The Power of Passion

I went to bed last night more depressed than I have been in a very long time. I continue to get mired in the worst part of politics…the name calling, the accusations, the sheer emotional rants and raves.

I am sick to death of it all, frankly. And every day I become more enraged at what is happening around me. Enraged in a way that I’ve never felt.

I really can’t help it. When I see injustice I scream. I scream loudly, and forcefully, and with everything in me. Not because I’m trying to offend or alienate, but because I love THAT much. I believe THAT much. I am THAT upset.

That doesn’t always serve me well, but it does garner attention. The attention can changes lives and votes, it can anger and disgust, and it can help and hurt.

Of course, on the otherside there are those screaming back. Or just shaking their heads. Or just writing me off all together. Which is a shame, because once the screaming stops there is usually some very powerful discussion to be had. I would invite you to read through all the comments here to see what I mean.

While I continue to triage the path of the destruction my last outburst has caused, I’m happy (and somewhat relieved) to say that sometimes…sometimes…it all turns out ok.

I just received an email from Mrs. F. in Mississippi:

A GREAT BIG AMERICAN THANK YOU FROM STUDENTS IN ROOM 1!! My first grade students were elated to find out we would have our laptop up and running to complete the presidential election in November and to follow it to the inauguration in January!! We already have our Presidential Corner set up and ready with our ballot box, ballots, voting graphs, tally charts, and tons of books relating to elections and our country. My students plan to assist a RIF book distribution and set up ballot boxes for other students to vote for their favorite story book character: Junie B.Jones or Arthur. We are also participating and assisting in a school wide election on October 28th to cast our votes to see who our school choice would be. This is going to be a wonderful learning experience for my students and we all thank you for being part of it! You never know…one of my students may be a future president!! Thanks Again!

Thank you, everyone, for your help in getting Mrs. F’s class their supplies.

Passion can be powerful.

Thank You, Colin Powell

but I am curious if this will change any minds…I sure hope so

Proposition 8 Supporters Can #SuckIt

I’m really tired of dancing around this and trying to be nice.

I’ve seen your really cute church ads. I’ve heard you talk about how, in your whacky world of crazy, letting a gay couple marry would somehow infringe on your religious rights. How you’re doing it for the protection of ‘our children’ and how it’s really not about tolerance of ‘lifestyles’ but how it’s about you being ‘forced’ to accept same-sex unions.

Can I just say…YOU EVIL BASTARDS.

And I mean that with all the love in my heart.

This isn’t about religion or what you believe. This is about civil rights and your bigotry. Yes, your religion has made you a bigot. An evil, hating, horrible, bigot.

If you would like your children to not hear about anyone different from them, feel free to keep them the hell out of public schools and for that matter, public places. Because we here in the ‘public’ are not all like you and we allow our citizens, ALL OUR CITIZENS, the same rights.

I’m seeing YES ON PROP 8 signs in my neighborhood and I have half a mind to knock on their doors and ask them why they think bigotry is ok. Why they think denying rights to others is ok. Why they think their family is better than any other family.  Why, exactly, they have SUCH EVIL IN THEIR HEARTS. And where the FUCK they get off with the smiling happy stick-figure family representing them on those fucked up signs.

If your religion does not allow you to marry someone of the same sex..then don’t. If your religion allows for bigotry, perhaps you should find another religion.

Seriously. I am disgusted. Absolutely disgusted by supporters of Prop 8.

I can see absolutely NO justification for this legislation other than you implementing your evil across California.

As my husband just said, Orthodox Jews can’t work on Saturdays…do we come up with legislation making it illegal for everyone to work on Saturdays?

It’s the same thing. You get that, right?

No. You don’t. Because you’re evil, and you some how think gays being allowed the same rights as you is bad.

Perhaps you need to live somewhere that doesn’t allow rights to all it’s citizens. Somewhere where everyone is just like you and thinks like you and lives like you.

Now, many of you will be very quick to point  out the Obama-Biden take on gay marriage. And let us BE CLEAR about that record, shall we? I am not naive enough to think every candidate is perfect, and I am disappointed my candidates won’t go that extra mile for gay marriage. But let’s face it…it’s your fault.

You make up a large electorate and they can’t alienate half the country.  I get that. They want to make sure all voices are heard in American, even the evil ones.

It’s WRONG, but I get it. I’m also proud that they’ve supported equal rights for the LGBT community and will not support any constitutional amendments defining marriage.

Now you, on the other hand…what’s your excuse? Your religion says gay is wrong? Your religion also says you should stone wicked kids, but…I digress.

Get your bigotry out of my state. Get it out of my schools and get it out of my country. ALL are welcome, and that means you too, if you can stay and play nice.

Forced toleration can suck sometimes. But hey, I have to tolerate you, so it works both ways.

Oh, and by the way…years from now, when this is looked back upon like the civil rights movement in the 60′s, and people ask you what side you were on…have fun explaining that one.

