First, this country's leaders--both R and D--constantly tout the concept of America as a meritocracy. A place where, if you work hard, you can achieve economic success, no matter your background. But it doesn't take a genius to note that our meritocracy has been funneling wealth upward and squeezing everyone else for three decades or so. The R-Party actually views this as a good thing, the D-Party is no slouch when it comes to helping institute policies that allow it to happen. Welfare reform, mass imprisonment, mindless free trade deals, slow-walking increases in the minimum wage, catfood commissions promoting austerity: D-Party fingerprints are all over these working class slapdowns.
So who should activists support? The party that pretends to fight for average Americans while they court corporate sponsorship? Sorry. No more LOTE voting for me. Tried it. Not working.
Second, hope is a tricky conceit. While I'd never advocate sitting down and feeling hopeless, I would advise my fellow liberals to strongly consider the supposed wisdom of putting hope in efforts to reform the D-Party from within. The duopoly listens to power, period. If you keep holding your nose and handing your power to those who serve their corporate masters, you're aiding and abetting your political enemies. That is truly hopeless, and years of watching the D-Party drift rightward proves it.
So follow Sister Joan's suggestion. Rise up. Resist. But don't be so unimaginative or cowardly that you won't back up your threats to hold feet to the fire. Because empty threats enable business as usual.
Shut down Enbridge Line 5!