I am not the only person in my city, my state, my country – far from it – who feels the urgent need to DO and SAY things about what is happening to democracy in America. I must have five books piled on my sofa, and five more on my iPad, that explain, from one perspective or another, how and why the United States got into the current state of extreme inequality and ideological polarization.
It is not hard to see the problem. I do what most say not to do and read the comments after political articles, particularly those in my local newspaper. Under anonymous screen names, people do not hold back their anger, fear and bias. They seem both glibly unaware of the seriousness of the divide, the threat to democracy, and yet deeply fearful in a “gut” instinct way that what we hold dear and how we always expected things to go is slipping away. The lashing, labeling, knee-jerk prejudice is disheartening.
Our elected leaders do and say things that leave me dumbstruck and sick.
What to do? Write? Volunteer? Donate? Lead? Follow? I am almost frozen into inactivity with the urgency to do something about the world, against the enormity of our slide – or free fall – into something that does not resemble a nation “of the people.”
I am one person, but one person can do something. Today, I read and learn; write and plan; collect information and analyze it; donate to one worthwhile cause. It is enough for today.