Another good night at the club, one where I made more in a few hours there than I’d have made in a few weeks at my modeling job. I’ve taken the attitude that money has to be my key motivator this time around and it is, but as I talked about in my last post, the fun factor is important too, and the club wins that contest hands-down as well. In addition, I’ve been enlarging my list of potential private clients every time I work there, and that means more money and more fun going forward. Every day, and in every way, I’m finding that the club job meets my wants and needs better than the modeling job.
If this were real life employment, I’d have probably already have handed in my two weeks notice on the modeling job. It’s not real life, though, it’s Second Life and because it’s SL and because I sought this modeling job out rather than responded to a want ad I want to at least make an effort to put in some time there before I finally throw in the towel. Thing is, whenever I spend time modeling, I’m thinking about how much more I’d be making and how much more fun I’d be having working at the club.
It’s funny in a way. I thought I’d be having much more of an issue with the whole shemale/transwomen as sexual objects/general sleaziness thing than I actually am. It’s like there’s a morality curtain I’m comfortable peeling back in SL that I’d never feel the same way about if it were real life. That’s really what it is when you get right down to it: Second Life allows me to suspend my true sense of morality in the name of roleplay. I can be someone in Second Life who I’d never be able to be, never want to be, in the real world. In Second Life, the only thing that’s real is the money. There may not be much of it for most of the people who attempt to make some sort of a profit, but the money has real value. In all the time I’ve been involved with Second Life on and off, I’ve never actually turned Lindens back into dollars, but for some reason, knowing that I can if and when I want to matters. It changes the stakes in a very real and basic way.
Here’s What I Mean
One of my favorite MMORPG’s is Aion. I’ve become very involved with it in-between breaks of a few months or so to play other games and do other things. The game has two completely separate monetary systems, one for purchases with in-game money called Kinah, which is earned through gameplay, and another to facilitate the purchase of in-game content with real-world money called ncoin. A player can add ncoin to her account by purchasing it via online purchase or with ncoin cards sold at Gamestop. ncoin is not refundable and can only be used to purchase whatever in-world items and game services the company that runs Aion, NCsoft, decides to make available for sale.
In Second Life, money flows in all directions. You can not only spend money you can earn it or gain it other ways as well. Other people can give you money and you can give money to them. There’s only one kind of in-world currency, Lindens, and it has an pretty stable exchange rate for American dollars (currently 205 Lindens equal one US dollar) and other world currencies that’s just like that of any other. You actually can do quite well if you’re successful in Second Life, but it’s probably not the kind of business you’d want to risk going into debt for. The closer you are to the ground, and the vast majority of those who use Second Life are pretty close if not at ground level, the more likely it is that you’d make more money flipping burgers in real life than at an SL job. Still, if for whatever reason you can’t get a job in the real world, an SL job might not only be better than nothing, it just might turn out to be a shitload of fun.
So, I had most of the morning to go into SL today if I wanted to but I ended up doing other things. It’s 8pm eastern time as I write these words, and I think I may drop by the club for a little while…just for fun.
As I’m writing this, I’m on a posing stand at my new modeling job. The people are nice, the boss is nice, the outfits are great, but I’ve got one problem with it: It’s boring as hell. I stand here, look pretty, and basically do nothing else. I thought there would would be some sales involved, but so far no one has asked me for any help. I’m supposed to do this for a minimum of 10 hours a week. I’m just not sure I can handle all the excitement, y’know?
Then there’s my other Second Life job, the one at the shemale club. Is it anti-trans, anti-progressive, or just wrong to admit that I’m having a blast at that one? I have much more responsibility there as a member of the management staff, I participate in the activities and help organize them, and I enjoy myself there more just in general…plus, I’m making a pile of Lindens doing it. The club patrons love me, as do the owners. I’ve been offered and have accepted an invitation to participate in a special event going on through the club next weekend, one that will make me a nice amount of Lindens. This is exactly the kind of situation I was looking for when I decided to find a job in SL, one that not only makes me Lindens but also that’s engaging and satisfying as entertainment.
