Friday, November 14, 2008

Hope is on the Way

After a long week dealing with jerks of all ages--from the law students stealing food to the opposing counsel questioning our knowledge of the law and condescendingly asking my clinic partner to speak to a real lawyer--two politically-related things brightened my mood.

1. My mom told me that my 75 year old grandpa who was able to cast his first ballot since becoming a US citizen for Barack Obama.

2. One of the professors at my school, who used to be one of the national leaders for LGBT rights, gave a great talk about the gay marriage bans. While a lot of people were upset that the bans passed, especially in the liberal stronghold of California, he said that progress has been made. Only eight years ago did Proposition 22 (the non constitutional version of the gay marriage ban which was overturned by the CA Supreme Court) passed by 20 points, whereas Prop. 8 only passed by 4.

The professor also described how the Yes on 8 campaign was similar to the Obama campaign, which is why it was successful. Lots of money, grassroots movement, targeting everyone. Converserly the LGBT opponents were fixated on the courts and ran a very white upper-middle class centric campaign, which explains why so many minorities would vote for a progressive Presidential candidate but also vote for a gay marriage ban. To make real change you need the two-pronged approach like the civil rights movement. Fighting in the courts which is what the NAACP handled, and changing the hearts of minds of people in the neighborhoods, like Dr. Martin Luther King did.

Even though talking about losing is not fun, hearing someone who could identify "where we went wrong" gave me a little hope that they could change strategies and prevail in the future.

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