Saturday, December 06, 2014

Activist lottery

Apathy. What could it hurt? So we don't vote; voting is such a bother. So we skip the public hearing, even though we sort of have opinions on the policy that is being considered. Who has time for such tedium? Letters to the editor? To politicians? Ugh. In the famous phraseology of Dick Cheney, we have other priorities.

What happens when enough of us say, oh please, with more than 300 million Americans, why bother to vote or speak out or act on injustice, environmental protection or peace? What good is my little bit? And when I do finally write a letter to a politician he answers with a form letter basically saying Dear Occupant, Thank you for your views, which I shall certainly keep in mind when I next vote (against them). Why bother?

Bother because this apathy is producing a corporatocracy, an oligarchy. Democracy is increasingly a 'use it or lose it' proposition. Discouraged? Join the ranks. But please continue to show that you can jump in there to help create momentum when it needs to happen.

Pretend each time you vote, you speak out at a public hearing, you hold a sign, you write a letter to either the editor or an elected representative, that you are buying an Activist Lottery Ticket. You could win big this time, who can say? Remember those times you favored one candidate a great deal over another candidate and you actually voted and your person actually won? OK, for the just, environmentally conscious, and peaceful those times are generally rare. But it happens. Think of those times, not all the times you voted or wrote or demonstrated or attended a hearing and your side lost. Those are disempowering memories, unless they are analyzed to reveal correctable problems.

It is not your place to solve all the problems, to paraphrase just about every wise sage who ever pronounced, but it is your responsibility to do your part. Don't be wedded to outcomes for your emotional state. We seem to lose a lot. Rather, analyze for errors, correct your approach, and try again. Eventually, you get good at it and you begin to win more often.

Try today. Could be your lucky number.

No comments: