Ok now my rant…its been awhile.
I frequently read and see new cases of injustice and political dysfunction. It isn’t the cause of my migraines but ranting does blow off my suppressed political steam. I wish I had more strength, patient and courage to have run for office. My father n law served us well as Alderman/Mayor, my brother n law campaigned for MP. I campaigned in several federal elections. I had master teachers who taught me the virtues of Deifenbaker and Nixon and but I still chose the bigger center tent of Pearson and Trudeau. I am a political participant but while idly watching others protest for justice, I get a heart ache thinking maybe I should. I witnessed the demands of political life first hand. It is a challenge indeed for the courageous and the committed regardless of camp.
My aches and hindsight aside, activism, whether as election nominees or civilian voices of reason, is needed now.
Powerful interest groups are eroding democratic institutions and tearing up the social contract that has given the US (the west)the opportunity to grow and prosper. It’s not just one agent like Right to Life or Tea Party or the Klan but rather an interwoven pendulum swing against socially progressive movements. Our culture blames teens, punks, drugs, nose rings, unions whatever but in fact the biggest vandals have been the gatekeepers of the conservative coalition. Ok, you know I’m a centrist but still… Consider these tragedies since the New Deal:
- Nukes,Bay of Pigs,Cambodia,Kent State,Watergate,Iran-Contra,Love Canal, 3 Mile Island, Reaganomics, Panama,Desert Storm I, II,Al Qaeda,hanging chads,Iraq,Al Qaeda,Rwanda,you get the picture?(I won’t even mention the Middle East)Sure the leftist extreme screwed people too: Teamsters thugs, Marxist dictators, Chinese communists, if that is what they are) but the biggest disasters have been the brainchild of right extremist. What has socially progressive peace-nics wrecked havoc on? Burn the bra, suffragette right to vote, subsidized daycare, Greenpeace humpback whales and dolphins, litter, Berlin Wall, Farm Aid,handicap access sidewalks, Me2We, Occupy Wall Street,you get the picture. My generation has witnessed the rise and fall of the middle class and the socially progressive services that served general good through fair distribution of wealth. Free elections, free press, right to associate, and even civil disobedience created the friction required to share power with the privileged few. In a 21stC world of multinationals, consolidated media and the activism of the religious conservative minority we have seen anti-Americanism swell, turmoil and civil war rise and earning power of the average working family plummet.
I believe the heart of the matter does lie in the cardboard signs of the Occupy protesters. People can see the hypocrisy of current politic trends. They see a fair elected democratic black President being thwarted every turn in DC. People are angry because progressive fair governance is gone. It’s way more than lost homes, bankruptcy,bailouts and joblessness; it is an anger fueled by frustration and loss of hope. Even the right wing super rich may lose it all if due process and social justice are ignored. Disaster capitalism is not sustainable. Social uprisings are going to expand. Common sense, fairness and upholding the intent of constitutional laws against any tyranny are vital. Like the little Third Wave experiment of Ron Jones in Palo Alto that proved even rich kids can become ‘nazis’, we are not simply ordained by God to act willy nilly; the west, including Canada, must deserve the right to be leaders of a better world.
It’s going to get ugly but there is finally push back from a generation who has been asleep. My generation has been soothed by affluence. Despite forces of propaganda, my sons and daughters, et al, are wakening from a slumber. I praise you and pray for you. This is not new. People have been lulled and oppressed a thousand ways. Occasionally a pocket bursts forth to lighten a better way of thinking. Tunisia, Egypt,Tiananmen Square, Occupy Wall Street, whatever.. Lenin and his oppressive Communists were born of Czarist oppression, greed and indifference.The Iron Curtain fell with barely a bullet fired. People marching throughout Moscow’s ‘evil empire’ not bombs. Human voice goes along way.
APATHY IS A FORM OF SELF INDUCED DISASTER. READ. LEARN. THINK. RESIST. VOTE. OCCUPY. ENGAGE. I’m no activist or beacon of righteousness, far from it, but I know what I see. Women’s rights, economic rights, civil rights,free speech, public education, health care, even capitalism itself is under siege and not by socialist or communist but by fascists.. They are all at risk if never cherished and defended.