Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Under fire - A rant for everyone


Once again I am faced with a blank page and have no clue what to write. There are so many words and thoughts bubbling up inside me. There is so much that I want to say, but I just don't know where to start.

I am finding the world to be so disheartening. I don't even want to turn on the news or go to the online sites. I normally love to hang out on Twitter and chat with my friends, but my stream is filled with links to stories and articles that cause me great despair. I begin to worry about the state of the world, my country and my community. I feel like I am being attacked on all sides. Everything I believe in, everything I care about is under fire. My first impulse is to shut it all out, immerse myself in music and find respite from all of it. Tempting, but, I know that is not the answer.

It is this kind of attitude that has led to many of the problems we now have in this country and in the world. It is easier to turn a blind eye and bury ourselves in everyday life and pursuits, to escape into something more pleasurable and less stressful. And to be honest, life does intrude at times and distracts us from the problems of the world overall to our more immediate concerns. It is hard to care about who to vote for in the next election and what is happening in another part of the world. It is hard to keep track of what our elected officials are doing in Washington DC and in our state capitols when we are also worried about how we are going to pay the rent, fill our gas tanks and buy groceries to fill our bellies.

However, we must do just that.

We must make an effort to care about these issues.


Because, perhaps the reason we are having problems paying the rent, filling our gas tanks and our bellies is because of the policies being formulated by our elected officials. They like it when we are so distracted by life's problems that we do not realize what they are doing.

They are also fond of misdirecting us by creating fear when there is no reason to fear, by creating doubt in others and creating a sense of urgency so that they can effect radical change.

And why are they doing this? Perhaps to cover up information like this:

Off-the-charts income gains for super-rich

And this from Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times:

The One-Percenters

This last link was found to be so threatening to some that it was reported as abusive on Facebook and I could not post it there. Please read it and judge it for yourself.

I could go on and provide many more links. But, I guess the point I am trying to make is that we all must do our best to be informed no matter how busy we are. We must check out the candidates ourselves and not rely on their campaign commercials or even the mainstream media. They will package themselves in the best possible way to get elected and then do as they wish once they get into office. We as voters must dig deeper to find the truth. We must become educated voters and then hold our representatives accountable for what they campaign on. An educated voter is dangerous to many politicians, particularly if you can remember what they promise to get elected.

I fear that we are in for a fight. Our basic rights and our way of life are being challenged by a few powerful people. We cannot be silent anymore. Educating yourself on the issues is the first step. Then you must contact your representatives and express your opinion. And finally vote and encourage others to do so as well.

And perhaps we should also follow the example of the citizens of Wisconsin. Maybe it is time for all of us to raise our voices in protest and take to the streets when we find that the interests of the voters and our country are not being served. It is time to stand up before we are all run over in this wave of change.






Anonymous j said...

I've been feeling the same way. These are scary, disheartening times. Thank you for the reminder that we need to stay tuned, even when it's hard.

April 13, 2011 at 12:18 AM  
Blogger azsky13 said...

Thanks for stopping by to read this J.

If all of us who feel this way stand up and voice our opinion it could get really loud. Maybe loud enough to get some attention and change some minds. :)

April 13, 2011 at 12:27 AM  
Blogger Caroline said...

Great points Mary! We(I) do frequently get absorbed in my own little (but important - to me) life, forgetting that what determines my life chances and my success is in part happening "out there" in the city, state, country and world I live in. It is so easy to get overloaded with too much information that we fail to take in any information. I appreciate you reminding me of this. Our lives are intertwined with others on this planet. We don't need to devote our every waking moment to the study of national or international politics and social issues, but we do need to take a moment or two, on a regular basis, to make sure we know what is going on and to speak up when we disagree. Thanks again Mary!

April 13, 2011 at 7:20 AM  
Anonymous amydaugustine said...

Well said, Mary. So much wealth and power lies in the hands of so few that it can be tempting to throw up our hands and say nothing we do will make any difference. As you point out, that lack of action, however, contributes to the inequity and allows the wealth and power to move unchecked. It may seem to many that one voice cannot make a difference. But it can, particularly if that voice is joined with another, and then another. Soon you have a powerful chorus. Since I can't possibly say it better than Margaret Mead, I'll close with this: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

April 13, 2011 at 7:33 AM  
Blogger Stacy said...

We've been hit pretty had the past year or so. I feel the same way, it's as if things I assumed the country could agree on and were safe are are now under attack. I just never thought I'd have to try to convince someone that maybe throwing seniors at the mercy of discriminating insurance companies so that we can cut Medicare and give the wealthy an even larger tax break is an acceptable path to take in America (Paul Ryan's "brave" plan for fixing the budget).

And I don't know how to fight it. There was a time when I'd pick on Libertarians about their economic policies and point out that perhaps they should admit that under their individualistic utopia - people will die. Just admit it, I'd challenge them. This is the only thing your plans can lead to. I never though that a few years later, I'd be faced with a mainstream Republican party that essentially embraces the same theory, and when it's pointed out to them that people are going to be harmed by their policies, they shrug and "so be it, as long as I got mine".

But I still believe that they will go too far. It's easy when it just affects smaller, forgotten populations. But as we saw in Wisconsin, once you start going after things that will affect everyone in the negative, people start paying attention. And they start pushing back. It's not a matter of "if". It's a matter of "when".

April 13, 2011 at 5:59 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

And that should read "ISN'T an acceptable path to take in America". Yikes.

April 13, 2011 at 6:01 PM  

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