A Challenge to Progressives at AFN6W!

Written by Lotus on Tuesday, 2 of June , 2009 at 10:39 pm

Well folks, your trusty truth squad returns for analysis of Day 2 of the AFN6W!  the Buddha, joined by LOTUS (more from LOTUS later), JOTUS, LLOTUS aka The Llama, and Cool Breeze — your eyes and ears on the ground — make the rounds and bring you the news from today’s most unnewsworthy event. 

The empty press riser notwithstanding,  most of the media attending (using the word “media” loosely) appear to be independent non-network left-wing entities that, oddly, none of your truth squad recognize. 

The peculiar lack of media — correction: recognizable media — and the event’s organizers’ contentedness with that fact — reflect something odd we’ve noticed;  it appears that most of the attendees here would prefer to live in a world occupied soley by like-minded left-wingnuts!  Especially odd given all the articulated desire for and pride taken in the Left’s “diversity.”  

Whether it’s yesterday’s applause line from an audience member during one session’s Q&A that conservatives ought to be “punished” for their views or another speaker’s prediction that the GOP will theme its upcoming political campaigns around charges of Liberal elitism “selling fear and divisiveness,” the desire here appears to be one of denial.

It ain’t just a river in Egypt anymore. [LOTUS: Zing!]

What’s ignored here at AFN6W!? (besides the obvious: Iraq! — wasn’t that how you got energized in the first place? Isn’t that why you guys wouldn’t get behind Hillary?)  Attendees appear to not think that decency exists outside of this tiny, unwell-attended event.  If one can’t accept government-as-God as a way of life — in the words of one lunch speaker that “we must be ministers” in the “greening of our economic recovery” — then one doesn’t deserve to participate in the democratic process. 

Every vote counts! As long as you vote the way Rev. Obama tells you to vote.

Overheard: “Mmmm: the Kool-aid’s delicious!”

It’s as if everyone here has agreed that it’s impossible to imagine that a conservative may have arrived at at his or her viewpoint through thoughtful reasoning, an examination of history, and common sense.  The prevalent view is that harboring conservative political values — and living by them — represents some character defect. 

We wonder if some savvy and literate folks here are beginning to recognize that conservative observers are legitimately attending your O-propaganda sessions.  We’d give you an A+ in your collective ability to regurgitate the DNC’s talking points of the day.  Well, we didn’t try to scheme our way in on a media badge like so many folks eyeing us (and how a number of those on the Left do at CPAC).  Still, there’s this odd sense that you know we are here. 

Since everyone here seems to think they know what conservatives are and are all about,  what you should do AFN6W! attendees is use this as an opportunity to to actually get to know a conservative.  We are here. We live among you. We attend your events.  We watch, we laugh.  It’s that easy.  It is not a grand conspiracy to prevent minorites from voting as many have alleged here.  It is a belief in the ideal of America and our founders’ belief in the paramount rights of the individual and that government — when given power — will take advantage of it at the expense of the rights of the citizenry. 

AFN6W! organizers might ask the same question internally about our attendance the question Adm. James Bond Stockdale asked in 1992: Who are we and why are we here? 

We are your neighbors that silently tend to our lawns, we are the deliverypeople who drop off your FedEx package and ask for your signature. We are the mechanics who fix your Honda hybrids. We are the bartenders who act like we’re your friend and serve you a free shooter when you are so obviously bombing with that girl who is waaay out of your league.

Why are we here?  First, to compare your event with ours.  Bottom line: Ours is better. Better attended, better planned, better staffed, better covered by media, and better at including diverse points of view.   

Second, to remind ourselves that you don’t have horns and tails, and to also remind YOU that we don’t either.  You might say that we don’t believe in a Red America or Blue America, but in one United States of America.  Heard that somewhere before?  

Y’all act as if decency and reasonable discourse is a concept that you took a patent out on when Big Bad Barry smoked the White Lady in Iowa and told her that He didn’t know if he was campaigning against the lady or the gentleman in that marriage of convenience.

