I've been listening to and reading the news for a while and I've come to a couple of conclusions.
(1) Democrats are incapable of fighting dirty; even when they try, it turns against them. I'm not sure if this is a fundamental part of their DNA or if people who naturally may be disinclined to fight are more naturally drawn to be Democrats.
(2) Republicans know how to organize and get their members all on the same (albeit crazy) page and script.
And (3) If Democrats sit on their collective rumps this November, we will have deserved what we have gotten.
You need to get involved. Not necessarily in a national way. Not necessarily being a "big donor"... but get off your rear end, quit complaining about how "nothing is getting done" and GO DO SOMETHING. You have to be part of the change. Change doesn't happen when everyone is waiting for "someone else" to do it. Change happens when EVERY single person gets up and does ONE thing to change his or her world. Whether globally or locally - one person CAN and WILL make a difference.
Work on a campaign for something that is important to you. Work on a charity or for a cause that means something to you. Contribute, if you can, time OR money to a worthy cause.
Write letters. Make phone calls. TALK to people about why your issue is important.
Please, I beg you. Do not be one of those "my vote doesn't matter so why bother?" people. If everyone waited for "the other guy" to do something, what would happen? Not much.
There's been talk in the punditsphere that people are apathetic. The economy sucks (to put it mildly), corporations are acting in their own best interests by giving their CEOs huge bonuses and not hiring anyone to "cut costs." And they don't quite see that if nobody's working, nobody's spending... There's also talk that people who are poor and who vote Republican are acting against their own rational self interest. And they may be. You have Republicans in Washington who want to cut benefits for kids, the poor and the unemployed.
Kids? Who needs to worry about them? The poor? They're just not making enough money. Let them eat cake. The unemployed? Lazy buggers who don't deserve any jobless benefits.
Hey, guys??? Didja hear about the corporations who were NOT hiring and who gave their CEOs big bonuses for cutting costs? And didja notice that when people DON'T work, they DON'T spend??
My purpose is to persuade each of you to act in your own rational self-interest. If we lose a majority of seats this November, and if in 2012 the Republicans are back in power, it's going to be dark days for our country. Remember back, if you will, to the past 8 years. Bush created fewer jobs in eight years and he had a surplus to work with. We're mired in 1.5 unjust wars; we're spending our great-great-great-grandkids' money. People in this country go to bed hungry. Seniors worry about whether or not to pay the bills or get their medicines. Husbands and wives worry that the next round of job cuts will include their jobs. There's talk of another "Great Depression."
But Republicans in DC can say that Medicare is a giant "milk cow" and that Viet Nam vets get "too much" health care. And that there's "no money" to pay for additional unemployment benefits. Well, let me think...how about taxing your corporate buddies (you know, the corporations who are now considered "persons" by the Supreme Court) when they ship jobs overseas? Those jobs are essentially "free" for the corporations. For tax purposes, overseas headcount "doesn't count."
Or how about we stop trying to fight wars everywhere and pay attention to the mess that is our own back yard. Wars cost a lot but somehow, there's always money for that, even if the war itself is an unjust act.
How can we change this? Maybe we can't make a sweeping change. Like pregnancy, it takes a while to get into this shape and it will take a while to get out of it. But that is no reason to weep, wail and sit on your backside bemoaning the state of things.
You need, now more than ever, to become involved. You protect your own self-interest by helping another person.
Go out and vote when elections come around. Go out into your community and see what you can do to help. First off, it'll make you feel good. Second, it's a great example for your kids.
Third -- it's the right thing to do.