Friday, January 14, 2005

Don't like your prayer; it's worse than a vice

I have received 3 copies of this foolish Not One Damn Dime Day email today. I have received all 3 of them from people I know to be immensely intelligent and genuinely dedicated to improving our country and our world. And so it is with great respect that I say:

Hey Liberals! Wanna know why the red states think you’re a bunch of whiners?

Because you’re whining.

I didn’t want Bush 4 years ago, and I don’t want him now. I wanted Kerry to hold out until at least the absentee and provisional votes were counted. I fully intend to keep fighting for what I believe are traditional American values… you remember them, the ones in the Constitution?

But entirely too much of the last 3 months has looked like dog in the manger pissing and moaning. We’re past the allowable period of licking our wounds, and back into Sore Loserman territory.

At least the complaining about the election and the lines and the machines at least has some long-term purpose in reforming our election processes. But this “One Damn Dime”… honestly, it’s as bad as the Nigerian bank scam. Some idiot is going to take our concerns and burn them, and we’re going to smile while they do it.

Let’s go point by point, shall we?

First of all, a one-day boycott is just idiotic. Shifting your buying habits off by 24 hours won’t make one bit of difference economically. So WalMart has one bad Tuesday. They have a bigger Monday and Wednesday to make up for it. Economically, this is just a failure. This will not “shut down the retail economy” in any way, shape, or form.

“But it’s not about economics! It’s a symbol, just like an inauguration is a symbol!”

Fine. Call a general strike. Now that’s a symbol. Hold a protest march. Write to your legislators and executives and the President himself with your rightful free speech about what’s wrong about this administration.

But what symbol does “One Damn Dime Day” give us?

There's no rally to attend. No marching to do. No left or right wing agenda to rant about. On "Not One Damn Dime Day" you take action by doing nothing.

That’s lovely faux-zen. Did they show you how to do it on Trading Spaces or While You Were Out? Wanna hear the sound of one hand clapping?

For the love of Pete Seeger, people! Iraq is a quagmire, the economy’s a mess, the Constitution is under attack from the guys who take an oath to uphold it, and some pinhead with an email account has actually got the opposition thinking it’s time to DO NOTHING?

What, exactly, is CNN going to point its cameras at while a couple of liberals don’t go to the mall? What, precisely, will the Times write when Starbucks sells a few less soy lattes? How do you get a soundbite out of people who think not doing something is doing something?

You want to show our leaders that the war has to end? Sacrifice something. Take that money that you would spend on an average Tuesday and send it to the people whose world just got wiped out in the tsunami. Send it to an aid agency working in Iraq. If you’re serious about the politics, send it to the ACLU or People for the American Way or the CBLDF or ALA or Amnesty or SDS or whoever reflects your views. (Or even the DNC.) Spend Inauguration Day fighting the good fight.

Let’s not sit on our asses and pretend we’re doing something!

And if you do, don’t you dare look smug about it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy, am I glad I sent you that thing from Stand Up Democrats!

I am with you on the one-day boycott thing. Silly. I am boycotting the Commonwealth of Virginia by denying them sales tax revenue from any and all "discretionary" purchases I make. Cheifly these are gas, eating out, and any personal purchases that I choose to make. I can't say I'm perfect about it, but an imperfect sustained boycott is better than nothing.

Oh, the reason I'm boycotting VA is because of all this "gay marriage" nonsense.


9:32 AM, January 14, 2005  
Blogger lemming said...

Brilliantly put, sir. The Pete Seeger line rocks.

1:08 PM, January 14, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm trying to figure out a way to agree with you more than I already do.

I can't manage it.

This kind of softheadedness makes lefties look like loons. It's pseudosymbolic bullshit of the worst sort. It tempts me to go out and spend, spend, spend, just like the two years I spent working at the most putatively left-wing Episcopal seminary in the country left me wanting to crack Polack jokes - my kneejerk reaction to emptyheaded idiocy.


(LiveJournal's massively down. I'm thinking of shopping around. Recommend Blogspot?)


1:55 AM, January 15, 2005  
Blogger Joe said...


Blogger is a pretty good blog publishing platform. I got no complaints.

However, each blog is pretty much an entity unto itself. LJ has vastly outstripped Blogger in the community management aspects... flists and threaded comments and avis and open groups and such. I think that's probably related to the requisite "list of blog directories I'm in" which seem to exist on Blogspot blogs but not LJ.


5:49 PM, January 17, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post. I was ranting less articulately about this the other day, and am now shamelessly appropriating your arguments (with proper attribution, because if I got nothing else out of four years of grad school, I at least learned to cite my sources - and also, I am so scrupulously honest that I diligently pay my use tax every year, even though I incur merciless mocking from family and friends).

In the spirit of your post, and at the instigation of, I made a couple of donations to worthy causes in honor of Inauguration Day.

Eileen (from PPFL)

10:09 AM, January 20, 2005  

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