I have nothing left

I am exhausted.

For two years, we’ve faced a constant assault on our nation’s values, our democratic institutions, and our fellow citizens, especially the most vulnerable among us. Along with the rest of the country, I have watched as:

Continue reading “I have nothing left”

Eleanor Roosevelt: July 23, 1943

“So my plea is that those who have the gift of words, use them in these days to give the people hope by which to live and dream, for without the vision we shall perish.”

I have deep admiration for Eleanor Roosevelt, the First Lady of the United States during one of our country’s most challenging times. She had bold, and you might even say modern, opinions about political, social, and racial issues. She was articulate, thoughtful, outspoken, and worked tirelessly for the causes she believed in.

In so many ways she was a woman well ahead of her time.

We could benefit from her voice today. And so I think that I will post regular quotes from Eleanor Roosevelt, starting with this one, which I believe is quite appropriate for those of us who read and write blogs:

“So my plea is that those who have the gift of words, use them in these days to give the people hope by which to live and dream, for without the vision we shall perish.”
From her nationally syndicated “My Day” newspaper column, July 23, 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.

We Have Become a Nation with Zero Tolerance

Would you make a thousand-mile, perilous journey in the hope of saving yourself or your children? I don’t know if I would have the courage. But I have a story in my own family history that comes close to the kind of desperation felt by the immigrant families pouring across our southern border.Continue reading “We Have Become a Nation with Zero Tolerance”

Background on the Immigration Situation

Do you know what’s actually going on with the immigration crisis? Who are the people coming here and where are they coming from? Are they really “refugees”? “asylum seekers”? What is MS-13 and what are its origins? What’s the truth about  the children being held in detention centers around the country? Was the policy actually started under President Clinton, President Obama, or President Trump? What’s the answer to the question: Why would someone come here if they know their child will be taken away from them?Continue reading “Background on the Immigration Situation”

Hannah Arendts on Totalitarianism

“The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false (i.e. the standards of thought) no longer exist.”

-Hannah Arendt (1906-1975)
The Origins of Totalitarianism 

The Statue of Liberty: a Glowing Reminder of Who We Are

On this day in 1885 the 350 individual pieces of the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York Harbor.

Most people know at least some of the words associated with the Statue of Liberty. They’ve heard “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses…” Continue reading “The Statue of Liberty: a Glowing Reminder of Who We Are”

Injustice

It’s time we stop thinking of Black Lives Matter as a “black person’s issue.” We need to stop thinking of #MeToo as a “women’s issue.” LGBTQ rights aren’t just important for gay people or people who have a gay family member. Islamophobia doesn’t just hurt Muslims; anti-Semitism doesn’t just effect Jewish people.

All people, of every race, ethnicity and religion, of every sexual orientation and gender identification MUST fight to ensure justice for everyone. We must all be allies in one another’s causes, because it’s going to take all of us standing together shoulder to shoulder doing the hard work necessary to create a society that is fair and just for every one of us.

The Right to Health Care: Our Next Battlefield

I bristle a little every time I hear Bernie Sanders say “Health care is a right.”

What he means is “health care should be a right.” Every human being should have access to health care. A moral and decent society does not let its citizens live in pain or ill health, suffer permanent injury or die simply because of their financial circumstances. Health care is a right in nearly every other developed nation in the world.

But it’s not a right in America.

The fact is, in the United States of America in 2018, if you’re Continue reading “The Right to Health Care: Our Next Battlefield”