For me, an SL job has to be fun as well as profitable or it's just not worth it. Let’s be honest, unless you’re a business owner, no one is going to get rich working SL, nor even probably make a living wage. Part of the attraction of taking an SL job has to be the fun factor. It was like that when I worked at OWK in SL and it’s like that at the club I work at now.
I’ve been at the modeling job for the better part of a week now, but I’m seriously considering whether I’m going to stay with it. Not only am I doing far better in terms of compensation at the club but I find myself looking for ways to keep busy while modeling, such as writing a blog post or shopping at the SL Marketplace. I make one outfit a week modeling, the value of which I can make in about ten minutes at the club when the right customers are there. I’m just not feeling the whole work/time vs compensation/fun value thing there. The outfits are nice, to be sure, I’m just not sure each one is worth boring myself silly for ten hours to get it…especially not when I can buy it for less than what I can get for about ten minutes of work at the club.
The truth is that it’s just a lot more fun to participate in active roleplay at the club than standing around doing nothing on a posing stand in an empty store, but it’s also more than that. I work at the club when I have time. There are no constraints on how many hours I put in there, but I find myself going out of my way to make time to be there because I enjoy it. Sure, there are other things I like to do in SL, but I’m having a lot of fun at the club so it’s less of a job and more of an entertainment experience, and for me that’s always an incentive.
So, I guess I’m going to have to think about this a bit. What do a really want from an SL job and where am I getting it? I’m going to have a decision to make soon I think, and I think I know what it’s going to have to be.
If you use Second Life and you haven’t checked out the Second Life Marketplace you’re really missing out. Not only can you buy just about anything you can buy in-world at the same price you’ll get it there without having to teleport from store to store, but you can also find plenty of items selling for free or nearly free. Good stuff too! While at my modeling job today, I was shopping there and I picked up about 15 new outfits for a grand total of under 30 Lindens. Yeah, seriously! Of course, not all the freebies or near-freebies are going to be your style or as good as what you’d pay for the full-price stuff, but many are just as good as anything you’d pay much more for. Naturally, there’s a much greater selection to be had when you’re willing to pay a bit more, but I can virtually guarantee you that you’ll find stuff in the marketplace you’ll love to wear and won’t break your Linden bank. Do yourself a favor and go check it out!
Amazingly, I think I’ve managed to get myself a second job in Second Life already. I still have to interview for this new job, but the owner of one of the stores I applied at contacted me overnight and requested a meeting. If I get it, I’ll be a model/saleswoman at a store that sells latex fetish outfits. I wear latex pretty well and mostly I’ll earn outfits, not Lindens, on this job, but that’s ok…for now. I need some new outfits for my other work, and so it’s worth it considering that a lot of what I would be paid at a Lindens-pay job would be spent on these kinds of outfits anyway. Besides, this is exactly the kind of job where you get seen and therefore (hopefully) offered more modeling work. There are also opportunities to work fetish fashion events and that’s also a place where a girl can be seen and possibly get work offers.
The shemale club has been slow these last few days and so I haven’t made anything there since my first customer. Then again, I’ve also popped in there several times when the place has been dead and then gotten bored and gone somewhere else…it’s not much fun hanging out alone in an empty club after a while.
It’s so funny…I’m not exactly a beauty queen by any stretch in real life, but I’m smoking hot in SL (or, at least, I think so and so do those who have hired me) and so I’m starting to think like a model and…well…a professional prostitute and dominatrix in SL. When you get right down to it, except for the dominatrix thing, it’s really about selling your body, just in different ways, whether it’s selling sexual favors or your looks for the purposes of showing off clothes. I’m ok with that. I don’t carry the same sense of morality into SL that I have in the real world. I could never be a prostitute in real life, mainly because not only do I just not want to be one, but also because I’m one of those sickeningly romantic people who has to have at least some real feelings for someone I’m going to jump in bed with. In SL, my morals are far looser. When you know that unlike real life all you have to do if and when it gets too much to deal with is just turn off the program, you adjust your moral compass to compensate.
So, I guess we’ll see what happens. I just think it’s interesting that the person I am in SL is so different in so many ways from the person I am in real life, and yet, they’re both very much aspects of me, of who I really am. I couldn’t be who I am in SL if it didn’t come from somewhere within.
I’m not sure what it is, maybe three years of not going in-world on any regular basis and now it’s all just spilling out of me. Not many things can inspire this in me. A few video games here and there, but rarely do I find myself writing about anything on a daily basis, as I have since I returned to SL earlier this week. I’m ok with it, though. I’m always looking for ways to become a better writer and the best way to do it is to write a lot.
Yesterday, I wore my new outfit all day (see my previous post) and got several compliments on it. I love hearing it…I mean what woman doesn’t love being told she looks great? At the same time, though, a little voice in the back of my head scolds me that I’m being shallow and materialistic. Y’know what, though? I don’t fucking care. I’ll save the altruism and activism for the real world, where it belongs and where it matters. In SL, I get to indulge myself. I can allow myself to be self-centered and shallow, at least a little, because a big part of the draw for me with SL is that I can explore parts of myself that I’m not comfortable giving voice to in the real world.
Still, I can never allow myself to forget that there are real people behind those avatars, that just because I allow myself certain kinds of freedom in SL that I wouldn’t in real life doesn’t mean that I’m free to treat people like crap (unless, of course, they want me to). I’ve seen dommes go overboard, apparently believing that because they’re in SL they’re free to act any way they want, whenever they want, with no regard for the consequences. Those are usually the dommes, I’ve found, who end up with not only little if any loyalty from the subs they interact with, but also often shunned by their fellow dommes socially. There’s a fine line between use and abuse, and these are just two of the colors in the palette of a dominant. As in the case of a visual artist, relying on just one or two “colors” too much can render that domme’s work boring and repetitive.
I’ve found that generally speaking subs aren’t just looking to be submissive, they’re also looking to their dominant for leadership and guidance. Yes, they want to be told what to do and they want have their submissive status reinforced by their domme through abuse and degradation, but that’s not all most of them are looking for. It’s learning to mix these factors into subtle and complex shades that makes the domme-sub relationship one that not only works for the dominant but also for the sub as well, and keeps them coming back for more. A good domme is one who knows and understands her sub and what he wants and needs from her in their relationship, not just what she wants from it. In my experience, that’s the foundation of a strong D/s relationship, one that can last longer than just a few encounters.
In SL, where relationships can come and go like the wind, the D/s pairings that last are the ones are the ones that have more than just beatings and verbal abuse tying the two partners together. There’s real positive emotion and true support there, and both submission and dominance are acts of love, or at least genuine caring, toward one another.
Now that I’m trying to see if I can be a professional domme in SL, remembering these things will serve me and those who choose to submit to me in good stead. Those who fail to remember these things will fail at being a successful dominant, and I don’t intend to fail.
Like any proper bad girl, I decided to treat myself to a new outfit today:
Not bad huh? I can change the colors on the boots and gloves to just about anything and the catsuit from black to white, but I just love this look. This is my first experiment with posting pictures to LJ, and if this goes well I’m sure I’ll do more. All that’s missing is a naked male sub at my feet, but I digress…
It’s actually kind of funny how quickly and easily I’ve reinserted myself into Second Life. I don’t know how to describe it, it just feels right. One minute, I haven’t bothered to pop in for more than a few minutes every six months or so in years, the next I’m spending hours there. That’s actually pretty unusual for me as I tend to flit from one thing to another pretty quickly when I’m online, but I’m finding it even easier to lose myself in SL than I did the first time.
The club I’m working at can be fun at times, but I’m still looking for other in-world work as well. The proceeds from my first client bought me this new outfit (most of it, anyway), and that’s a great thing because I’m an SL shopaholic and this one was not cheap, about L$1000, but it looks awesome and that’s what really matters most to me.
I really like the club I’m working at, but somehow I still think the in-world situation that will prove the best fit for me may still be out there, and so I keep looking even as I’m having fun where I already am. That’s ok…it keeps things interesting.
