Thought for the day

We prove ourselves citizens of a democracy not by our winning of elections but by our agreeing to lose elections. -- Lewis H. Lapham

… They should teach this in grade school civics and not let anyone graduate until they really get it.

Hearing the news come in today and having watched politics for the last several years, it becomes crystal clear to me: the people who should be horsewhipped with a horsewhip (to borrow from The West Wing) are the people so convinced of the rightness of their cause as to think that the rules don’t apply to them, that they deserve to win elections, that dirty tricks and gerrymandering and voter suppression are somehow ok because they’re serving some higher good.

They utterly miss the point of what America is: a place where ideas have a chance of suceeding on their own merit, where loyal citizens can and will disagree about matters of importance, where one ostensibly gets a better chance at determining one’s own destiny than any other place on the planet. That’s what’s always made us magic, and that’s what recently the right wing seems to have forgotten: Everyone is guaranteed to have their voice heard. Nobody is guaranteed to win.

So making it more difficult for people to vote? Unamerican. Stacking the deck in your party’s favor? Unamerican. Refusing to endorse efforts to make voting utterly reliable, verifiable, and safe? As Unamerican as it gets. You back everyone’s right to speak, to vote, to be involved, because that’s what America is.

And it pisses me off that this sounds Pollyannaish and idealistic to my own ears.