Monday, October 3, 2016

When the "Silent Majority" Pushes You Around

It occurs to me that the title of this blog sounds like it could have come from Ghostbusters.  Maybe that is appropriate.  With all the bullshit that is coming from the tiny mouth of Donald Trump and his deplorables, this country needs more than ever a group to help us fight back.

Enter the ACLU.  The American Civil Liberties Union was once a valued part of our democracy.  My father, who came to this country from Italy in the late '40's, and who knew what was going on from newspapers and the evening news, understood the value of the ACLU.  Just as he understood how being a union member was essential to being able to support himself and a family.

But those pointy-headed elites -- I'm talking about the republican intellectual -- joined forces in the 50's and worked to change the very definition of the terms of our democracy.  They found words to undermine the meaning of freedom, in fact, began to use words like freedom to mean something entirely different than, well, freedom.  They twisted the truth and invented falsehoods, preying on fear and lack of education and sophistication, convincing Americans that their enemy was not the corporation, but people who were not like them, whether that difference was race, religion, political beliefs, sexual values.  Unions took their money, not corporations who paid less than a living wage.  The government didn't provide needed services, but controlled their lives through taxation.

And the ACLU was the evil scourge of communism, threatening our American values and our Christian way of life.

In fact, I just googled "attacks on aclu" and the first three citations were by those bastions of liberty:  the Washington Examiner, Breitbart and the Daily Caller, falsely accusing the ACLU of blaming the Christian right and the GOP for the Orlando shooting in June.

Too many of us these days have no clue what the ACLU is really up to.  They don't have the deep pockets of their opponents, and the reigning right-wing government leadership is encouraged to keep it that way.  But these days they continue to tirelessly fight the kind of bigotry that is running rampant in political campaigns and in state as well as national legislatures.

Voting rights, freedom of speech (not the kind that can be bought), women's reproductive freedom, these are only some of the battles being fought by the American Civil Liberties Union.  Here in South Carolina, the team is small but truly impressive.

And on Thursday, October 6, when Charleston County Democratic Women hold their monthly meeting, the Executive Director of South Carolina ACLU, Shaundra Scott, and Legal Director, Susan Dunn, will be talking to us about some of the issues they are currently addressing.

Charleston County Democratic Women meets the first Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. at the Riverview Holiday Inn.  The buffet dinner is $20.  Everybody is welcome, but if you have not yet joined, membership is $25, and of course, donations are always welcome.

You can RSVP on Facebook at Charleston County Democratic Women, under "Events."  It promises to be another informative and energizing meeting.  I hope to see you there.

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