Being called biased or godless for opposing politics that are disguised as religion.
—Gloria Steinem, feminist
Compromising with the right. If nothing else, the recent judicial coup d’état proved that Republicans are ruthless hard-asses. Until political progressives start to fight just as hard and nastily as our opponents, we’re doomed to spend the rest of our lives in the political wilderness.
—Ted Rall, political cartoonist
—Studs Terkel, oral historian
Blaming Ralph Nader and the progressive left for an election that was stolen by a bunch of frat-boy power brokers. Bush’s bum’s rush on democracy will create many opportunities to sensitize Americans to the connections between corporate money and our bankrupt political process. But we have to be ready to seize those opportunities—the same old dysfunctional lefty cannibalism is clearly not the answer.
—John Sellers, director of the direct-action training group Ruckus
Revering the Other. Recently I gave birth to
a baby girl, whose ethnic mix is one-quarter Asian, three-quarters white. My beloved
California-dwelling, batik-wearing (white) friends (of the left) immediately asked, with great reverence, what traditional Chinese birth customs I would be observing. “Chinese birth customs?” I wanted to exclaim. “Like tying a stone around a female baby’s neck and drowning her in the village well?” The left finally needs to come to terms with the fact that Other is not always Better. The Other’s traditions are not always better, the Other’s souls are not always better, and, news flash, the Other’s art isn’t necessarily better either. (It is entirely possible that an evening entitled “Other Voices: Emerging Women of Color Dance the Songs of Their Souls” will utterly suck—indeed, this late in the game, it is likely.) It’s healthy to remember that some of our ancestors actually fled horrendous conditions to escape to the bland country we now complain about.
—Sandra Tsing Loh, solo performer, author, and NPR commentator