blogs that howled at Rovian tricks have borrowed some of the same plays and chortled in glee when these nasty strategies work in their favor.

One of the nasty strategies is the hyperpartisanship that allows candidate surrogates to demonize opponents and their supporters.  This year’s Judas goat appeared to be women candidates and women in general.  I was horrified at the level of misogyny given a pass by the DNC.  I was even more horrified that much of this was done by women.  I now have a list of women’s groups and women’s activists whom I no longer consider feminist.  This includes NARAL, Emily’s List, Gloria Steinham, and many others.  We cannot allow the parties to use us to beat up on women who disagree with us on an issue or so.  The progress of women depends on not allowing any one to define the weakest ones in the herd so that the predators can weed them out for destruction.  My guess is that women’s rights as well as GLBT rights will not achieve anything with the new congress and the new president.  We will be used once more to place the usual suspects in power so they can enrich themselves and further legislation that has nothing to do with anything we value.  Yes, I will be happy to see all those nasty, birth control phobic executive orders go away.  I doubt we will see legislation, however, demanding insurance providers cover all forms of women’s reproductive care let alone laws enabling federal funding.  So how much are marginal differences worth to us?

 To further the Obama cause, we will see more Prop 8s.  As long as it advances Obama’s status, they will support laws that winnow out the least powerful among us.  We need to reframe what it means to be “for” us and “against” us.  Lip service and proxy misspeaks should not be so easily forgiven or forgotten.  We need to reframe them so that folks see them for what they are–nonsupportive of women’s rights and a disservice to our self-esteems and our causes.

So, can we reform either party?  Will the Republicans give up their love of controlling women’s bodies while curbing corporations that run amok?  I don’t think so.  Now that the Democratic Party has learned they can fool enough of the people enough of the time, will they show some respect to those of us that loathe this new process and their new flunkies?  Dream on.  We can choose to be a segment that can select a few kings or we can try to coordinate with others to forge a new independent way that could possibly lead to a third party.  I’m still drawn to the latter as a long term strategy.  I think Bloomberg may take a run at the presidency in 4 years and he’ll need some voting blocs.  We should keep all of our options open because I have no doubt we will be in exhile for some time.

It is likely for election reform we will have to work state by state.  If we want more women’s voices in the process, we will have to run or put women candidates into office.  The blogosphere continues to be our best weapon.  We can connect, reframe the issues, demand reform where we can, and look for the best possible structure to regroup.  I think that’s all I can offer up for debate at this point.  I will say that I am willing to stick it out and work for it because the problem is at the very heart of all that is the promise of democracy.

NOTE:  This is my contribution to the The Confluence’s The Way Forward Series: Pondering our future as P.U.M.A.s.  If you follow this link and look in the upper right hand comment, you will find the ideas of others in the PUMA movement.

One Comment on “Reframe, Reform, Regroup”

  1. warrior princess says:

    Indeed, if we want to have a lasting effect on the political landscape then we will have to remain in exile for awhile, AND build some big time alliances.

    I will never be a Republican, until that party changes a great deal, and now I find I cannot be a Democrat, because that party has changed too much. Do I want to see a viable third party which leans toward the moderate, with an underpinning of respect and absolute ethical standards? Hell yes.

    The question will be, how to do that. We will have to steal players from both of the main parties, while keeping the players we have now. I. personally, advocate, stealing a lot of women players. First, because I am a woman, and want to see women in higher positions while I am still able to enjoy it. Second, because, left to their innate senses, women do things a little differently. I think it is testosterone. Don’t get me wrong, I know men can’t help having too much of it. It’s natures way. But it colors how they approach problems, and only certain men have developed the ability to overcome the hormonal balance. In short, let’s see how women would do the running the government thing. I know, Nancy Pelosi has poisened the waters on this notion somewhat, but there will always be exceptions to the rule.

    Now, if we are going to recruit the women we need, then we can start all over by forming new groups to do that, or we can start pressuring some of the ones that already exist to change their assinine ways. I think first of Emily’s group. They got my money, and I never gave a thought to how they could be improved. Until now. Now, we have the added job of getting women to see that we are more than reproducers. That is important, and we can continue to have that discussion forever, but we have to cease letting that particular discussion destroy every other advancement we could make. These groups, and these media mavens need to be brought into line with the best interests of all women, and all people. That isn’t happening now, and it needs to start.

    My starting point is to reach out to all people, particularly women, from the far left to the Rep. moderates ( don’t have the energy for the far-right, yet.) and start building a strong voice for ethics and compassion in government. That and power in voting blocks. I will work with anyone of a like mind, and I will welcome anyone willing to converse in a reasonable manner.