I've never been political. I've read the news ("liberal rags," of course: my hometown Los Angeles Times, and more lately the New York Times and Washington Post); I've had my mild opinions; I marched in an anti-war rally once, when Bush was about to strike in Iraq. (I was too young for the Vietnam protests.)
Now is different. Now requires action. And I find myself, surprised, stepping up to the plate. Today, for example, I wrote letters to the president and members of Congress stating my concerns about the ACA and Medicare. Yes, I've heard that phone calls are most effective, but it helps me to put my thoughts down in writing. Maybe I'll make those phone calls tomorrow. One step at a time.
One problem with living in California is, our votes don't count. The electoral college has said so.
But a good thing about living in California is the likes of this: Governor Brown's State of the State address (1/24). He takes on facts; he embraces people's needs; he is for a healthy environment, as well as progress—integrated. We don't need to destroy one to have the other. And he is against Trump. I am with him on all that.
Call me an elite liberal, go ahead. If you'd like to engage me in conversation, please do. Though I have to say, I'm learning all the time. I'm reading, and trying to position my thoughts. I'm aligning my priorities (science, the environment, human rights, health care, and more). I am happy to listen to alternative viewpoints (but not, thank you very much, to "alternate facts"). I want to discuss. I do. So long as you do too. I don't want to butt heads. I want to share visions of the best that we can be—as a nation, as citizen of the Earth.
At the age of sixty-two, I find myself, perhaps for the first time, called to really—actively— care about this country. In a far-flung sense. Not me in this country. But the vision of this place, the hope, the promise, the inclusiveness. Not just living here, passively enjoying the benefits of these United States; but passionately fighting for all that the Founders envisioned: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Inalienable rights, no matter who you are.
As long, that is, as your interests don't revolve solely around the almighty dollar. There, we must draw the line. The Founders didn't care about money. Or sure, they cared about money. But they cared about that other stuff a whole helluva lot more. That, I believe.