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Gregg Gonsalves @gregggonsalves
, 13 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
The night of the election in 1992, a group of AIDS activists, some still now living, some long gone, gathered in a hotel room in Washington, DC. Election Day coincided with a meeting of the NIH’s AIDS Clinical Trials Group...
and after a day of committee meetings and scientific presentations, we lay on the bed, lounged on the floor, draped ourselves over chairs, leaned against walls, glued to the returns. As the Clintons came out to celebrate victory in Arkansas, we cried, rejoiced.
The Reagan and Bush years were terrible, gruesome ones for people with HIV—the absolutely avoidable carnage wrecked us, killed many of us.
Within a few months, friends and colleagues were off working with the new Administration but the signs were mounting.
I remember one early meeting, with Christine Gebbie, the new “AIDS czar” a post established in order to appease us, but unable to deliver many substantial commitments during those years.
Towards the end of the meeting, I remember Dr. Gebbie crying out “what, do you want me to get on my knees, Jane?” to express her regrets to my friend and colleague Jane Silver, VP of Public Policy at AmFAR, who was simply not having the order of bullshit the czar was serving up.
It was the first clue, but really the signs were all around us, during the campaign and throughout the Administration:
he Clintons’ liberalism was performative, when it suited them, but their policies, from Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, to welfare reform, the crime bill, to the repeal of Glass Steagall, were center-right.
What the Clintons did to the Democratic Party was to make them ashamed of their base, their history, to convince a generation that the response to Reaganism was to dilute the poison.. with the debilitation of those policies and if those policies destroyed people’s lives, you were supposed to be grateful you weren’t dead.
You see the logic in @HillaryClinton’s comments about immigration in Europe—embrace the right, sacrifice immigrants’ lives and perhaps you’ll get to maintain the comforts of your current existence.
I voted for the Clintons. Bill. Bill. Hillary (Senate). Hillary (President). Because that was the choice in front of me.
But the antidote to Trump is not the 1990s, nor the @BarackObama years. It’s wanting more than sheltering in your privilege to be able shelter from the storm.
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