*updated 10/20/2008
I keep re-reading and re-reading this post because it’s gnawing at me and won’t seem to let me go. Yes, I am angry. I am very angry over this issue, and writing this was cathartic and let me push all my anger onto a blank page. But as the debate and venom continues over same-sex marriage, I’m worried my hitting ‘publish’ did more harm than good. That I just threw out something into the world that spewed just as much hate as the what I perceive to be coming at me from those who support this measure. To be clear, and as I said in comments, I do not believe all religions and all faiths are evil or bigoted. I found more love in some Christian friends and family than can be expressed. I’ve also seen entire Jewish communities condemn this measure and other faiths rally against discrimination and bigotry. But perhaps, what I keep getting as I re-read this…is a microcosm of what’s gotten so out of hand on this issue and in this entire election: we’re all just name calling and screaming at each other. I regret adding to that, I truly do…but it’s so hard when you feel pushed there. Pushed by whatever entities are at work. So I’m letting this post stand because it’s a fair representation of how I felt when I wrote it, it does-if you can get past the venom-convey all the things I find wrong about this measure and why it should be defeated. But it occurs to me that this entire fight…this battle…is over love. Who can love. How they can love. Why they can or can not love. And the last thing it needs is more hate thrown in. So before you add to the hundreds of comments here or continue to scream and yell, please take that into consideration. Love. -ekv

Witch Hunt! Witch Hunt!

Ok, that does it.

Now I’m really pissed.

According to Congresswoman Michele Backmann, I’m anti-American and so is half of Congress.

Dear Congresswoman McCarthy, I mean Backmann,

Just because we don’t think like you doesn’t make me ANTI-American. I mean, isn’t your current VP candidate the one running around saying there are only a few places in America that are PRO-American. That sounds pretty damn Anti-American to me.

You and your GOP cohorts are really starting to push this ‘otherness’ crap too far and I think you may all need to measured for white hoods soon.

This is MY America too, and you’re lucky in MY America you’ll still have a seat at the table and a voice come Nov. 5th.

Even if it’s evil and stupid.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Geez, and I was doing so good today being all friendly and love thy neighbor. You totally ruined it.

Sincerely,

Erin Kotecki Vest

One. More. Reason

Have No Real Solutions? Send Out Squirrels!

I don’t even know where to start with this one. But it seems there are some squirrels blogging for the GOP, attempting to hammer home that whole ‘ACORN’ thing. You know, the one where republicans are trying to claim Barack Obama is trying to steal the election by registering Mickey Mouse to vote in swing states.

Maybe they don’t quite realize that Mickey and Minnie won’t really show up and cast a ballot, and therefor not steal anything…but…whatever.

If the GOP is resorting to gimmicks like people in costumes.

Game over.

My Mom Is Changing The World (and you are too)

I’m feeling very empowered right now, so either run or duck.

I realize I get this way a lot…but something hit me today on the way home from BlogHer DC where I spent a day with hundreds of women (and a few men) plotting our world domination. (what? that’s totally what we do when we get together…you didn’t know that?)

I keep thinking about my mom*.

I know that sounds strange, she’s not a blogger or anything. But as I sat on my panel saying the things I also said at other conferences to audiences…my whole spiel about how womens’ power and influence now have the candidates courting us, not us going after them…how we’re dictating the news cycle…and how our work is actually making a difference….yada yada yada…

It hit me that my MOM is my one, Florida-living, Nana-microcosm of exactly what I mean.

Reading blogs (my Mom is a hesitant** reader of Queen of Spain, an avid reader of BlogHer, and she’s now a fangirl of MOMocrats -she thinks you momo’s are ‘sassy’ and ‘I just LOVE them’ about 50 times per phone conversation) my Mom has gained her own empowerment in this election and it pushed her out the door and to her local Obama HQ.

My Mom.

My Mom who always voted but that was about it. My Mom would tell my Dad and Uncle to stop arguing about politics and come eat. My Mom who now calls ME to yell about something she reads or sees.

Erin, uuuuuuugh I just couldn’t stand the look Palin got on her face when she answered that question…and she didn’t even ANSWER IT! ugh!

My Mom who went from volunteering to do a few phone calls for Obama, hesistant…to now attending volunteer BBQ’s and knocking on over 150 doors.

My. MOM.

She now knows, as do I…that she’s making a difference in Florida. When the latest poll came out, I very seriously said ‘It’s ALL Nancy! If Obama wins Florida, it’s because of Nanc!’

But that’s what’s happening everywhere. Using the tools of the web, people like MY MOM..the NONblogger, NONpolitico are getting fired up and doing what they can to make sure their voice is heard.

My Mom has been heard in Florida.

The woman sitting in the second to last row who submitted a question during a panel at BlogHer ’07, had THAT question, HER question, answered by Senator Obama on BlogHer.com.

A group of women blogging on this whacky world wide web can command the attention of each campaign, of the main stream media, and sit our sassy asses on CNN to tell THEM our expert opinion.

I always knew one person could make a difference. I always believed that if people wanted change, it really could happen. I always preached about the potential power we had in this space and at this time…But I honestly had never seen it in action until now.

Right now.

It’s amazing and I am empowered.

I hope you are too.

*..and apologies to my mom for not asking her first if I could blog this…but it’s too late to call Florida. Sorry Mom. But I hope it helps that you are totally a rockstar for getting out there and making a difference.

**…if you were my mom you’d probably be a hesitant reader of me too, ’cause lord only knows what I’ll say next.

Who Is He? Here You Go

Please watch the whole thing. Some great family stuff around the 9 minute mark, and the outtakes are great too. The new media guy at the end also taped my interview with Senator Obama.