I recently pointed out, on a blog I had stumbled to, that I thought it was rude to name a sewage treatment plant after a our president, even if you as I do not approve of the man's policies. Comments that flowed in after mine seemed to be of the opinion that it was rude, but justified. This is why I am sick of politics. You pick a side. Your side is right. Others deserve their name on sewage. Even if ironically the plant is a good one that cleans the waste that flows out of us.
with that in mind here are some more thoughts...
I lean towards the left but have been standing straighter as time goes by, so it was interesting to be in a room of those leaning to the left last night while watching TV. I agree with them that government has a role in society beyond defending the country. Take my money and feed the poor, house the homeless, treat the sick, raise people from poverty, protect the rights to those who are hated, clean the air and water, educate the masses ...
The folk I was with last night are working for Obama because they care about these issues and that reminded me of when I worked on a campaign.
Breaking away from the TV before the big speech, I spoke with a friend a bit about that experience, but I also spoke about my belief in remembering a long history. To those concerned about social justice issues, the last eight years have been terrible. But lets have a longer memory and we are still at a better place than we were 50, 100, 200, 400 years ago. Politics blind us. Has nothing moved in the right direction for the past 8 years, anywhere in the United States? Listening to political speeches, you would think it was all down hill.
How did change happen? For the most part it was folk on the street who pointed out the problems. These folk were and are brave. Often it has been folk who did not see how laws in Washington DC matched up with the words of Jesus or other spiritual/moral teachers. Many times it was those who "quake" in the spirit, the Society of Friends, who were on the forefront.
Political speeches can help, but it is when those who make the speeches are faced with the folk who are tired of a lack of change, tired of experiencing injustice, tired of seeing others in need, and thus respond with truth and compassion which leads to social justice.
Is that what I heard last night?
Were that last four nights a staged performance to inspire Americans to vote for one party and one party only? Will making this man president lead to changes? Does the man truly care for those in need? In eight years will a conservative city be considering naming a sewage treatment plant after Obama because of political hatred?
Who knows? My hope is in a long history that seems to be headed in the right direction, while keeping in mind that with all progress: personal, national, and global--- it is a roller coaster ride of hills and valleys.
Who we vote for has a role in that history, as does seeing the world with compassionate eyes and responding to our neighbors daily, not just voting and hoping for change.
I still think it is rude and wrong to do what some in San Francisco would have us do.
and yes, I was moved by the man's words.