And I want to join them.
Like most politically engaged people, I often find myself railing against those who really don’t care. I try hard not to resort to denigrating terms like “sheeple,” but I do launch into the occasional diatribe, bemoaning the hopelessly uninformed, and the pessimistic do-nothing attitudes of so many Americans.
But having labored as a political activist for more than three years now, I find myself feeling more and more sympathy for the apathetic, the disengaged and the generally clueless. In fact – I envy them.
Political activism is hard.
I find it always taxing, often discouraging and seldom as rewarding as I once imagined i would be. I endure personal attacks, spend countless hours lulling myself into a coma reading boring legislation, and I constantly find myself engaged in battles – generally with political adversaries, but sometime with supposed allies.
Not infrequently, I imagine life away from the political rat-race. I used to work as a sports writer, and sometimes I long for those days. How delightfully tempting to simply lose myself in games and recruiting news. How wonderful it must be to absorb hours of time following a puck across a clean sheet of ice. I would love to just read a book for the heck of it.
I wish I didn’t care.
And I understand more and more why so many don’t. They feel like they can’t make a difference. So, why expend time, energy and resources trying? Relax. Hang out. Enjoy life.
Thomas Jefferson captured the sentiments of ‘everyman’ in the Declaration of Independence.
…and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
It’s easier to just get along and get by than rock the boat.
I understand. I sympathize. And I envy you.
But for whatever reason, I wasn’t wired that way. I feel almost driven to try to make a difference – or at least try. I couldn’t disengage if I wanted to.
I cannot suffer evil, even while sufferable.
I must fight.
And I will.