Sounds a bit Marxian, doesn't it. Actually it's Jean-Jacques Rousseau. And if you trace a line from JJR to the present, it does not cross through political-prison camps in Siberia, but to the U.S. Constitution and to "peace, order and good government."
Some days I can't get out of the apartment and do the one good deed per day I'm pledged to. But I can at least go to Care2, the 13-year-old online clearinghouse of progressive petitions with more than 16 million members and add my name to those demanding a good thing be done or a bad thing stopped.
I just signed Alan Grayson's online petition objecting to any cuts, ever, to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. Took about 6 seconds.
The way I feel about Grayson, who has the balls to tell "retired" evil-doer Cheney to "STFU" in criticizing Obama (and the veep has done so, my gosh!), I'm this close to taking next summer off to help Grayson in his bid to reclaim the Florida congressional district he lost in the GOP wave last November. Grayson was the best talking head the Dems had (maybe the only really good one), routinely gutting GOP neanderthals and fellow travelers in the MSM. The lawyer by training is so logically quick on his feet with plain-spoken street cred to boot that the MSM couldn't resist showcasing him. We need him back.
A U.S. friend told me yesterday about the time she makes to contact federal and state elected officials about urgent public-policy issues. Very few bother to do that. Which is how 10% of adult Americans - Tea Partiers and folks who agree with them who preferred that America become a deadbeat for the first time in history - have taken 311 million Americans hostage. "A republic - if you can keep it," Ben Franklin said. You have to fight, continually, for the government you want. Which is why progressives having gone AWOL after Nov. 4, 2008 and now moaning over how Obama so easily caves in is deeply misguided - you, who voted for progress but have since taken a three-year siesta while the Tea Partiers were hard at work, you'll have a hard time convincing me you care as much about your country as do those with whom you disagree.
In my experience, pols listen real hard to constituents. As I've written here before, the one thing - the main thing - pols care about is getting reelected. Of keeping their jobs, not being fired - just like me! (I very much want to keep this job; imagine living with the job insecurity pols do.) So tell the likes of Grayson you'll not only vote for them but donate to and work their campaigns. Or just donate $10 bucks.
And tell Michele Bachmann and Eric Cantor you not only don't speak for me, as you repeatedly insist is the case on talking-head shows, but I'll do all I can to get rid you from the body politic short of breaking the law. The more you do so, the more the other 90% of like-mind folks will join you. As the petitions and letters of disapproval pile up in the pol's office, the influence of the lobbyists and of embedded reactionary ideology fade. Because, as the late New York U.S. senator Herbert Lehman said many moons ago, "Once you've been driven through downtown in a motorcade, the sirens of the motorcycle escorts heralding your arrival and importance, you're addicted for life."
As long as clinging to office is pols' main motivation, show them how perilous that future is if they don't start governing for the majority. If putting Cantor and his ilk in their place seems formidable, do you remember Time's 1995 Man of the Year cover from late 1994 of...Newt Gingrich? And where is the serial philander now? Registering about 3% in the Iowa GOP primary polls. God, as MLK was wont to say, has a way of smiting your power when you get out of line. Let's help that along.
Someday I'll get a commenter wondering why I write so much about our neighbors. It's real simple. Canada is my first love, above any thing or person in life But a great deal of our prosperity derives from proximity to our one neighbor, the most prosperous country in history. So it matters to me, and I believe it should matter to you, how that country conducts itself. Besides, Canada is challenged in producing its share of Twin Freaks. Most Canucks of entertainment value - not all, I grant - seek employment in sitcoms or on the writing teams of U.S. late-night comedy shows, rather than seeking public office.
So endth the lesson. We return you now to our regularly scheduled programming.