I confess. I really like politics. Sometimes, C-SPAN can fascinate me. What I don't get is the apathy of my friends and neighbors. There are basically two ways to change things our society: small grassroots efforts and large political ones. Often, you have to change the law to make anything happen. I think we all get really tired of the ineffectiveness of government sometimes to address our needs. We get sick of corrupt politicians, big business donors, PACs and the dismissing of the little people. We start to think that nothing will ever change and we give up the fight. But I firmly believe that you have no right to complain about the state of the nation if you don't actively do something to change it. I am just now starting to get excited about the next presidential election. The field narrowed even more today for the Democrats with Wesley Clark bowing out. I need a candidate I can believe in and I'm anxiously awaiting the results.
When I was growing up, I believed that the world was run by Republicans. I was too young to remember Jimmy Carter and I had lived with Reagan and Bush so long I thought it was only natural for Republicans to rule the nation. My community was about 99.99% conservative. My paternal family was 100% conservative. I got it into my head that liberals would always lose and that was life. Imagine my surprise when Bill Clinton came along. Clinton let me down. I wanted to believe in him and he did do some great things in office. But he weakened on important issues and sullied his accomplishments with his philandering. I think Al Gore may have done better even though he lacked Clinton's charisma. But instead we ended up with another Bush. Like we hadn't learned enough from the first one.
I'm reading James Carville's new book "Had Enough?" right now and I love it. He is a very thoughtful and intelligent man and he speaks to many of the concerns I have right now about politics. I think this book along with Al Franken's new book should be required reading for the "disenfranchised" voting population right now. Anyone who wants a change in this country. It probably wouldn't hurt to read a little Molly Ivins, Jim Hightower and Michael Moore, too. (I love Michael Moore but sometimes he is too rabid and comes off as crazy. He needs to calm it down a bit and choose his words more carefully.)
If you are sick to death of politics and believe that nothing will ever change, I urge you to rethink your position. Because quite honestly, your country needs you right now. I am issuing a call to arms. Get off your apathetic bums and start making some positive changes in this country. I can't do it alone.