For many of us who come to find that our lives have become defined by the pursuit of some social good or the eradication of its attendant evil, it is possible to trace back the origins of our passions to a single person or movement that irrevocably altered the way we saw the world around us. Over the years, this individual or crusade became the guiding light of our ideological journey—their principles so firmly enmeshed with our own as to blur the lines of where their thought ended and ours began. When I was eighteen I found my political inspiration in the unlikely form of George McGovern, the former Senator from South Dakota and Democratic nominee for president who posterity has proven to be the last, best hope of the progressive populist experiment in America.
The current narrative has it that McGovern’s shellacking at the hands of the Richard Nixon in 1972 was America’s definitive repudiation of an unabashedly liberal agenda; proof positive that only a centrist, “New Democrat” or a Republican could be expected to win The White House. However, this narrative is predicated upon the unequivocal falsehoods that the American people are incapable of changing the way they view the world around them and that each generation of Americans clings desperately to the ideology of their forebears. Even a cursory look at history will tell us that such a myopic viewpoint is fated to be proven wrong in time, because it is not stasis, but change that is only constant in both political and human life.
During his acceptance speech at the 1972 Democratic National Convention, McGovern told the delegates before him and the television viewers all across the country that, “We reject the view of those who say, ‘America — love it or leave it.’ We reply, ‘Let us change it so we may love it the more.'” This belief—the belief that ours is a wonderful, but imperfect union and that our life’s purpose is to move that union closer to perfection so that we can all enjoy the fruits of her labor—is at the very heart of progressivism and it is also the driving force behind my blog, Virally Suppressed. The point and purpose of Virally Suppressed has never been to be a paragon of objectivity and, with the redesign that the site is currently undergoing in style and substance, I will only stray farther away from the role of the impartial observer. While I will doggedly cite and fact check all of the information that I present my readers with, it will not be contained within stories that are news for news’ sake.
As you may have noticed, the site’s header now reads: Virally Suppressed: Muckraking for The Modern World. While, admittedly, I think it’s rather catchy and like the alliteration, I have not included it in the redesigned site simply for aesthetics. Under my watch, I will do my utmost to make Virally Suppressed a voice for my fellows whose suffering and injustice have been summarily drowned out by the maddening drone of corrupt politicians and corporatized media outlets. Whether its in the coal fields of West Virginia, the private prisons of Florida or the grass-cracked streets of Detroit, I will try to tell the stories of those men, women and children who have no broader outlet for their discontent. To this end, I urge anyone reading this to submit to me, either in the comment section below or my email address (Virallysuppressed@gmail.com), to let me know of any issue effecting you and your community that you feel has been given short shrift by mainstream media sources. Due to constraints of time and distance, I cannot guarantee that I will be able to write about the problems that you submit to me, but I will do my best to give it whatever attention and energy I have at my disposal.
With that, I welcome you to the new Virally Suppressed. Now, let’s go rake some muck.