In my activism, I never wanted to be nor do I want to be a leader in my own right but rather, I’ve always hoped to be a conduit for uniting an often fragmented progressive movement because here we are, folks: climate crisis, justice crisis, poverty crisis with no strong united front to combat corporate interests and corrupt politicians who care only for profits above all else – above water quality, air quality, sustainable living, civil rights, living wage, health care as a right, fair banking systems, affordable college education, humane treatment of all animals, a sustainable agriculture system, funding social, mental health, and addiction services, decriminalizing marijuana and ending the prison-for-profit US prison complex. The machines which run this country are not people, they are corporations looking at their bottom line. The machines are huge, powerful, and funded in ways the people cannot compete with until Citizens United is overturned. We, my friends, are in a mess.
I’ve seen some beautiful things since we launched The Progressive Independent Party – Honorary Bernie Sanders Party volunteers who became friends, who grew to be my progressive family, who continue to give me hope, each and every day, that we can achieve our goals; goals which impact the 99% of us – regardless of party affiliation.
Activism is not easy. It tests our strength – physically, emotionally, intellectually; it tests our values and our endurance. It’s not glamorous. It’s sweaty and stinky and painful and emotional. It’s costly and time-consuming. Activism pushes us beyond our ego, beyond ourselves, beyond the present — and looks you straight in the eye and challenges you: Are you sincere? Are your intentions pure? What will you sacrifice?
I know my smaller group of personal friends and family with me on Facebook have watched all of this transpire over the last few years. After my activism during the Bush War years, I put it away for awhile, discouraged. I decided to leave it to others but after returning to Indiana, I had no choice but to strengthen my voice against the worst governor in Indiana history, Gov. Mike Pence.
And now, I’m here, you’re here, WE are here – with two of the most unfavorable presidential candidates in history with our economic system feeding 98% of all new wealth to the top 1% as the rest of us are buried in debt and joblessness or underemployment and health care we can’t afford. We are sinking, many of us. Our communities must worry about our increasingly dangerous public water systems corroding, climate change impacting our communities with historic flooding and major climate events, corporations buying up our public water rights while surrounding communities suffer droughts. You know. It’s not good.
But, my friends, there is also so much hope for we still believe we have time to change our current direction if we do so fast. And the beauty of this is YOU can help the world too. YOU can change your communities too. YOU can stand up with us and make our government work for the interests of the people who they’ve been elected to serve.
I’m done arguing about the presidential election. Both candidates are horrible and arguing about which one is less horrible wastes our valuable time, precious time we need to save our democracy, heal our communities, and fight for the real change necessary to uplift ALL people not just the 1%.
What I’m asking you today, even if you’ve NEVER been involved in politics or your local communities, to make a commitment to do so TODAY. Go to city council meetings, volunteer for your chosen cause, and DEMAND more from our officials and our mass media. Demand truth, fairness, and transparency. Because you have more power to spark change than you’ve ever imagined and we need your help.
And I bet, like me, those who join you in the fight will end up friends and then, family. Because what we all may be truly missing in our lives is 1) true purpose and 2) a loving, supportive community.
All of us want the same things, let’s unite. We can make our world better, together. I believe. And I’ll keep on believing. #UsNotMe
“Hope dies last.” – Studs Terkel
By Araquel Bloss