To be honest, I’m not really sure why I suddenly decided the other day that it was time to return to Second LIfe after a few years away. It just seemed like the right time to do it. I’ll admit I was a bit gun-shy after my last experience, but this time I’m taking a new approach to the whole thing. Last time, I tried to be a dominant trans woman in what I think were probably the wrong places. Good people and often good fun, but oftentimes far too concerned with the state of my real life body parts then with the fun that can be had in Second Life when such things aren’t a real concern.
So, instead of trying to pass myself off as a born female this time, I’ve gotten myself a job at a club where she-males and their admirers frequent. Yes, I used that term, not because I approve if it but because that’s what girls like us are called in SL. It’s not used in a derogatory manner, but rather simply as a descriptor. No, it’s not my favorite term, but I can deal with it in the interest of making some Lindens. And yes, I have.
I made a nice chunk of change this afternoon when I took a client upstairs at the club for a private session. I find that I enjoy abusing men for money, and it’s the money that makes it special for me. What could make a dominant lady feel more special than a man paying her to abuse him and treat him like garbage? Shit, I’d forgotten how much I love this.
I have a feeling I’m going to be doing this for a long time to come. More soon…and by the way, if you want to follow my adventures in Second Life, don’t look for them in the other places I blog. Call it a hunch but I have a feeling that these posts aren’t going to be the kind of thing either The Huffington Post or The Bilerico Project are looking for from me, I don’t plan on posting on this topic at those sites. This series will be an LJ Exclusive, so bookmark this blog now if you haven’t already and want to follow along.
Being a prudish Little Miss was getting me nowhere…now it’s time to see if being a professional is more lucrative and fun…so far, the answer has to be “Hell yes!”
Think about it: These days we hear Democrats and Republicans alike constantly talking about jobs, jobs, jobs, but when was the last time you heard President Obama, or any Congressional Democrat for that matter, talk about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) or even just the issue of LGBT workplace rights in general?
There was certainly no shortage of Democrats talking about ENDA during the last Presidential election, when Candidate Obama promised to be our fierce advocate, or during the 111th Congress when Congressman George Miller, then Chairman of the House Committee on Labor and Education, repeatedly promised but ultimately failed to deliver a vote on the bill. We also saw President Obama address the issue directly in his Pride Month proclamations in both 2009 and 2010.
Over the last few months, however, with the economy still in the crapper, jobs still hard to come by, with LGBT unemployment estimated at around double the national average, and with gays and lesbian workers in 29 states and transgender workers in 35 states still able to be legally fired from their jobs or refused employment altogether for no other reason than just being who we are, the silence from Democrats on LGBT workplace rights, particularly from the Party’s leadership, has been nothing short of deafening. Not even newly-appointed DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz could bring herself to address the issue in her own Pride proclamation.
If we can’t even count on Democrats to do as little for us as to hold long-promised hearings on ENDA or on civil rights for transgender Americans in the Senate, how can it make sense to believe they’ll stand up for us on any other issues of import to our community? Anyone who keeps up with LGBT-relevant news knows full well that the Senate hearing held on repealing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) yesterday was nothing more than a sham, political theatre intended to garner the support of the wealthy white gays and lesbians the Democratic Party is seeking to court with next year’s election looming ever closer.
Congressman Barney Frank, the lead sponsor of ENDA, told Metro Weekly’s Chris Geidner in March "ENDA will pass before DOMA will be repealed congressionally.". In that same interview, Frank also said "I believe that, with regard to DOMA, the goal is to win it in court. I do not think there is a good likelihood of getting DOMA repealed through the Congress. I think there is a good likelihood, in a Democratic Congress, of getting an inclusive ENDA.”
Also in that same interview, Congressman Frank contends that a big part of the problem with getting ENDA passed in the last Congress was the issue of transgender inclusion. “To get ENDA passed, ultimately, we need to do lobbying among people who are supportive of ENDA to be fully supportive of gender [identity]. We have a majority for ENDA, and most of the people who are for ENDA are for an inclusive ENDA, but not all of them. And that's the lobbying job for the whole community. Transgender people, lesbian and gay and bisexual people, our straight friends – the focal point should be to make sure that everyone who's supportive of ENDA supports the transgender inclusion.”
