Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Political Philosophy
I always explain that I am a liberal because I would rather give free riders a lift than punish those that work hard yet can't overcome a system which continuously holds them down. I will support welfare, affirmative action, planned parenthood services, etc because I believe that there are people who need those things. There are people who are not as fortunate as myself. Being surrounded by a lot of rural poor here in Athens (and hearing Drew's stories about his high school students), I am constantly reminded how the system has worked with me and for me rather than against me. The South (and all it’s poverty and discrimination) has made me even more firm in my beliefs. We need social action and justice because there are people who can't do it on their own. There are people who are born with all strikes against them. Today a song came onto my Ipod shuffle that really capsulated some of the things I have been thinking about lately. The past 5 or 6 months I have really gotten into Mike Doughty (thanks Drew!). He sings silly songs about "Busting Up Starbucks" and "Tremendous Brunettes" but also sings serious songs like "Your Misfortune" which really sums up my political philosophy:

When your faith in life is gone
Come and speak to me
When you’re down and all messed up
Seek my sympathy when everybody says no, no, no
Well it’s your misfortune and none of my own
Wrong, wrong, wrong
Well it’s your misfortune that sweetens my song
I can be the friend you want I can be your confidante I can be the right reminder at the right time throwing out the lifeline
When your face is caked with mud
Come and speak to me
When the chill creeps in your blood
Seek my sympathy
I can be the air you drink
Every single thought you think
I can be the right notion in the meantime
Warm you like the sunshine

Stand in the light. Stand in the light. Stand in the light

I especially like the line about "seek my sympathy when everyone says no, no, no"
I wish there were more people who understood that all people's misfortunes are weaved together. It is my misfortune if 65% of the high school students in Athens don't go to college. It is my misfortune if young women don't have access to contraceptives or pre-natal care. Even if these things are not part of my fate, they are part of my community. I should feel responsible. Our elected officials should feel sympathy and a sense of obligation. I have grown weary of the politics game. I am still enamored with political action--we just haven't seen much of that as of late.


Blogger quakerdave said...

As a Quaker-type, I especially like the line "Stand in the Light/ Stand in the Light/ Stand in the Light."

...'s'what we try to do.

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