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    • 2020 Fundraiser Update
      We’ve raised just under $6,000 so far, which means we’ve reached the first goal at $5,000 – five linked articles in a series about political concepts and how to actually use them. Most people learn political and economic concepts, but the knowledge really does them no good, since they no on explains when they work […]
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(It’s Not Easy) Being PUMA

As Sheri Tag, host of “No We Won’t” on PUMA UNITED RADIO said on BettyJean Kling’s inaugural BlogTalkRadio show, “Free US Now“:

It’s not easy being PUMA.

So right you are, Sheri, and congratulations to BettyJean on her new show.

Just like Kermit, we may not be as flashy-sparkly as the others. For us, our opponents appear to have so much going, with their money and their trappings. (Huh, didn’t that used to be the Repubs?) But we are heartfelt, true, and committed to our cause.

Paula Abeles, tireless co-founder of Real Democrats, aptly states the case about the crux of our protest: the right to free speech and the right to vote. In this video from their latest canvassing in Ohio, Abeles proffers our beef about ACORN, Obama’s nosing Hillary and us out of her nomination, and his attempted Iraqi October surprise (oh, no, Mr. Bill!)

A case in point. What’s interesting, and very sad for me, is that after I published my first version of this post on Lady Boomer NYC, about it not being that easy to be a PUMA, one of my dearest friends wrote a response to the comments on my blog. She felt like I was separating myself from her and my friends, even inciting hate. Whereas, I feel it’s the other way around, because the Democratic Party has marginalized, alienated, excluded, and demonized us—and our candidate of choice, Hillary Clinton. In these final ten days, you can betcha, the juice is up. People are getting even more inflamed and coming from a place of fear.

Because of the volatile atmosphere we face, I, like many in our movement, have chosen to go underground and separate my political from my personal identity. I have been extremely careful to not speak my views in “mixed company.” For that reason, in addition to being friends for over thirty years, her words stung me deeply.

Is friendship based on shared beliefs? Sometimes. but hopefully it’s bigger than that. How do individuals have differing beliefs and still stay friends? —especially, once the election is over. It is my hope that even when we have hurt feelings, we can move beyond them and work toward the common good. That’s why I have thrown my lot in with PUMA, The Confluence, For Democratic Reform, and others.

Our charge is to continue to support each other and keep the faith in the face of personal and public attack. How do we support each other, given that we’re not supporting McCain, but are working to change the process? Given our protest, and regardless of the winner and the loser, the democratic process needs to be changed. It is my commitment to see that fight through to the end, to realize the reforms that we need in the Democratic Party and the election process.

No matter who wins the Presidency, it’s obvious that we have our big work cut out for us. Buckle up, kids! So we say, it’s not that easy being PUMA, but we like it. Given the situation, we would not and could not be anything else.

Paraphrasing the late, great Joe Raposo’s “(It’s Not Easy) Being Green” —

It’s Not Easy Being PUMA . . .

And PUMA could be big like an ocean
Or important like a mountain
Or tall like a tree

When PUMA is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why
But, why wonder “why”?
Wonder
I’m PUMA
And it’ll do fine
And it’s beautiful
And I think it’s what I want to be

Sticking Up For Your Friends

I met Paulie Abeles in Harrisburg when she walked into Hillary Headquarters with a list of creative canvassing techniques.  For a full 10 minutes, she commanded the attention of the staffer behind the front desk and ticked off her suggestions all of them brilliant.

She was a pretty blonde suburban mom from Maryland with bright red lipstick and a stylish bag under one arm. I was waiting for a canvassing partner and she sure seemed like the energetic type.  So, we paired up for the afternoon.  She was amiable and engaging.  Her canvassing pitch turned out to be significantly different from mine but it was oddly complementary.  She told me about how important it was to leave handwritten notes on the doors of homeowners who were not home, how to make it personal, how to ask for their vote, not their support and how to never address them by their first names.  I learned a lot from her.

What I *didn’t* learn was how racist she was.  She never let that part of her personality reveal itself.  She kept her white robes and hood carefully concealed and honestly, I never knew that she was a bigot.  I’ll be damned, she really had *me* fooled.  Oh, there was no doubt that she was an unapologetic Clintonista and she was clearly upset by the thought that Obama might be a malignantly undemocratic operator.  But if there was any racism in her, she showed no traces of it to me.

We parted as friends but lost touch over the madness of the next couple of months.  Lately, she has endured a firestorm from the Obamaphiles out there.  They have outed her, called her at all hours of the day and night, threatened her and her family, which includes two small children.  Paulie is a devoted stay-at-home mom who doesn’t watch TV and I’m sure she never intended to be in the eye of the storm like this.  The thugs who are thoughtlessly calling her a racist and cavalierly putting her and her family at risk of violence better back off.  Maybe we don’t see eye to eye on the voting strategy for the fall but she is NOT a racist and anyone who says otherwise should come and say so to my face if they are itchin’ for a fight.

So, are you feeling lucky, punk?  Go ahead, make my day.