United we Stand divide we fall.
By Greg Acuna
It’s morning. A new day dawning and it is time for open eyes. Politicos, your other face, the one shadows have kept hidden in darkness, is being revealed. Approval ratings for Congress are at all time lows. The vernacular of protestors has permeated the national debate. People stand at their windows with Howard Beale whispering in their ears and the words forming on their lips, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take this anymore.”
We don’t yet know if taking to the streets, waving placards and chanting will make way for changes. There are those who believe there is no other way, that voting has been the opiate of the masses for too long. That even apples and oranges taste the same when hearing the pontification of pachyderms and asses.
Some wait patiently to enter the ballot box hoping that this time promises will be kept. Believing in ideas written hundreds of years ago and paraded around on the 4th of July and during election years. Of, by and for…three small words “the people” want to trust have meaning, but even hard core voters sweat cynicism as they make tough, perhaps irrelevant choices.
There is another group sitting on the sidelines dying from the disease called apathy. We can scream at them to get involved, but one has to wonder if their inaction is a form of action, their voice a sign of the dire circumstances of our times.
On the other hand I have to wonder what would happen if the great masses were to turn off their TVs, rise up from their sofas, and march arm and arm down to City Hall, the State capitol or right up to the White House. The vast lower and middle classes by their sheer numbers are in a position to take control of the political process, but in order to excite them, at least more than the latest prime-time crime drama, we’re in need of leaders who go beyond sound bites and empty campaign strategies based on the latest opinion polls.
I wish there were easy answers, but it seems like the opening volley in the game that our futures depend on is admitting the complexity of the issues. What can we do in this age of anger and frustration? We must demand more of our leaders and ourselves. To be educated, to understand our world, is the first step towards change. We can no longer sit on the sidelines only complaining.
So whether you choose to protest, vote or even decline to participate until you feel you have a “real” choice, it is what we do as individuals that can make a difference. Educating ourselves is the beginning. The system is so obviously broken that most Americans seem to agree on at least that point. How to fix it needs to be a public debate where all sides come to the table with their eyes open, minds receptive and hearts dedicated to restoring hope for our ourselves and our children.
Get informed, get involved, run for office, march in the streets, be the change.