Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hope glimmers on the horizon…

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.

GL commented…

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.

Blink.

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.

Cough.

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.

9 comments:

Sarah J said...

And awesome.

Cynicism is so easy. Laziness is easy.

While I was volunteering this weekend, I watched person after person come in to give their time, only to blanch at what they were asked to do.

No, knocking on stranger's doors isn't fun. Nor is calling them and getting hung up on repeatedly. Hell, even sitting in front of a computer entering information over and over again is dull.

But I figure that part of what I give when I give my time and effort is the knowledge that I am doing something uncomfortable and not-fun and not-easy.

Democracy ain't easy.

But it's the most important thing we can do.

Anonymous said...

You go grrrl. Keep it real. And you stay angry, Bitch! Not enough angry black bitches in the world.
Need more of 'em.

-Randi Rhodes

Anonymous said...

ABB,

:-) Thanks.

Agreed that the hope is in the new voters. Now the challenge is teaching the old dawgs new tricks -- or at least a new way of thinking.

The election process reminds me of a wonderful line in "Thelma & Louise": You get what you settle for.

I hope folks realize this and won't settle this time. It's dangerous.

Ghost Lurker

betmo said...

you are so right. :) it is impossible to know whether or not we make a difference but that shouldn't matter. we never know whose lives we touch in any given minute and we just have to keep it real and keep on keepin' on. namaste.

Anonymous said...

thank you abb for trying to teach people to be better americans.I would paint you black cuss black is butiful.

Macon D said...

This is excellent:

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.

Teaching give me hope too. The contributions I make while doing so are ephemeral and amorphous, but it especially feels worth it when students come back a few years later and tell me what a difference I made in changing their perspectives.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

very well said "People like to argue and lots of people like to hear themselves talk. Democracy is anything but easy"

I wrote a while back, about how freedom and ingonrance is incompatiable

renaissancewednesday said...

Hi! I just found your blog today and thought I'd say hello. This is a really, really awesome post. :)

It is hard, sometimes, to "keep going," especially when you feel like the only person within a ten mile radius who is concerned about certain issues. But it's reading posts like this, knowing that other people are still pressing on, that keeps me going. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I know it is getting just too hard to keep going, but we have to. I am getting so sick of my apolitical friends who bitch about gas prices and food prices and healthcare costs and the interest rates on their credit cards and AAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGHHHHHHH. What are they going to do when Blackwater busts down our front doors and ships us off to the camps? Cry? be indignant and say something useless like "You can't do this, i'm a citizen!"


AAAAAGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH my brain is melting........



PS bitch, your blog keeps me going