Well, decency and discourse have always been staples where we come from.  We like Nat Hentoff, and we’re not afraid to give him a forum to speak his mind.  And will continue to live like that, because it’s the right way for an an American to live, despite your desire to live like the victims of heavy-handed ways of King Friday VIII of the Kingdom of Make-Believe where everyone has a claim at marganilization resulting in a freebie suckle from the nipple of Uncle Sam’s voluminous rack.  

We are here to talk to you and for you to talk to us — politely and reasonably, and our behavior while we are here conveys that.  And believe it or not, to find common ground.  Not because your leader inspired us to do so, but because we have always done so and don’t posess a common desire to ignore your existance and your right to think and act for yourselves; in fact,  we would encourage you to do so. 

When one speaker today noted how difficult it is for college students to  organize on college campuses because of bullshit 50 sq. ft. free-speech-zone regulations, we cheer.  Google Ruth Malhotra and Orit Sklar.  They are our heroes, and they should be yours.  If you can’t find it in your hearts to cheer for these girls, then you have failed our test of tolerance and diversity.  [LOTUS: CPAC 2009 honored up-and-coming leaders Ruth and Orit at CPAC 2009.  By contrast, tonight AFN6W! will be honoring a union boss and ACORN leader at their Gala.]

The New-Age guru who lives in the White House — whom you all seem to worship — spoke during the campaign as if he desired to find that common ground that includes all Americans. 

Your worship of the Man-in-Chief however,  fails to keep him honest on that claim.  You have failed to pressure him to end the war in Iraq, which is why you voted for him and not Hillary, and you have allowed the unions to serve as your spokespeople and let highfallutin’ union bosses dictate the intensity and timing of the pressure that the grassroots can exert on the current administration. 

We don’t pay no union dues.   And even if you don’t allow the unions to regularly dock your paycheck AFN6W! attendees, you are paying them elsewhere in your refusal to stand up to their corrupt money-grubbing leadership.   

And so, TheLOTUSBlog and her truth squad members issue a challenge to EVERY attendee, speaker, and staffer here: 

You know who we are.   Talk to us.  We don’t bite. We may disagree, and we may chuckle at your inability to laugh at the peculiarities that are the odd definitions of prospering inside 495, but we don’t hate as a way of life and we don’t want to lock you up in re-educatiuon camps (as efficient that as might be — it’s sooo Hillary).  [LOTUS: Re-education camps may he the only Chinese institution attendees don’t wish to import.  More on that later.]

The point is we got involed in politics not because of one man’s beliefs, but because of our own beliefs. 

macs.JPG[LOTUS: At the “Green Luncheon” we sat with a few progressives, including one intern at AFN6W!, that seemed to be aware of who we were.  Unfortunately, they were much more interested in typing (or Facebooking) on their Macs.  We won’t take it personally though because we weren’t that interested in the speakers at the podium either.]

We want to talk.  We want to talk about the things we agree on, like opposition to portions of the USA PATRIOT Act and the CAPPS II program,  and we want to talk about the things we disagree on, like how the General Motors bailout is really a debate over employment and nationalizing jobs that crank out overpriced second-rate vehicles that run on the fossil fuels you say we need to wean ourselves off of and how the bailout ruins GM’s chances at achieving viability as a American corporation that’s on par with Toyota and Honda.  [LOTUS: In case they forgot, it’s Toyota that makes their car of choice — the Prius.]

Hell folks, you know we can even just chit-chat about how the mainstream media never seems to get it right.   

So the question and the challenge exists:  are Obama’s campaign promises to include all Americans in His America an empty promise?  Or was it a bullshit throw-away feel-good line that served the momentary task of accruing the power that the rest of you so desparately crave to taste.

Look for us on Wednesday, June 3.  Here’s where we’ll be:

9:30 a.m. — Exhibit Hall

10:20 a.m. — New Media — The Politics of the Changing Media Scheme

11:40 a.m. — Closing Brunch

And how come all the ladies around here have a problem saying “thank you” when I open the door for them?   

Additional observation:  I shook Je$$e Jackson’s hand earlier today.  When the handshake ended, I was pleasantly suprised NOT to find the blood of Dr. King on my hands.


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LOTUS lives in Northern Virginia. NOTE: The views expressed on LOTUS blog are the author’s alone. Organizations listed on this blog are for identification purposes only.