Friday, May 21, 2010

Between Two Worlds

Between two worlds, surreal, seems to describe my recent political state of mind perfectly. After writing my last piece The Root Canal Of All Evil on my blog I seemed to have left my political self in the dust. I could not get past the subject of the post that the obstacle at the root of solving every ideological difference on challenges we face together is money. Upon reading my usual newspapers, websites and listening to a host of talking heads, my mind ran a gamut of emotions. On one hand the activist in me wants to fight, while the realist in me says the politicians don’t mean what they say, they are bought and paid for. They vote and speak as their corporate owners tell them. I even get angry with those who I support. I get livid at their mediocrity of achievement, the baby steps in policies and bills that hold our future in their words, such as the absence of a strong public option in the healthcare bill. I then realize that this too is a result of the money influence. Is there any hope? Should we fight? Would it even matter unless we could offer them more money by outbidding the corporate interests?
The corporate owners of America are delighted as they have us divided to keep us away from the real problem, them. A Government of the people, by the people and for the people has been reduced to an illusion. I recall the words of that great anthem by Bob Marley “ So now we see the light, what you gonna do? we gonna stand up for our rights, don’t give up the fight, get up, stand up for your rights.”
Last week the dust of my malaise began to settle, as Bob Marley verses ran through my mind, I was reunited with my political self. As the surreal clouds lifted, I saw my political body waiting to be dusted off and put back into action. Fight? You bet! Fight the only fight that counts, the fight that will address everything we care about, to remove money from the equation. We must stand up and battle until this becomes a political reality.
Between Two Worlds is a classic film staring John Garfield, Paul Henreid and Sydney Greenstreet. The films narrative is a group of diversified characters are about to board a ship with separate destinations. Some of the characters are at peace with whatever seems to unfold and reveal itself, while others are disgruntled for various reasons, ego and misdirected anger being mostly the culprits. What they don’t know is they are all dead and on their way to judgment day. Sydney is aptly cast as the awaiting judge, and the needs of the passengers are sympathetically dealt with by a serene steward named Scrubby who happily obliges their whims until their judgment moment arrives. The judge reviews every ones past deeds and they are then sent off to an appropriate eternity of their own making. Anyone who committed suicide has a special destiny, the same as Scrubby who ended his life by his own hands, and has to spend eternity as a server on the ship of dead souls on their way to face the judge. Over and over, trip after trip, forever. The film is an example of the ship on which we all ride. However we have the best possible leader to steer us in the right direction to a future that gives us and others a chance at a real sustainable future, and the captain of the ship is President Obama.
As progressives we have to stop eating our own, as that can become our political suicide and doom us to an eternity of repeats.
Fight for real change instead of picking apart every detail of what Obama proposes. Let us collectively try to be conscious that merely turning this ship of fools around is an arduous task that would completely escape most other leaders. Another so called, stuck in the past leader, might drive us directly into a black hole, putting us squarely back in time
instead of the direction of new horizons. We must beware of contributing to the chatter of the far right which only weakens him and our causes even further. Let us continue to speak out while also focusing our energies on getting our country to a place where a forward thinking President like Obama, or any future leader, will have the freedom to propose their full desires in a bill without worrying about the money obstructions in getting the votes. Speak out, keep up the fight to rid money from our political process and remember the words of Jim Morrison of The Doors “you can’t burn out if you’re not on fire.”