I keep reading about hope. Hope and optimism. I sure do hope things get better! I’m optimistic that Obama will help change marriage laws for gay people! Here’s hoping the next pope pushes things forward!
Well folks, it’s time for some tough love.
Stop hoping. Stop being optimistic. Stop wishing things would get better. Stop signing empty petitions and stop discussing your views with supportive, like-minded friends. Stop silently nodding your support for a position. Stop promising to get more involved.
Start demanding. Start demanding in a loud voice screamed out of your windows and blasted out of your doors. Demand not what might be, but what must be. Don’t spend one more second hoping for change, demand it.
Catholics, if your leader is a bigot that suppresses gays, women and protects child rapists, don’t wait for him to die off or sigh relief when he steps down – kick him out. Liberals, if your President tells you drones are “complicated,” when you know they cause innocent deaths, publicly denounce him. It’s time for everyone to stop hoping, stop making exceptions/excuses and start making demands. Fire your senators. Hold your leaders responsible for their actions. Hope is worthless where action is lacking. You have to actually DO something about the problems in this country and abroad if you wish to see the change so many only talk about. If your only involvement in making this world better is hitting “like” on Facebook a few times a week when someone says something clever, you are just as much a part of the problem as the perpetrators themselves.
Demand fairness for women. Demand rights for gays. Demand white-collar criminals be locked up for their crimes. You, the people, hold the power and you are doing nothing with it. The internet is a tool. Writing is a tool – One that I certainly employ to help push change, but there is always more that can be done. Call your senators. Protest. Stop venting your rage only to those that agree with you. Instead, piss someone off on a bus. Disrupt a family dinner the next time a relative says something homophobic.
We allow too much. We smooth over too much over just so we can “have a nice evening” or avoid conflict. What this nation needs currently is a little less King and a little more X. No one is going to give you political power, you have to go out and take it.
People compare the current political climate to the 60’s, with us being in war(s) we are split over and being embroiled in political, financial, and environmental crisis. Yet we are nothing like that America. We are not in the streets. We are not starting sit-ins or marching on Washington. No, we are too distracted padding our posteriors on a couch nervous over who is going to win on “The Voice” to care about what’s going on right outside our collective front doors. I implore all of you, if you really do care, and if you really do want change, get out there and make that change yourself. Do not be kind. Do not compromise, and do not back down.
Your President does not need your praise right now; he needs your criticism and your unwavering expectation. It is NOT the time to find bipartisan peace when that peace is built upon the backs of the poor, the female, and those not white or straight.
I love what the country can be, but there is nothing great about a country in which a person can die from cancer so that an insurance company can pull off a billion dollar profit. There is nothing great about a country where women are still fighting for control of their own bodies and a fair wage nearly a hundred years after fighting for the vote. There is nothing great about a country that bombs civilians with drones and then shrugs an apology. There is nothing great about a country which has weekly school shootings. These matters are NOT complicated, they are crystal clear.
American people, it is time to act. It is time to wake up and get angry. Demand, demand, demand and get so loud that even a distracted media is forced to pay attention. Don’t hope for a better tomorrow, go build it. I think it best in this current time of confusion to quote Thoreau:
I know this well, that if one thousand, if one hundred, if ten men whom I could name-if ten honest men only-eye if one HONEST man, in this State of Massachusetts, ceasing to hold slaves, were actually to withdraw from this copartnership, and be locked up in the county jail therefor, it would be the abolition of slavery in America. For it matters not how small the beginning may seem to be: What is once well done is done forever….
In that era it was slavery that had to be fought without compromise. Today, we’re slaves to our corporations and our brand name shoes. Yet just as Thoreau realized while cooling his heels in a jail – refusing to pay a tax that would support a war with Mexico – it only takes one. Sadly in our modern world that one person too often pays with their life, but we do our heroes no honor for their sacrifice by sitting idly by while the weak are oppressed. “What is once well done is done forever.” Do things once well done, and change this world.
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