Eleanor Roosevelt: on Democracy

“A democracy can never succeed unless each individual takes responsibility for his nation, its policies and the representatives he elects.”

Eleanor Roosevelt
May 26, 1943

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.

Kavanaugh Situation Says a Lot About White Male Privilege

It’s no secret that white male privilege, specifically UPPER CLASS white male privilege, is so ingrained in our society that usually most of us don’t recognize it. That’s sort of the definition of privilege I guess. But other times it’s so apparent that it slaps us right across the face. That was the feeling I had today while I was listeningContinue reading “Kavanaugh Situation Says a Lot About White Male Privilege”

Background on the Brett Kavanaugh Nomination for Supreme Court

It absolutely boggles the mind the degree to which the nomination process of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court has dispensed with the norms that the President and Senate have followed in these matters for decades. Continue reading “Background on the Brett Kavanaugh Nomination for Supreme Court”

The Abortion Debate is Back. Why, exactly?

No, this isn’t another post about the heated topic of abortion. It’s about the secret plan to make sure that we never resolve the issue.

My body, my choice.
Jesus is Pro-Life!
Against Abortion? Don’t have one!
Everyone who supports abortion has already been born.

The slogans are out again.

The confirmation hearing and upcoming vote of President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has once again awakened the barely-slumbering abortion debate in America.Continue reading “The Abortion Debate is Back. Why, exactly?”

Hurricane Response vs. Sept. 11th

Last year in Puerto Rico 2,975 people died as a direct result of Hurricane Maria and Trump says they did a “great job.” On the other hand 2,977 people died in the 9/11 attacks (not counting the 19 terrorists) and for that we have spent 17 years at war at the cost of trillions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives. Chew on that.

Living in a Post-9/11 America

My son was almost eight years old on September 11, 2001. In the days and months after that terrible day, it became more and more apparent to many of us that we were heading down a long and dark road. During the run-up to the war in Iraq in 2003, I had a conversation with a friend of mine. Our sons were the same age. We talked about how worried we were that our boys would end up being called on to fight the war. It seemed very likely to us that the war could end up dragging on for ten years or more and that our boys would be fighting age long before the end.

Continue reading “Living in a Post-9/11 America”