Words of wisdom from Molly Ivins
Got her new book today, along with my copy of Outfoxed (which I just finished watching). I'll write a review of that a little later, probably after I watch it a second time--there's so much to digest.
Anyway, Ivins' new book is titled Who Let the Dogs In? Incredible Political Animals I Have Known. While I have yet to even start the first chapter, I came across this section in the foreword and was so inspired by it that I wanted to post it here. This is only a small excerpt, by the way. Enjoy.
Because I have been writing about politics for forty years, I know where the cynicism comes from, and I would not presume to tell you it is misplaced. The system is so screwed up, if you think it's not worth participating in, then give yourself credit for being alert. But not for being smart. How smart is it to throw away power? How smart is it to throw away the most magnificent political legacy any people has ever received? This is our birthright; we are the heirs; we get it all just for being born here. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men [and women!] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pusruit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of those ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it." More than two hundred years later, people all over the world are willing to die for a chance to live by those ideals. They dies in South Africa, they died at Tiananmen Square, they're dying today in Myanmar.
Don't throw that legacy out the window out of cynicism or boredom or inanition: "I'm just not interested in politics." "There's nothing I can do."
You have more political power than 99% of all the people who have ever lived on this planet. You can not only vote, you can register other people to vote, round up your friends, get out and do political education, talk to people, laugh with people, call the radio, write the paper, write your elected representative, use your e-mail list, put up signs, march, volunteer, and raise hell. All your life, no matter what else you do--butcher, baker, beggarman, thief/doctor, lawyer, Indian chief--you have another job, another responsibility: You are a citizen. It is an obligation that requires attention and effort. And on top of that, you should make it a hell of a lot of fun.
Having fun while fighting for freedom is, as you will see from this book, my major life cause. I see no reason why we should not laugh, and in fact I think we should insist upon it.
You're damn right, Molly.