That's right -- you can stop looking around. I'm talking to YOU.
Republican, Democrat, Green, Independent, I don't care. Your country needs you to answer the call.
A call to arms, you ask? No, no...the call to serve in public office.
I know, I know - "Eww," you say, decent upstanding citizen that you are, "I couldn't do it. Soil my pristine soul shaking hands with those slimebags? Never. I'll leave that to the manipulators, weasels, and corrupt dirtbags of the world."
Fine. I hear you. It's something I said for years and years and years until I really started thinking about what that attitude has bought me thusfar, and where it will leave us 50 years from now (with a special thanks to Kate Coyne-McCoy of Emily's List for opening my eyes in that regard). Now I charge you to think about it.
If only the palm-greasers and back scratchers run for office, what kind of government will we have?
We deserve better don't you think?
Speaker of the Vermont House of Representatives Gaye Symington said something very wise at this year's State Democratic Convention and I am paraphrasing her loosely here (if anyone has the exact words she used, please forward them on to me) - she said, "Do not trust your democracy only into the hands of those who are naturally drawn to politics."
Look at what doing so for the past 25 years has bought us, especially at the national level. Vice, graft, divisivness, hypocrisy - enough already! Haven't you had enough? I know I have.
We do not need any more career politicians, movie stars, and billionaire playboys running for office. What we need are more nurses and firemen, day care providers and teachers, stay-at-home parents and construction workers, and (dammit!) ordinary Janes and Joes. People who have been out there living life, up to their elbows in the muck of reality struggling to make ends meet, whose life choices and decisions have been centered around supporting their family and their community, not on what would be most politically expedient or financially rewarding.
If all of us regular Joes and Janes get involved -- serve on the school board or run for the Senate, it matters not -- then regardless of Party affiliation, we'll end up with a government worthy of our attention and loyalty (and the world's respect) once again. It IS possible. But only if you become the change you wish to see in the world around you -- you set the tone and, if the fire is in your belly, lead the charge so that others like you can follow.
Calling Mr. (or Ms.) Smith. Like it or not, Washington needs you.
"Just get up off the ground, that's all I ask. Get up there with that lady that's up on top of this Capitol dome, that lady that stands for liberty. Take a look at this country through her eyes if you really want to see something. And you won't just see scenery; you'll see the whole parade of what Man's carved out for himself, after centuries of fighting. Fighting for something better than just jungle law, fighting so's he can stand on his own two feet, free and decent, like he was created, no matter what his race, color, or creed. That's what you'd see. There's no place out there for graft, or greed, or lies, or compromise with human liberties. Great principles don't get lost once they come to light. They're right here; you just have to see them again!" -- Jefferson Smith, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington