Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Purple States Manifesto

I only wish I could claim to have written this.  It was shared by a friend (a history professor at the University of South Carolina) who had convinced HIS friend (the actual author) to share it via Facebook.

If you cannot find much here to agree with, then you are truly part of the problem.

The Purple States Manifesto

We reject the tired notion of Red states, Blue states. We are all Red, all Blue. We are Purple, one nation divided, diverse, but still American.
We stand together in the belief that polarization hurts us all, solves nothing, and ensures that our children and grandchildren will live in a country less powerful, less great, less happy than the one we know.
Together, we have conquered the British, slavery, fascism, segregation, polio, and communism. Surely, we can apply that same determination, passion, innovation, and genius to defeating climate change, racism, and debt. 
We are not moochers or takers. We are awake. We have witnessed middle-class wages stagnate for two generations. We have watched, with dismay, as unprecedented income inequality means our pensions disappear, our wages are cut, and the American dream as we’ve known it has been distorted into an oligarchic, winner-take-all monstrosity. 
We don’t want a hand-out. We want a cease-fire. If there’s a class war, we are its draftees. The first in battle, the first to die on the frontlines as the “Greed is Good” philosophy pummels equality of opportunity.
We are white. And brown. And black. And yellow. And red. And innumerable combinations thereof. We celebrate the not-too-distant future where the United States looks like the rest of the world. Rage all you will, but this is an inexorable reality.
We, unlike you, do not lament the death of “traditional” America. That is the America where Emmett Till was lynched. Where terms like “sexual harassment” and “domestic violence” didn’t exist. Where our Hispanic brothers and sisters were smeared as “wetbacks.” Where Native Americans were stripped of their lands and were victims of genocide. Where the back of the Statue of Liberty intentionally faced Asia. Where women were solely defined by their ability to serve their husbands and raise their children. Where Jews read “Gentiles only” want ads. 
We demand truth and openness. We deserve to know if our democracy is being sold to the highest bidder and if so, who is buying it and why. 
We believe that the richest nation in the world should be able to find a way to ensure that no American dies because of a lack of health care without simultaneously allowing our insurance companies and the prescription drug industry to hold us hostage; that national security does not necessitate our spending more on defense than the rest of the world combined; and that it is far past time to create a standardized, impartial national system for voting where votes are cast efficiently, fairly, and without fear of intimidation or invalidation. 
We demand that our public officials stop playing games, start compromising, and begin the hard work of tackling our fiscal crisis bravely, realistically, now.
We are willing to sacrifice, even to die, for America is she attacked by those who hate us, but we will not be lied to about the causes and costs of war again nor stand idly by while our warriors are expected to bear more than even the strongest soldier could endure. 
We are old and young; illiterate and educated; queer and straight; single and married; rich and poor; Southern, Northern, Eastern, Western. 
And we implore you to listen beyond whatever echo chamber you inhabit. 
We are so much more than the cynics claim, than the ratings require. 
There is a future we can build together; we can construct a bridge over all divides us. 
Isn’t it time we do it?

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