I hope this reaches you in all of your corners. You – especially you. Citizens of the world. I feel that it’s urgent that I speak with you directly. There is something I need you to know. You see, I am an American. And while there are a number of things about my community and my country that I am proud of, I know that right now – from the outside – it really does appear that the entire United States has gone batshit crazy. In some cases, I fear that it has. But the rest of us are still here.
I know that you haven’t seen me on the news. I don’t own a soapbox – nor do I belong to a church or club that might provide me with one – and I don’t believe in winning an argument by simply yelling the same thing over and over again hoping my opponent will simply get too tired to continue to oppose me. I don’t think that “because my God said so” is a valid argument in ANY political forum. I don’t look like a dirty hippy and I often wear suits to work, so the media is unlikely to use me to represent protest or dissent. I also – perhaps most importantly – don’t hate anyone, which apparently isn’t very newsworthy. I believe that all people are created equal until they prove themselves to be idiots or assholes. I know it seems that people like myself are vastly outnumbered here, but that isn’t true. It’s only that being rational and accountable doesn’t make good television. It doesn’t make anyone richer.
Unfortunately, I don’t imagine I’ve been alive long enough to understand (or explain) when it really happened – when this government of ours truly ceased to represent its people, but I suspect it has been a very long time. I’m not certain when “it” (because this government is very much a thing and not a collective “who”) decided that “for the people” could and should exist independently from “by the people” – that questionably elected officials could decide what was best for us without our voices or our consent. I don’t know when it happened. But it has. My government thinks that corporations are people and that pizza is a vegetable. It has all but stopped even the pretense of listening to what we need. With each wasted day in our legislature, this could not be more obvious – that its decisions (when they are able to make them at all) are not in any part governed by the will of the people. We see this. And we are realizing how absurd it was for us to believe that we could expect to be responsible citizens of our nation by simply having a job or watching the six o’clock news. That we didn’t necessarily have to be involved in the political processes of our nation. We have gotten the memo. We were wrong.
And even as we wrestle with how to best fix this mess, the right hand of our political machine (no more corrupt than the left but certainly more prone to circus-like behaviour) has chosen my uterus as its political battleground. We stand in awe and embarrassment. And anger. They are selling their newest political candidates as spiritual leaders. We are not fooled. We know how dangerous that is. We know that faith is a component of personal freedom, and not something to be imposed upon a nation that celebrates that freedom. They have decided to spend millions of dollars – that could actually be used to help people – campaigning to cultivate the worst in our nature – fear, hate and judgement. They seek their power by dividing us. They have forgotten what comes after “United we stand, …” We see this. These people, this political cesspool, does not represent us. Behind their faces on your televisions, we are still here.
The fact is that no matter who you are – no matter what country you read this from – you and I have more in common than I have with my government. Chances are the same is true for you and yours. No matter what your faith or what hardships you have endured – some that I cannot even imagine, possibly even at the hand of my government (or because it has ignored you) – we are not so different. For all the voices of division that grow louder, more and more of us are growing smarter. More informed. More aware. Talking to each other. Working together. We are learning that there is power in our voices, and power for others in our silence. That active social responsibility is not optional in a society that seeks personal freedom and equality.
I don’t know, World, what the future holds. But even in the face of all this uncertainty and tyrannical political power – we do believe that change is possible. Some of you, in fact, are the ones inspiring us. Thank you. We see you. We know what we are up against. And I wanted to make sure you knew that most of us are not the bigoted millionaires and extremists that claim to speak for us, nor do we admire or support them. It’s important to me that you know that. Please share this message with your friends and your family. It’s important that they know, too. My voice is not loud, but that does not mean that it is not strong.
Behind our grandstanding prime time political freak show, we are still here. And while the media might not cover it, there are many of us working to change things. In the meantime, while I know they are disastrous, please don’t hold our politicians against us.