A certain Ghost Lurker caught this bitch’s state of mind the other day, which is more than a little weary but not quite a full Howard Beale, and dropped a comment.
In a number of previous posts, you indicate a love of the political process and forwarding ideals and ideas. This post seems to mark a bit of a change: "Politics is war and electability is about the conditions on the ground in late October 2008."
That said, I agree. Sadly, so. How do you reconcile the cynicism and the idealism when teaching citizenship classes? And, is it even possible to elevate politics in this country after two stolen elections? Moreover, given the past two presidential election cycles, how can we even maintain any of the ideals you teach? Not trying to be a smart ass. Trying to find a glimmer of hope.
Well, Ghost Lurker even this bitch gets tired (wink).
Having said that, I love the political process because it is vital to our lives as Americans…and that is the reason why I simply can not let weariness overcome me.
I don’t see myself as an idealist…I’m a realist. Politics is war and even if more of us participated with passion and dedication I believe it would still be waresque.
People like to argue and lots of people like to hear themselves talk. Democracy is anything but easy. The thing is, people fighting over public policy because they give a shit about how it will impact their lives and community is beyond cool to me and rarely inspires weariness. People feeding their ego rather than serving the masses…well that makes this bitch want to holler and throw up both my hands.
When I teach my classes I try to keep it real. There are people involved in public life for a ton of reasons none of which include serving the public. There are special interests lobbying on behalf of groups that don’t care if your child goes hungry, who could give a shit if your family is on the brink of economic ruin and who do not lose sleep after sending someone else’s child off to fight a war they would never take up arms to fight themselves.
How do I reconcile the cynicism and the idealism when teaching citizenship classes?
The masses are the solution and we can not afford to lose. My students are uniquely vulnerable to fucked up public policy and that means they should be uniquely motivated to vote and then ride the ass of government to do their motherfucking job.
Is it even possible to elevate politics in this country after two stolen elections…how can we even maintain any of the ideals I teach?
Honey bun, the reason politics is fubar is rooted in the lack of participation demonstrated by the people…but that should inspire not depress us. Look at the amazing voter registration going on in the country. Now is not the time for activists to give in to frustration. Now is the time for us to take a step toward our fellow citizens who took a step toward us when they registered to vote.
New voters need more than a ride to the polls…they need to be engaged and educated on how they vote works and their rights.
The political process needs more than new voters…we need newly engaged, fired up and tired of the bullshit, letter writing, petition signing, phone call making, door knocking citizens prepared to participate in the giant job interview that is a presidential election.
The only way I know how to maintain my ideals is to live them and have the courage to change when I’m not doing that shit. And that is so much easier to do in a crowd than solo.
Anyhoo…a bitch is still tired. Giving a shit is hard work (wink)! I’m sitting here fretting over a million things...how will funding cuts impact my autistic brother’s life, how will the fucked up from the floor up education system impact my community, will this war become our children’s children’s war because our generation failed to act…am I working hard enough or am I even making a difference?
That’s the stuff that keeps a bitch up at night…
…and it is the same shit that gets my ass up in the morning.
Color me audacious.