Joe Mirabella


Filed By Joe Mirabella | February 17, 2010 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: 2010 Election, Democratic Party, lgbt movement, lgbt right, politics

I am afraid that the LGBT community is going to give up. I'm afraid that we are going to make excuses like, "Oh, it's an election year. We're not going to get what we want this year." I'm afraid that Democrats that choose to quit will sour our mood and make us feel less powerful.

I'm afraid that Democrats will sense this and back away from their responsibilities to us. I'm afraid that Americans will vote for the same tired politicians that fail to deliver. I'm afraid Americans will fail to vote.

I'm afraid that the grassroots LGBT community won't take the risks they need to to advance our rights. I'm afraid the powerful elitists will be too afraid to take the risks they need to to advance our rights. I'm afraid the LGBT political movement will fail to see they are part of a larger progressive movement. I'm afraid the LGBT community is too dependent on one political movement. I'm afraid that I'm going to have to face one more embarrassing moment after another when my fundamental rights are ignored by society.

Then, I take a deep breath, and face another day with the courage of a lion in my eyes.

I refuse to let anyone see my fear.

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Our challenge is to turn very real fear into a very real, honest, objective analysis of our movement. It requires a willingness to let go of ideas or tactics that we believe are effective, yet we lack any evidence and we dismiss accountability. It requires a huge shift in focus - one that seeks to win, not just fight on and hope for success.

Sometimes, the effort to achieve something, becomes the something. I believe that's where we are now and the first step is to admit it. Only then can we reconstruct a real, sustainable movement that will unify our community.

We must figure out HOW and WHEN we can achieve our full equality and then enroll the entire community in that strategy.

Andrew, you've posted this same comment a number of times. Are you ever going to benefit us with your ideas?

Being as I'm part of the "we" you speak of I'll get the ball rolling with an idea. Feel free to disagree. At least we'll get an idea where you're coming from.

I think it is time for massive peaceful civil disobedience by the LGBT community. As to what that might entail I'm all ears.

I believe there are a number of new, verifiable ideas and strategies in the near future. I've spent a year gathering research and soliciting ideas/strategies.

When I mentioned accountability in my Comment it was directed at all the tactics we have used during the last 50 years. "Civil disobedience" is one of those tactics. I believe we have passed the appropriate time for effective civil disobedience. These actions are intended to focus attention on an injustice. The problem is, for us, our plight is well-known. We don't need to bring attention to something 92% of Americans are very aware of. Therefore, civil disobedience is seen primarily as complaining. While I understand the idea that we want people to know we are disappointed, frustrated and even angry, we have to determine if presenting ourselves in that manner is actually helpful.

This does not mean that I think direct action is without merit. We should ALL show up when something happens and demonstrate outrage and solidarity. What we've seen lately are manufactured events seeking attention. I think that hurts us.

I believe the fair way to determine how effective ANY tactic or idea is, would be to require evidence - real, tangible evidence. For instance, lobbying politicians regarding LGBT issues is a huge industry, yet we have NO evidence that it is effective.

My goal is to shift the focus of our movement to figuring out how to win. We need that possibility in order to inspire the amount of participation that will be required.

If we become honest, objective and accountable, the answers will follow.

But AndrewW, if I'm reading you correctly that would mean...doing it ourselves? Like, actually getting up off our seats and doing...stuff that is unknown at this point? I don't thinks so. It is so much better to PayPal my donation to a *group of professionals* who can do that for me. And much more fun to write an actual check when it's an amount that matters. Now THAT is doing something, silly boy.

You talk about results. Who better to tell us where our money can do the most good than someone who has been spending it for the last 20-30 years? Damn, I feel good when I donate to a fancy org and I do like to feel good.

Tell you what. You want to shift the movement to finding out what will work to win. Start up an exciting new organization, stock it with experienced fund raisers and we'll donate to it. See? We both win. I feel like I've done something and you feel like you've done something. We all feel like we've done something, but more important, it won't interfere with the rest of our lives. 'Cause we have important things to do, you know.

Fair enough- I'm glad you're not going Bayh-Bayh too...

The larger progressive movement is changing and people are getting politically smarter while the country's getting less stable. I think those things will help us in the end.