Paula Gordon has a wonderful piece in the Huffington Post, called “Taking it to the Streets,” which I encourage you to read. I want to show off 2 clips, one early in the piece and one from much farther on:

Reactionaries grasp a crucial truth: no dialogue, no democratic process. They seek to silence us by shouting, by blustering, by disparaging, by threatening, by changing the subject, by changing the meaning of words, and, by lying.

My simple public display of support for the President also induced other conversations. I got to explain why I crossed the river into Ohio every night for my accommodations: I refuse to spend money in Kentucky while they keep Mitch McConnell in power. (I was richly rewarded with sightings of “BeatBoehner.com” billboards.)

I wrote, just a few weeks ago, about the value of open dialogue, so it was affirming to read her take on just how essential and meaningful creating dialogue can be. But even more than that, I was struck by the value and importance of her actions where she wasn’t really against anything, but rather, she was advocating for public participation in the system. She would not be silenced, and she was encouraging others to not be silenced either.

I think this is possibly a major core of the difference between being an activist who is fighting against someone or someone, and an advocate who is working for something, and willing to see a bigger picture. Certainly, there are folks who name themselves as activist who are doing just that- working for something, but I think there is value for anyone in examoning these words/ labels, and all of the connotations connected.

I experience great worry about the coming election. Closer to home, I am fearful of a Republican governor who is likely to lead the state away from socially progressive stands and actions. I know a major assault on LGBT issues will be a part of Tom Corbett’s agenda. But the possibility for Washington is even scarier. I appreciate Gordon’s sentiment:

I reminded them — and myself — that electing Obama was the BEGINNING, not the end. This President, unlike the Dick Cheneys of the world, actually believes in democracy. The Establishment is real. The wealthy and Big Business have had things their way in America since before the beginning and are deeply attached to their privileges. They are not going away. We will always have to push-back against reactionaries. And we can never give up. Never!

If I can ask anything of you, my reader, it would be to stop and ask yourself, what are you doing on a daily basis to build democracy by creating dialogue. What are you an advocate for?

via Paula Gordon: Taking It to the Streets.

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