Given that Barney Frank is the Democratic Party’s go-to guy on LGBT civil rights, his words have to be given some weight here, and therefore, the question must be asked: If Congressman Frank’s opinion is to be taken seriously, why is the Senate wasting their time with hearings on repealing DOMA, which has little or no chance of happening anytime soon and is expected to be resolved in the courts rather than in Congress, when that time could be so much more constructively spent focusing on ENDA, transgender inclusion, and the jobs which Democrats tell us are their top priority? The answer, sadly, is pretty obvious: Jobs are the main concern of lower and middle-class LGBT Americans, not the uber-wealthy, the people who’s support and donation dollars the Democratic Party’s leadership is now actively courting for the upcoming election. Once again, as it so often the case with these people, it’s not about justice, equality, keeping promises, or doing the right thing by their base, it’s all about money.
It seems that what today’s Democratic Party really cares about most is exactly the same thing the Republican Party cares about most: Winning elections and protecting their own power and privilege, not keeping the promises they make to their base in order to win our support and votes at election time. In short, just like the GOP, Democrats talk a good game when they need our help at election time, but refuse to back it up when the chips are down and it’s time to turn words into action.
Yes, they can…but no, they apparently won’t. If they won’t, why should any LGBT American worker who cares about jobs and their basic civil rights support them?
Have you ever wondered why you never, ever, see transgender-identified guests appear on supposedly liberal and progressive MSNBC? Don’t you think it’s kind of odd that even lesbian and gender-variant Rachel Maddow completely erases trans people from her coverage, even when a story is directly relevant to trans lives (notice how Maddow mentions that the hate crimes law protects Americans on the basis of gender identity, but doesn’t bother to define that uncommon term for her audience)?
Have you noticed that while MSNBC provides hours and hours of coverage of lesbians and gays employed by the government, as they did when Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was a hot topic last year, you never see them cover the struggles of the vastly larger group of LGBT Americans, or even of straight Americans, who work in the private sector?
The answer to these questions is probably simpler than you expect. It’s not about editorial choice as some would have you believe, but rather that at least one of the major corporations which owns MSNBC is not only simply not in favor of enacting those protections, but is actually actively working to prevent LGBT Americans working in the private sector from gaining legal protections against discrimination.
In Tennessee, where both houses of the legislature just passed a bill that will prevent that state’s cities and municipalities in the state from enacting anti-discrimination protections for their LGBT citizens, the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce was one of the hardest lobbyers for its passage. That organization includes among their board members not only such major American corporations such as ATT, Alcoa, FedEx, DuPont, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Caterpillar, KPMG, Whirlpool, Nissan, and United Healthcare, but also Comcast, a part owner of NBC, and therefore of MSNBC.
As reported at Americablog, Daily Kos, and elsewhere, Alcoa has been the only Tennessee Chamber of Commerce board member to completely disavow the Chamber’s support for the Tennessee bill and declare its opposition, which currently awaits the governor’s signature. Three other board members, FedEx, Nissan, and AT&T, have released statements on the Chamber’s support for the bill, distancing themselves from it, but have not actually declared that they oppose the bill becoming law. Also, bear in mind that we’re not talking about companies which are simply Tennessee Chamber of Commerce members here, we’re talking about the organization’s board members, those companies which have direct influence and voting power in setting the Chamber’s agenda and what legislation it will and will not support. To date, Comcast has remained publicly silent on the issue.
But wait…there’s more.
It’s fair to say that if you want to gain insight into who’s really pulling the strings at any politically-active entity, the first place you should look is at who’s signing the checks. Who’s signing the checks at MSNBC? Well, as with any commercial media, aside from the network owners themselves, it’s the sponsors, the business interests which run advertisements on the network. Among MSNBC’s largest and most omnipresent sponsors is ExxonMobil, the only Fortune 500 corporation ever to actually rescind anti-discrimination protections for its LGBT employees once they had already been enacted. ExxonMobil’s argument in favor of repealing those protections for Mobil employees when Exxon bought the company and their refusal to enact them once the companies had merged into the largest energy mega-conglomerate on Earth is that United States law doesn’t require them to do so. With a record like that, it’s fair to say that ExxonMobil is probably not in favor of doing anything that might help LGBT workers gain any more rights or anti-discrimination protections than we already have, and in fact, has a vested interest in doing whatever they possibly can to prevent those rights and protections from being enacted in the future.
