Monday, January 19, 2009

Political Monday: One Last Thing

I was looking at the sky tonight on my walk with Duncan, my eyes moving back and forth between Venus and Orion, both clear and magnificent, beautiful beyond words, things I carry with me in my mind and heart throughout the day, but with the knowledge that they are so far away, so abstract and unattainable I will never be able to lay my hands on them. It was hot in Denver today, nearly 70˚ with a bright, wide sky and dark shadows behind the trees where the sun couldn't reach. What was left of our snow didn't last much beyond noon, but now that night has reclaimed our side of the world and the temperatures have dropped again, the runoff has turned into the sheerest layer of ice on the sidewalks and drives. It was difficult walking with my eyes focused so distantly, and only when Duncan and I slipped did I remember to look back at my feet to reclaim my balance.

I've been thinking a lot about the events of tomorrow. So many of us worked so hard last Fall to bring about the change which our country will embrace. It was a long road with many twists and turns, dangerous slippery spots and places where the path ahead was not exactly clear. But we prevailed, not only by looking at the faraway and abstract, as I did tonight, but at the ground directly beneath our feet. Things will not change overnight. We must proceed cautiously and vigilantly, with both a critical eye and an optimistic spirit.

There are things to remember as you witness tomorrow's historic inauguration. First––and I must confess this one is purely personal––Rick Warren is a son of a bitch who's words do not deserve to be heard. Barack's selection of this vile, hateful man is a painful slap in the face to the tens of thousands of gay people, such as myself, who dedicated time, money and effort to help win him this election. He claims that he's reaching out to those evangelicals who follow and respect Warren. I say that it was the first misstep of his presidency, one which cost him much of the respect he earned. The people he claims to be reaching out for are bigoted monsters who have institutionalized hatred and would sooner see me rotting in hell than extend an olive branch in my direction. If you know and love a single gay person do them a favor by turning off your television while he speaks, turning your back on his disingenuous compassion, and refuse to buy into his vitriol. Please, grant me this one favor and I'll ask nothing else of you.

Secondly, as we celebrate tomorrow and bask in the opulent show we must put on for ourselves as well as the rest of the world, it is important to remember that our economy is in a disastrous state, that thousands of people have lost their life savings, that banks are making money off the bailout, that men and women––real people––, however misguided, are taking their own lives because of their financial positions. People all across this country still do not have health care, are losing their jobs and homes, are being discriminated against, lack a quality education, can not afford food. If the people of this country could become as excited about these issues as they are about tomorrow's well-deserved show, we could eliminate these problems quickly. Please, answer the call to service by volunteering your time or money to a cause that matters deeply to you. Each of us must earn the reward we think we've been granted and honor those who have far less than the attendees of the galas and balls want to admit.

Finally, there is still much to do. In fact I would say the real work has not even begun. We, each of us, have a job to do, now more than ever. There are still wrongs which need to be righted, ugly things which need to be exposed and vanquished. It is not the sole responsibility of our new president to makes these changes; those tasks rest in each of our hands.

We are on a long walk and there are many wondrous sights to behold along the way, and no one is more excited than I am, but please don't forget that your feet belong on the ground while your eyes reach for the heavens.

Image courtesy of google images


a striver for sanity said...

Both artfully and heartfully expressed. A pleasure to read. Thank you.

Greg said...

I've been dreadful about keeping up with you the last few months, Curt, and hope I'll be better about it from here on out.

Thank you for the sort of thoughtful and beautiful post I've come to expect of you.

Pets to your boy. Peace.

Anonymous said...

This is so heartfelt. I loved it. Hugs to you and your furkids.