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.