Anyone who watches MSNBC with any regularity probably knows that Rachel Maddow and others who host shows on the network or have in past have often claimed publicly that corporate higher-ups exert no influence on what their hosts choose to cover or on the political positions they take. That’s probably true, as far as it goes. Yet, how many hosts in corporate-owned cable news media are going to go directly against the known interests of their own sponsors in their coverage? Chances are they won’t, not if they wish to keep their very highly-paid jobs. Anyone who believes that cable news media puts the interests of their viewers ahead of those of their sponsors need only heed the lesson of Glenn Beck. Despite being highly appealing to his viewing audience, Beck’s on-air content did not encourage sponsors to continue advertising on his show and so his show on FOX is going away.
It doesn’t take an edict, or even so much as a single word, from MSNBC’s corporate overlords to get Rachel Maddow and the rest of MSNBC’s on-air hosts to decide not to cover trans people or the movement to protect civilian LGBT American workers from discrimination in this country. Anyone who works in that industry or even just pays close attention to it knows perfectly well that when you do anything which angers your major sponsors and therefore threatens your employer’s income stream it’s highly likely that your days are numbered at that employer.
So, if you’ve ever wondered why despite the reality that trans-relevant stories like the Chrissy Lee Polis beating are getting more and more mainstream news media coverage that ever before but they’re still consistently ignored by supposedly progressive MSNBC or why LGBT American workers employed by the government get plenty of coverage on the network but both straight and LGBT American workers employed by private industry get virtually none at all, now you know. It’s not about reporting the news, it’s not about journalism, and it’s certainly not about serving the needs and interests of their viewers. It’s all about money, about making as much of it as possible for themselves, their sponsors, and their network.
Remember, when your news and opinions are coming from someone who makes more money in a single day than you probably make in a year, someone who’s dependent upon the continuing goodwill of corporate interests which are actively working against your equal rights and treatment as an American citizen to continue making that kind of income, it’s more than fair to ask just who’s side they’re really on.
UPDATE: Comcast today (5/23) released the following statement. The company has not renounced its membership in the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce Board: "At Comcast, we believe it's simple: discrimination is wrong. Our policy of non-discrimination provides the same protections to all our employees, whether in Tennessee or any other state. Consistent with that, we don't support Tennessee SB632/HB600. Comcast agrees with the NGLCC [National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce], 'No one should be judged by his or her sexual orientation or gender identity in the workplace. In this delicate economic climate, diminishing the rights of LGBT people sends the wrong signal across Tennessee and around the country.'"
If there’s anything progressives have learned over the last generation or so, it’s that the Democratic Party can’t be trusted to lead on the issues its members campaign on any more than the Republican Party can. The vast divide between the public political agendas of Barack Obama the candidate and Barack Obama the President simply underscores the problem. Like Obama, many Democrats are very good at talking the talk of progressivism, but consistently fail miserably when it comes time to actually walk the walk.
While generally speaking our political views could not be further apart, there’s nonetheless an important lesson to be learned from the rise and fall of the Tea Party movement. They’ve successfully pulled the GOP even further to the right than they were already and they’re managing to drag many still-spineless do-nothing Democrats along for the ride. Whether it’s bigoted state Senators calling protecting transgender citizens from discrimination “anti-family” and kowtowing to the completely unsubstantiated right-wing fiction that protecting a socially and politically disadvantaged minority such as transpeople will somehow open the door to sexual predators being given free reign to commit assaults in women’s bathrooms (as if such an offense were not already illegal nationwide) or so-called “progressive” Democrats in Congress remaining silent as unabashed hatemongers within their own party such as Ike Skelton make up issues out of whole cloth to justify not supporting the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, the Democratic Party has consistently demonstrated to anyone paying attention that when it come to issues they claim to support, such as equal rights and treatment for all, that support can and will only come when and if the Democratic Party leadership sees a significant benefit for themselves in doing so.
