Thursday, October 30, 2008

Politics and the Smaller Story


Gente: The elections loom before us and I'm choosing not to tout a particular book, video, TV program or podcast. Here's what I will say: We are at a crossroads, a profound one, and I'm not sure that collectively we're up to the challenge. As a nation, we are rich beyond belief, yet there is starvation, joblessness, illiteracy and a spiritual poverty so deep that we narcotize ourselves with alcohol, drugs, shopping, and Dancing with the Stars.

And as to what will happen the election, in many ways, I wonder what will trickle down to my world. I have lived through several Democratic and Republican administrations, but this is the first time that I have thought about applying for food stamps, the first time that I have been faced with the choice of taking on more debt or giving up my apartment.

I lost my job six months ago, and am trying like a lot of people to move into another line of work. I am motivated, disciplined, with a good resume and work ethic and after six months I have 2 part-time jobs, making so little money that I still qualify in Illinois for unemployment. I tell myself I'm not alone, that my lifestyle is not indulgent, nor am I lazy, and yet there are days when suiting up and plugging away at it again feels too hard. I do it anyway.


Real change is not one man, no matter how charismatic, no matter how decent or dedicated sitting in the Oval Office. It's when we as a people, say 'Enough' -- it is when we stop traffic, stop business as usual, and refuse to settle for bandaids or crumbs.

I'm sorry this column isn't longer, but right now, I'm tired.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lisa,
You say you're sorry your post isn't longer.
I say you said much more than you might know.

You say yours is a "smaller story."
I say it's the bigger one.

Both candidates have moved to talking about the middle class, as if those below that have become less important.
(See http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/174991/nick_turse_going_to_extremes_in_america
for more about the unreported casualties so far of this economic collapse.

Thanks for raising the bar for the rest of us this coming week. May our posts be as realistic and relevant.

RudyG

twinkie said...

Great post. Said so much with so little words. And it's dead on right!!