Eleanor Roosevelt: on Democracy

“A democracy can never succeed unless each individual takes responsibility for his nation, its policies and the representatives he elects.”

Eleanor Roosevelt
May 26, 1943

Our Defeats Will Steel Our Resolve

I just realized something:

All of the “defeats” that we have been subjected to over the last two years, that have left us so deflated and demoralized, are not defeats at all. They are signposts along the way to our better future. They are there to energize us, and more than that, to test our resolve:

Do we really believe in our cause? Or is it just so many empty words?

Are we whiners who expect that everything will go our way, and when it does not we throw up our hands in defeat? Or are we willing to get our hands dirty and do the hard work necessary to create the future that we believe in?

Do we wallow in defeat and demoralization while everything wastes away at the hands of a small group of people who will walk all over our rights and our dignity and take it away from us? Or do we fight back?

Do we really believe in the promise of our country? That all of us are created equal. That hard work will be rewarded fairly. That we can leave a better world for our children. That ours is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Because right now — at this moment — we are engaged in the great test of our generation: can the promise of this country endure?

We have been sitting here pining for someone to step up, waiting for someone to emerge and show us the way. We have been desperate for a leader so we can follow them to the promised land. But we don’t need a leader to follow: we already know the way. We can join hands and walk there together.

There is a great task ahead of us. And we will take increased devotion to our cause from the defeats we have suffered. But we will not be demoralized. We will not be defeated. We will not let others steal our hope. We will not watch our country crumble. We will steel ourselves for the fight ahead. And we will succeed.

Our future is one month away. Let’s go.

If That Anonymous Op-Ed Made You Feel Better, You’ve Been Played

If the anonymous Op-Ed published on Wednesday in the New York Times made you feel better, I suggest that you read it more carefully, and then renew your commitment to helping elect Democrats in November. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. There may be adults in the room, but Continue reading “If That Anonymous Op-Ed Made You Feel Better, You’ve Been Played”

Women’s Vote, 99 Years and Counting

The 19th Amendment guarantees women the right to vote. The text states simply: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

What that simple text – a mere 28 words – conceals, however, is Continue reading “Women’s Vote, 99 Years and Counting”

Literally NOT a Test

Once again, I was pondering the question of why people don’t vote. And suddenly it occurred to me that people equate voting with that other thing that we all hate: tests. I bet they look at that ballot with the little bubbles next to the candidates’ names and it makes them think of Continue reading “Literally NOT a Test”

Dear Millennials: Don’t Die. Vote

Dear Millennials:

I hear you saying you feel hopeless and powerless. The present is a disaster and your future looks bleak. There are problems everywhere you turn. The institutions that are supposed to protect you have betrayed you. You feel like your country has let you down.Continue reading “Dear Millennials: Don’t Die. Vote”

Bring On the Fireworks: Dissent on the 4th of July

I read somewhere that they are expecting 4th of July celebrations across the country to be somewhat low-key this year because people aren’t feeling very patriotic.

But surely being concerned for the health of our democracy and feeling patriotic aren’t incompatible, are they? No. In fact, I’d say they are one and the same.Continue reading “Bring On the Fireworks: Dissent on the 4th of July”

Midterms Matter

Folks, we are only 29 weeks away from the 2018 elections, and I’m starting to freak out a little. We’re not ready for this election.

I know what you’re saying: “Election? Wait, didn’t we just have an election? Why are we doing it again already?”

We did just vote, in November of last year. But this time around, it isn’t a presidential election. This November (November 6) is what is known as a midterm election. Continue reading “Midterms Matter”