Back in September of 2005 I wrote a short diary (included here instead of linked) on what happens when political stands are taken.
I’ve also read some very powerful diaries by Ghostdancer’s way and Infidel Pig among others…that are still in my hotlist…and I consider them part of my required reading every month. If you haven’t read them in a while (or never read them) you might want to take a little time to remind yourself about them.
Over the years I’ve taken some pretty polarizing positions on issues compared to the mainstream. These issues include domestic violence, reproductive rights, social services, and medical care for all.
I’ve belonged to many political groups and organizations and discussion groups. What is noticeable over the years is that there are specific types of people in each group. These groups are predictable in every group.
-Hardcore single issue folks – the one’s that the blogosphere is currently ranting about. This group is probably about 10% of any organization.
-Motivated political activists that know who to call, how to get the information out, and to organize any event….or get people to organize an event. Some of these are front and center as leaders and others are behind the scenes seeing to details. This group is about 15% of any organization.
-Participants at selected events and about half of the meetings that are held. This group is active if the issue interests them. This group is resistant confrontation and needs to be really sold in order to make changes. This group is about 70% of the total.
-Naysayers those who will take the negative position on every topic….usually because their position within the structure is threatened. This group is about 5% of any political total.
Well, if my math is any good this morning that’s the structure of any political activist group.
So the reason for my query this morning: when participating in political events over the years we meet lots of people. Some of them we keep in contact with for years at a time. Some of them we seem to have an instant compatibility at the outset with but little personal contact outside of the organization. Some we call friends.
What happens to these relationships when issues surface and we take a stronger stand?
What happens when we move from ‘participant’ to ‘motivated’?
Over the years I’ve had very good, personal friends move on…marriage or divorce or families or something else changed the dynamics. These friends are still there and I can reach out with a call or card or letter.
-What is unique about political acquaintances and friends?
-What is threatening when we change?
-What is uncomfortable when we share with our political friends as to what is going on?
So….it is time to move on…from Participant in some areas to Motivated instead. I am sorry that I will lose friendly contacts from this change. It is painful to let go of what was…it is more painful to know that sitting and doing nothing will hurt more in the future.
It is interesting in the scheme of things to look back over my own diaries. I don’t consider myself much of a writer or particularly coherent. What was distrubing is that there were a number of diaries, by lots of people at BooTrib about being marginalized, discriminated against, and why the Big Tent is not terribly friendly.
Diaries were written beginning back in September and during the recent weeks we have seen some painful, and in a lot of cases, increased stridency in the comments and diaries. It is also interesting to see how many strong voices here have quietly slipped out the back door. They come back when they feel the need to say something but do not stand at the forefront any longer.
I walked away from DailyKos for the better part of 6 months or more. I found that after I had been away – the pain was not as great and the ‘wounds’ were covered with scar tissue. I put the arguments and infighting into perspective. It was also interesting to find new friends and acquaintances where I had previously lost some.
This is not a GBCW diary – this is an “I need to take a break and look at what is being posted here” from an objective perspective diary. I need to take a month or so to evaluate what is real here and what really is a perception. I need to go be what I am….
- I am an activist.
- I am going to stand and be very vocal.
- I am at a point of wanting to hurt others with words, and this is contrary to my belief system.
- I am not angry – but am very close.
- I am not hurt – yet.
- I hurt for others – and don’t know how to help heal it.
- I am disappointed. Now I need to evaluate what disappoints me with the discourse here.
May we all walk in peace while we ponder where out paths lead us.