This Fight For Rights in America Will Never End
My appointment with my oncologist went well yesterday. Four years and still cancer-free. I never realize how anxious I’ve been until it’s over and I hear the good news — at least for the present.
What caught me off guard was my reaction as I left the building, walking on air lighter than when I went in. I thought, Good! Now I can concentrate on what’s really important — the eternal fight to save my country from itself.
I mean, seriously. My first damn thought.
I hate that I’m this old — 83 — and I’m still at it. I’ve been fighting for my country since forever. I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t worried about my country and wondering what I could do to make it better.
My father began taking me with him to the voting booth when I was very small, and when I could cast my first vote (at 21 back then) I remembered those moments and truly felt the gravity of my vote. Did it change anything? No, but being able to vote changed me. It made me even more committed to a cause I’ve never stopped giving top priority: The need to ensure equity and equality for all of us and to stop the Republicans from moving us from a democracy to a meritocracy.
I wish I could say we’ve won that battle. You know we haven’t. Not even close. In fact, we came as close as we ever have to succumbing to the worst kind of fascistic authoritarianism with the reign of Donald Trump — who couldn’t have done any of it without the help of every single Republican.
But we’re not done yet. Or, I should say, I’m not done yet. The Democrats have taken the presidency and have a tenuous hold on both the House and the Senate. It’s on them now to do everything so perfectly there will be no complaints, no obstruction, no need to ever again give the Republicans the upper hand.
Republicans can go in there and trash the place, can actually do NOTHING to help the poor, the disadvantaged, the entire middle class, can escalate a pandemic to epic proportions simply by pretending everything is gonna be all right, and half the country will say, ‘Down with the Democrats’.
We are proud Democrats, through and through. My entire family. I’m biased as hell toward the Democrats and nothing is ever going to change that. I vote the party and always have. My only Republican vote EVER was for William Milliken, the one Republican governor of Michigan who could well have been a Democrat. I don’t remember who he ran against but I do remember the hesitation before I pulled the lever for him. Could I do it? Could I really vote for a Republican? Was it worth it to end my unsullied Vote Democratic record? It must have been because I did it. That one time.
Milliken was Michigan’s longest-running governor, filling that office from 1969 to 1983. He died in October, 2019 at age 97, and I choked up when I heard the news. I knew, in 2019, that my dreams — and his dreams — had not been fulfilled, and probably never would be.
Why am I writing this? Because I don’t have cancer to worry about right now and it pisses me off that I can’t just relax and enjoy the rest of my days in a country that has finally seen the error of its ways and given in to the promises of a constitution that at least suggested everyone in it has a right to health, happiness, and prosperity.
And because I’ve been at this for all of my adult years, only to watch a goddamned attempt at an insurrection against my country a month ago, brought on by an evil, foul-mouthed madman whose only claim to the presidency was as a foaming, anti-government poseur, his only qualifications lying, cheating, and conning.
Celebrity gave him an entrance to the highest, most honorable job in the land. He botched everything. He made everything worse. He was despicable. And 70 million Americans voted to give him another four years to finish the job of devastating a country I love more than life itself.
And even though Trump is out of office, the Republicans are still at it. They know they can’t win with their despicable policies so they’ve turned once again to voter suppression, to gerrymandering, to propaganda designed to keep the rich richer and the poor poorer.
That’s no way to run a country. Not this one, anyway. So the fight goes on. I’m in it for the long haul.
FDR was president when I was born. My first vote for president went to JFK. My first efforts as a columnist were in trying to take down one Ronald Reagan, another poseur determined to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. Nothing I’ve ever done has made a single damned difference. I’m exhausted. I’m tired. I want to stop this but I can’t. I won’t. I’ve been at it for too long with no positive results.
The challenge is to keep going, no matter what. An even bigger challenge is to get something done. Quitting is never the answer. Not when the stakes are this important.
You know what still works? Speaking out. I’m speaking out. It’s the most I can do and I’m doing it.
More on Politics from Ramona:
We All Know Right From Wrong
We don’t need Commandments or Courts to tell us what evil looks like.