The truth is that the Democratic Party isn’t really very democratic at all and it hasn’t been for quite some time now. Anyone who paid attention during the 111th Congress knows that when push comes to shove the Democratic Party leadership is perfectly fine with throwing the poorest and most disadvantaged minorities under the bus in the name of political convenience and expediency and then trying to apologize for it by attending solely to the concerns of the wealthiest and most politically connected on the left.
Obama, while a terrific spokesperson for progressive values, actually governs as a centrist, constantly seeking agreement and conciliation from those who have clearly been proven to have little or no interest in working with him instead of actually standing up and fighting for the ideals and values he asked the American people to elect him President in order to protect and defend. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is even worse, caving in to Republican demands so often and on so many issues important to true progressives that you have to wonder if he can even be legitimately called a Democrat anymore, much less a progressive or the leader of anything other than a stampede away from the Party’s publicly-promoted values and cowering in whatever political hidey-hole happens to be most convenient for himself and his Party at that particular moment.
Worst of all though, is Democratic House Minority “Leader” Nancy Pelosi. It continues to be nothing short of amazing to me that a woman who represents a district in San Francisco, the city with the largest population of LGBT people in the entire country, can be as cavalier as she is about continually and casually throwing the rights of LGBT American workers under the bus, particularly when America’s economy and job prospects are as bad as they are right now. Pelosi, most of all, needs to be forcibly removed from office and replaced with someone who understands that basic civil rights are the birthright of all Americans, not just those who offer the most financial and political benefit to the Democratic Party.
What these so-called Democratic Party “leaders” offer, particularly to those of us in the lower and middle classes, is not leadership but rather cowardice and capitulation to the unreasonable and un-American demands of the far right, and it’s long past time we the people began putting a stop to it.
Right now, we’re in a time when such a possibility is not as much of a pipe dream as perhaps it used to be. Thousands have been pouring onto city streets to protest the stripping of worker’s rights by Republicans, and Democrats in those states are trying to make what political hay they can out of it to help themselves in the upcoming election. Yet, none of the states where most of these pro-union protests have been taking place protect the rights of their transgender citizens to hold a job without fear of being fired or denied employment entirely just on the basis of their being trans. Once again we see Democrats doing what Democrats always do: Pandering to the wealthiest and most politically connected on the left while ignoring the needs of the poorest and most harshly oppressed in our society. You could call it relatively liberal I suppose, but one thing it most certainly is not is progressive.
It’s time for true progressives to draw a line in the sand, just as the Tea Party has done for Republicans. We need to run our own candidates under a truly progressive banner, not one beholden to the pathetic “leadership” of the Democratic Party. We need to run real progressives for offices held by members of both major parties and become a part of the national debate, even if we know perfectly well from Day One that it’s unlikely, if impossible, for our candidates to actually win those elections. True progressives need to start pulling the Democratic Party back toward the left by rallying fellow progressives to our cause and threatening Democratic majorities and careers at all levels of government, in much the same way as the Tea Party has done on the right.
Since after the 111th Congress we now know with certainty that we can’t depend on Democrats to lead on the issues which are important to progressives in the face of even the slightest resistance from the right-wing even when they enjoy strong majorities in Congress, no matter what they say at election time, we have to take that responsibility out of their hands and place it in the hands of those who can be trusted to actually speak for American progressives lead and legislate in concert with the values they run for office on, not just when it’s personally politically convenient and advantageous for them to do so. We need to run truly progressive candidates at all levels of government, and we need to do it in every election. There’s plenty of untapped money and volunteerism waiting for the right candidates to take advantage of and we shouldn’t hesitate to make it available to those who truly deserve it.
The biggest mistake true progressives have been making for far too long is trying to seek success within the Democratic Party structure. As long as the Democratic Party continues to be led by cowards, compromisers, and hypocrites, truly progressive values will continue to take a back seat to political convenience and craven self-interest at the expense of of those least able to effectively advocate for themselves in the political arena, just as they have for over a generation now. The Democratic Party and the Tea Party both have taught us that the only way to reliably get our issues on the table is to force the issue and put them there ourselves, not to continue relying on others to do it for us.
Once again I have to ask: Have we finally had enough yet?