The Idaho Progressive Caucus sent out a solicitation for new year's resolutions, as well as memories of 2004. Here's what I sent. How about you?
My resolutions for 2005:
I want to watch my language. I vow to stop using the word "right" when describing the people now running the country. I will say "radical Republicans," "fundamentalist fanatics," or "conservative extremists" instead.
I will work to build community however I can. Steven Covey's new book speaks of the 8th Principle of Effective Leadership: Find your voice and help others find theirs. I will fight for human rights of all kinds, whether it be the rights to decent housing, quality public education, a living wage, and adequate health care or the basic civil right of adults to marry the person they love.
Highs of 2004:
1) The Twin Falls County Democratic Caucus, where an Idaho-high 28% of those attending stood for Howard Dean, despite the fact he was all but out of the race by then.
2) Going to Iowa for Dean's (Im)perfect Storm, freezing my butt off while canvassing the entire town of Woodbine. While the caucus didn't turn out as we hoped, it was fascinating to see this form of democracy in action (I attended a caucus in West Des Moines). And I was really glad to be in the ballroom for Dean's "scream" speech and
know that it was nothing like the media continues to portray it.
3)Meeting hundreds of very cool, dedicated people while working on the Dean and Kerry campaigns, for IPC and the Ada County Dems, and for America Coming Together. Although we did not prevail, it was inspiring to know so many people care so deeply about making an America where everyone counts.
4) Barack Obama's DNC speech. Obama may or may not be the Dems' best hope for the future, but this was a nearly flawless political speech in what it said and how he said it. Keep the audacity of hope alive!
Both a high and a low ...
Visiting the new Clinton Center in Little Rock, Arkansas, two weeks ago while researching a presidential libraries story for United Airlines Hemispheres. I left inspired by how much Dems achieved in the '90s, despite continual harranguing from Republican extremists. And I left depressed by how far our country has slid since then.
Construction on the "bridge to the 21st century" was essentially halted by order of the Supreme Court in December 2000.
About 9 p.m. on Election Day, when it started becoming apparent that the exit polls were "wrong" and Bush was going to get a second term.
Happy new year, y'all. The impossible will take a little while.