Is it true that we shoulda had this conversation about PUMA a long time ago? Maybe.
In fact, here is a post of mine from November 18th, 2008, in which I ask the question, “What’s Next?” I think you will find a lot of striking similarities between my latest post, “Define and Conquer,” and this one.
November 18, 2008 · 1 Comment
The PUMA movement is regathering, regrouping and re-purposing. Our first goal, to put Hillary’s name in nomination at the Convention, was successful. Our second goal, to prevent Barack Obama’s corruption of the election process and cynical use of misogyny and race-bating from being rewarded at the ballot box, and to break that highest, hardest glass ceiling for women, was not. However, as turnout numbers show, there were not enough PUMAs to swing the election when the Republicans themselves did not vote for their own nominee. But you may be encouraged to know that, according to exit polls, 16% of McCain’s supporters would have voted for Hillary had she been the Democratic nominee instead of Barack Obama. Since McCain received more than 58 million votes, that’s more than 9 million potential PUMAs. 26% of them self-identified as Democrats, which is about 2.5 million Party members that would not vote for their Party’s nominee.
But what to do now? The election is over, and we all still have the same concerns about Barack Obama (who is he and what will he do as President?); the direction the country will now take (will there be a New New Deal or not?); the fairness and transparency of our election processes, both primary and general; the utter and complete failure of the Fourth Estate to present anything resembling the truth about any of the candidates; and the rampant, unrepentant misogyny (and since Prop 8 passed, the homophobia) that has been revealed to exist in American society (emphasis added 5/19/09 – let’s see: New Deal, Fair Elections, Media Reform, Misogyny and Homophobia – sounds familiar, no?).
How do we act on those concerns, and where do we start?
The first step is to stand up and be counted. If you are a PUMAtic blogger and want to be part of the PUMASphere, email email@example.com to be added to the blogroll at VotePUMA.com. If you are a commenter and don’t see your favorite blog on the list, you can ask the editors to include it.
The second step is to decide where to focus your energies. I think it’s pretty clear that my primary concern is the 30% Solution and modern feminism, so that is where my activism will take me. I personally have a couple of things in the works, including a radio show and working on ways to ratify the ERA, and I am always ready to lend my support to The New Agenda and its non-partisan activities on behalf of advancing women in politics.
And speaking of standing up for women in politics, here are two things you can join me in doing today:…
(post snipped due to the listed actions being outdated)
And you? What concerns you the most? What would you like to see PUMA become? (5/19/09 again – notice how I tried to start a discussion about where to go from here?)
Cross-posted at Partizane
Unfortunately, my pleas fell on deaf ears at that time. People were too hurt and devastated to think about next steps so soon after the election. But now, many of us have recovered, and are ready for organization and action again.
In my opinion, we should not obsess about shoulda, coulda, woulda. Let’s just realize that we’re still here, we still have a lot of energy and power, and that if we play our cards right, we can still effect real change in America.
What do you think?