I come from the school of, ‘if you’re not on message, you’re off it.’
That’s why I’ve been a little disappointed to see the goo-gooze fester a bit on BMG for the past few days.
Of course, we should all be for good government, but we shouldn’t be for “good government” used as a wedge to divide us all from being able to do what’s… you know… good.
There are a few reasons. If you don’t think other people are paying attention, be it the media or right-wing, I have a bridge to sell you. We don’t need anyone pointing to some ill-thought-out GooGoo posts and saying, “see, if even BMG is for this, then of course Beacon Hill has to [insert Howie Carr talking points here].”
Moreover, getting angry over issues much the same way that the Boston Herald does, we too are wasting time that could be better spent digging deeper or giving attention to actual, real-life issues that should be changed.
Of course, I’m talking about two recent posts (and many comments therein) in particular: 1) the notion that, even as our budget troubles are very much real and we haven’t restored funds or programs that were cut or obliterated over the past 10+ years, we should cut our revenue further, and 2) the idea that dramatically underpaid, overworked and under-appreciated state house employees shouldn’t get a modest raise, when they haven’t had one for 5 years, because a state-funded private contractor treats its mental health workers shitty.
Strategically, how do these posts make sense?
Does it help the much-deserving health care workers get a raise? No.
Does it help talented, hard-working people decide they want to make a career in state government? No.
Does railing against the sales tax, when the vast majority of our 351 communities are still in a budget crisis and the state government is barely getting by, help out our budgeting priorities? No.
Do these posts help the progressive movement grow stronger or keep us in focus? No.
None of these things.
Are these diaries and comments even particularly interesting or enlightening? No more than the tabloids coming from the Boston Herald. I think we’re better than that.
There’s a difference between ferreting out any real abuses, and abusing people who deserve better. There’s a difference between railing against supposed promises that can’t be kept, and railing against promises that could have been kept, but haven’t. These posts aren’t grasping those differences, they’re missing the forest for the trees.
Far more interesting than an angry post about the sales tax, sans any analysis on whether we can even afford to cut it, would be an informative look at the budget to see what’s possible, or a suggestion for other revenue sources that come to the magic number. The budget is posted online, so people should have at it.
We need posts on how to find (or raise) the revenue to fund raises for mental health workers, lifting all boats, and ask if the private contractors are doing an adequate job in their employment of them, not engage in Howie Carr’s talking points that bring everyone down and will never end up with those health care workers getting a raise.
Let’s engage in actual good governance, not fall for faux goo-goo issues that can only ever be used as a wedge.
It’s harder work, one that takes a lot more research, a lot more effort and a little patience to avoid knee-jerk reactions, but is what it takes for us to have good governance.
You know, like this fantastic and fascinating diary on Article 44. More of that, please. It’s the kind of stuff that put progressive blogs on the map.
In the mean time, let’s think about the consequences of our posts, working for our common goals. Let’s ask whether each diary or blog we write helps progress progressive causes or goals before we hit publish. Let’s pursue our real purpose.
Let’s not tear any of the deserving, and our state budget, down.
My words and opinions are mine and mine alone, and should not be considered representative of any other person, organization or entity.