This is sort of a warm up post to a big announcement that I’ve got coming soon.
This morning I was going through my email, cleaning it out and cleaning it up. It’s the account where I get all of my political action notices, articles, petitions, etc. Most of the time I skim through it on rapid fire, my brain on a constant Sun Tzu, Art of War, loop – “Never interrupt your enemy when they are making a mistake.” I am able to delete 80% of the URGENT! petitions this way without even having to open them. The other 20% are asking me to encourage people/organizations to stand strong in their stated direction. Supporting your team when they are doing what you consider to be right, or encouraging them to shift course to do better – that fits into my world view.
This morning I got my gazillionth or so email petition about the Boy Scouts of America and their anti-gay policies. This one was regarding a troop in my home state, so I opened it. I read it. And then, instead of looping back to Sun Tzu, I remembered something a fellow blogger wrote recently. (And which helped me make the crucial decision that is leading to the big announcement that I am teasing you with…)
It was a simple post, a simple statement – but so powerful, and so on point.
I realized that that is what is annoying me about all of these “Tell so and so to stop being such and such” petitions.
Why? Aside from Sun Tzu’s logic, the truth is, the Boy Scouts are what they are. I don’t agree with their policies. I never have, from the time they refused to let me join because I have a vagina instead of a penis, I have disliked and disagreed with them.
I didn’t want the consolation prize of being a Girl Scout. I didn’t want to sell cookies and learn to sew and do crafts. I wanted to go hiking and camping and build fires and tie knots and carry a pocket knife… So, the Boy Scouts and me – not on the best of terms.
All the same, my little 7-year-old ego was convinced it was their loss. I moved on and started my own club and invited boys AND girls to join me for camping and hiking and spelunking and other mischievous mayhem.
I am tired of getting email petitions asking me to tell the GOP that we disagree with their war on women, or their attacks on sanity or… They already know that. They lost the last election. They are bleeding women, Latinos, gays, the poor and middle class…
The truth is, I am not part of them. I don’t want to be part of them. I look at what the so-called leadership of that party is doing at the state level and at the national level and I want nothing to do with it. They don’t include me or consider me in their policy, much like the Boy Scouts, so… It’s time to walk away and start my own thing.
If enough of us do this – walk away from the businesses, organizations and groups who are failing us, or refusing to represent us – those groups will fade. They have made the decision to become exclusive to a small subset of Americans. Let them.
Stop whining about how they are failing you, and get out there and start your own thing.
The Boy Scouts know how we feel. They know that the majority of Americans believe that gays are people deserving of equal rights and equal opportunity. However, they also know that their vocal base supporters disagree. Shouting that they are wrong, louder, won’t change the equation. Walking away from them and starting something better and more inclusive, might.
The GOP knows that the majority of Americans disagree with their 1950’s social policies, and their failed Reagonomics. The majority of us voted against those policies in the last election. Reminding them of that via petition, marches, and call ins isn’t changing anything. Why? Because they are still pandering to their “base”.
The only thing that will change American politics is we the people, walking away from failed parties too stubborn to grow up. (And many of my readers feel this way about the Democrats too. Again, walk away. We have to stop voting for the lesser of two evils, or the guy who sucks less. We have to start voting for the candidates that really speak to us. And we have to start including 3rd parties in that equation.)
This is the politics of the free market at play. Our money and our participation matter. So don’t whine that the Boy Scouts suck for all non-white, non-Christian, non-males. We have known that for decades. Stop trying to make them include you. They’re the mean clique in high school, they don’t want to include you. And frankly, you should value yourself enough to not want to be included by them.
Instead, do what I tell my daughters to do when they’re feeling excluded – start something better, and then sit back and wait for the mean kids to come to you. And when they do… Lead by example, and let them in – just don’t let them take over!
And because I have fallen completely in love with Katie Goodman and relish any excuse to share her videos, I’ll leave you with this.