Recently I responded to an article by a good man, but an angry man. I wrote that ,while I loved his article for its passion and well parsed verbiage I worried that it contained only negatives, expressed only his frustrations, and that, however true those expressions might be, however accurate was his assessment of the current situation it was not enough, something was lacking.
This got me thinking, frankly, and looking at the articles and blogs on the web in a different light, and a little push from an editor resulted in this.
Article after article containing only negatives, however accurate and truthful they may be, and many of them are quite such, leaves folks despairing and
given over to hopelessness. We need folks willing to act, to effect change,whether that be working to save the Democratic party if that is your bent, or working to help create a third party, or just writing letters to your elected officials, whatever as long as we are motivated to do something.
I have long noted that angry people seldom make progress without channeling that emotion into useful effort. Anger destroys, ultimately. I have posted more than a few comments regarding my frustration with and belief in the futility of supporting the leadership of the Democratic Party. I have noted that this once proud group has been subverted into support of an illegal war, support for a President worthy of impeachment and an administration so incompetent, so in the pocket of the aims of a neoconservative few, as to be almost cartoonish in its villany.
In response to such beliefs I have received some interesting correspondence. Some have led to interesting discussions, some have been diatribes from fools, frankly, and some have been thoughtful criticisms from folks with differing views of the same issues. Some few have led to a continuing dialogue which I hope proves fruitful. In a case or two I have descended into rudeness in response to a vast self centered ignorance, a failing I hope to correct in my dotage.
A recent letter from Ralph Nader, posted at DemocracyRising.us for those interested, spoke to the old debate between Aldous Huxley and George Orwell, in which Orwell postulated that, ultimately, that which we hate will destroy us, while Huxley believed that that which we love would be our ultimate undoing. In a way I can relate that to our current political situation.
We see a regime so intent upon destruction, so vile and contemptable in its every action, so uncaring in the slightest for the needs or wishes of our citizenry or the people of this world that one might think we would rise up en masse and throw them out. Yet we see no such uprising, we see an opposition party silent and acquiescent, yet one still supported by more than a few of us on the left. We see the mass of men leading , as a great thinker once noted, lives of quiet desperation, so engrossed in the junk they buy, the toys they need so much as to be removed from the realities facing us all. Instead of an emotional and moral outrage we find a deafening silence. That which we love destroying us.....perhaps.
Where Orwell feared an oppressive regime, using propaganda and fear and endless war to control the masses Huxley perhaps was the most prescient seeing that control coming , not from deception or fear, but from disinterest and preoccupation with trivialities. How then do we break through this shell of indifference, how then do we motivate our fellow citizens to help end this travesty of Democracy we have become?
We do it, not with anger but with motivational techniques, we do it with positivism and endless enthusiasms, we do it by taking first a good hard look at ourselves and our politics, or our lack thereof and change for the better. We do not yell at our neighbors we befriend them and slowly and quietly insinuate our truths. We do not endlessly rant at the horrific (sorry) leadership of the Democratic party that has left us alone in our struggle we continually suggest change and differing strategies to them and work, perhaps, to found a new and better political party. We write , we email, we march, we work and we work and we smile and we remain positive above all. We cannot convince people by depressing them, ultimately we must energise them through a shared vision of a better tomorrow.
It is not through anger that we will triumph,it is not rage that will see us through it is enthusiasm and energy, it is a positive vision of a better nation and a peaceful planet that will make our work both easier and inevitable. This , I believe wholeheartedly, is the way to re-engage our uncaring electorate and to end the dictatorship in our political parties that fails to do right. Angry people seldom work together long, we must do this, a world is counting on us.