"Be outraged, and be loud about it."
That line and the following came from a female friend mine. She is very active in politics and in the community. She also works in a law office as a legal aid. She is smart, she is feminine and she is tough!
Pelosi and Clinton and Palin ... women currently have a MANDATE to go get aggressive and make sure we're taken seriously as contenders who won't back down from our demands, from our outrage.
Obama can't get out there and swing - he can't be seen as scary. Biden might do it - but he's pretty courtly...
It's up to women this year. I strongly believe this. We are in a cycle right now that might be hard to see, but it must culminate in a change in women's forcefulness and place in politics and ownership of our society. We don't have the luxury of remaining moderately involved and passively concerned. Things are screwed up, and you-know-who typically does clean up, right?
Last Saturday at a favorite watering hole, I sat by some nice liberal guy having a moderately heated debate with 3 less-than-liberal guys at the counter. I tried to stay out of it, I really did. But as he did his typical logical liberal thing, I watched these 3 guys clearly get more and more aggressive, and less and less interested in his opinion, and more and more condescending. They'd heard it, and they'd heard it just like this, before. All he was doing was reinforcing an old argument that they have never had to give up. Everybody knew their lines.
Because you see, nice Western Washingtonians, most Americans find that sort of communication boring, weak, non-convicted, and unconvincing. We are a country of chest beaters.
So, when this guy resorted to "America, love it or leave it," I almost leapt across the bar at him. (Seriously.) I scolded this guy, loudly. I didn't let him retort. I wasn't trying to debate. I blamed him. I castigated him. I didn't tell him I "think" he's an idiot. I told him in no uncertain terms that he IS an idiot and that he was an embarrassment to human beings and to shut his polluting mouth. I did what THEY do - offense as defense. I went for the kill. It got ugly. Oh, the humanity.
This guy - after telling ME that this great country can only offer two options to its citizens - was really only left with two options his damn self. He had to come over and punch me in the face for aggressively and publicly insulting his brain cells, evolution, and lineage - or leave. They left, and they didn't have anything else to say. Not that I would have let them get a word in.
Now this watering hole I speak of is not a mecca for progressives or brainiacs. But I got its equivalent of a standing ovation. Not because they necessarily like my politics. But because, in the opinion of the masses, I had WON.
Undignified? These people speak in tongues and play with snakes and watch Jerry Springer - they're not impressed with dignity. Not pretty? I don't care. Not playing fair? I don't care. Resorting to their playbook? I don't care. This is WAR. Go fight, women - we're finally ready for it, and I frankly think they're expecting us. And it's about time, too.
Elizabeth - do not be discouraged and do not be scared. Be outraged, and be loud about it.