voice for democracy


Letter: You must participate in our democracy – Mountain Xpress

When you participate in your local community, you are participating in the Big Story of the Universe. We do our little thing in our corner of the world to make the world a little bit better.
Recent experiences at Pritchard Park, Hominy Creek Greenway and Bent Creek brought responses that change was hopeless; Raytheon good at providing jobs; and we need defense. This ignores the issues demonstrators are addressing.
Local groups such as Resist Raytheon and the Veterans for Peace support good-paying jobs and the defense of our country, along with the hope that informed citizens will recognize the military industrial complex and the trillions of dollars spent on wars that corrupt the democratic American dream.
We do not claim that we can stop wars, economic inequality, suffering or poverty in the near future. But we do encourage participation and informed decision-making to create a place for common sense. It requires that we the people do not lose hope.
What can you do? Resist the seeming easy answers. Dare to dream! Yearning for security isn’t enough. You must participate in our democracy. You are a part of the eternal drive for freedom, justice and ever greater truth, goodness and beauty.
Inform yourself. Be courageous and participate in fulfilling your democratic responsibility. Our election system, economic system, political system, health care, etc., are broken. The least one can do is study the issues, demand the truth — be skeptical of politicians running for office. The information is out there: documentary films and dramatizations, books, peace and justice organizations — not only locally, but millions of people globally demonstrating for a more just and peaceful world.
Recently, a conversation with angry neighbors about today’s problems echoed my own concerns, despite differing worldviews. When asked what they were doing about this, they replied they ignore the news and focus on their own lives.
Think about this: If you are not informing yourselves by listening and studying all sides of an issue, your inaction is compliance and support for the systemic domination by the very wealthy and the politicians who are controlled by them — this includes both Republicans and Democrats.
A registered Republican in the 1960s, I argued against my father’s method of voting. He told me, “I’m voting against every incumbent because they become too powerful.” Now I understand his words of wisdom. As Lord Acton said, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
My sense is that most of us know things have gone wrong. If wars and the so-called “free market” were truly effective, we would have had economic justice years ago. It’s up to us folks to support and dialogue with others who support change.
Here’s a challenging comment by Eleanor Roosevelt: “Some people are dreamers and some people are doers, but what the world really needs are dreamers who do and doers who dream.”
Check this inspirational book: What to Do When It’s Your Turn: (And It’s Always Your Turn) by Seth Godin. It explores the dance we have to do and the tensions we must embrace in order to do work we care about — pushes us to dig deep inside to address the things we care about.
— Ed Sacco
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