Confession

 

if-now-nowHere’s my problem. I can’t think about anything else to write about except what is happening to our country.  How scary it is to live not knowing if you are at the beginning of a “new and improved” era of fear and repression. I had a meeting the other night at my house of a group of people looking for effective ways to make their voices heard and make a difference in the political climate of confrontation and name calling we seem to be inhabiting. The people in power right now believe that they can bully us into silence and by the sheer weight of their tweets paralyze us from acting. They disparage everything I was taught as pivotal to the great American experiment of democracy.

I think the game plan is to set up a series of scapegoats whom we can blame and undermine our faith and trust in the very institutions that make this country work. With all their pious posturing at prayer breakfasts with heads bowed, they are chipping away at what is the secular sacred system set into place by our founders. I know I am venting and you really don’t need this from me; it is on the news all day long.

I actually think we all need something different.

At the meeting, I made a confession. I made it in the singular but I am betting it could easily be communal and plural. I have lots of political positions and plenty of partisan opinions but it has been years since I have carried a sign and physically joined a rally. I’ve made donations to political causes; I’ve voted in every election; I’ve signed petitions (I can feel myself getting defensive). But rarely did I call my representative in Washington; I have never gone to a town hall meeting of my senator or congressman. And I am not alone; I know it. Lots of us are caught in the daily rounds of our living and it is hard to get us to move off our own personal dime. Newton taught us: “An object at rest tends to stay at rest”. It needs a push.

This political climate has been my push. I have called congress; I have a sticky note on the bottom of my computer with their telephone numbers. I have emailed; I have gone to one rally so far. It’s not hard; it just takes doing. And if you don’t know where to start, try this article from the New York Times: “A Low Tech Guide To Becoming More Politically Active”. Here’s one of their suggestions: http://phonecongress.com/ Click on it – it will guide you through finding your representatives and what to say about specific issues.

It is time. It is up to you and me. No more waiting, watching. To paraphrase Rabbi Tarfon: You don’t have to do it all, but if now now – when? And if not me, who?

 

 

 

 

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12 thoughts on “Confession

  1. Thank you for this. I have Congressman Mast’s direct office number in my cellphone and the Senate number, too. I am told by persons who have worked in Congress that the Senators and Members of Congress actually do pay attention to the number of phone calls they get on a topic, way more attention than the number of emails. Nearly every day presents an opportunity (or two) to make a call to register a concern or objection to an action taken or to be taken by the Senate or the House. Blessings, Tom

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  2. Thanks for this. I know the struggle. I haven’t posted my blog in weeks because all I have to say is a rehash of what everyone is saying. This moves us from “ain’t it awful” to making a difference. I’ve been focusing on county and state reps and legislation that is calculated to advance the power of those who already have too much and take power away from those who have too little. And maybe this will encourage me to think through a blog post of my own that helps instead of just complaining.

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  3. Bravo! I am planning to attend this Sunday’s Jewish Rally for Refugees in Battery Park. It’s especially fitting that this event will take place in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty because, indeed, it is tempest-tost huddled masses who make America great!

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  4. I’ve never been interested in politics before, but it is now matter of life and death. For evil to succeed, it is only necessary for good men to do nothing.

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  5. The problem is that it is too easy to click “like” and hit an appropriate emoticon. while the t/p calls and emails are good, they have lost their effectiveness due to their easy access. I try to make it a point at gatherings with public figures, to introduce myself and hit at least one major topic of concern.

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  6. I too have always voted and signed petitions, I have never been to a rally, I have never called although I have written. When I wrote it was for my own personal gain, to explain a situation that directly affected my family. I was not even thinking of the next person.
    Time for this body in rest to be pushed! Thank you you have found a new follower in me.

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  7. It is important to stand up for what one believes strongly in. It is even more important to live your life in a way that brings comfort, joy, love and peace to the ones around you. BE the change that you are looking for.

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