Don't petition the White House, Use Change.org

Don’t petition the White House, Use Change.org

Nov 18, 2012 Aaron Krager No Comments
Secessionists. I first want to say thank you for finally learning something from history. The last time so many desired to rid themselves of a tyrannical president they declared war on the Union. Thus, your use of a peaceful means through petitions on the White House’s site is commendable. Furthermore, each state now finds themselves represented by a petition and signatures from people possibly wanting to secede from the United States. Texas leads the way with more than 100,000 people asking the White House to address the issue. This is the same state governed by Rick Perry who drummed up his base of supporters with calls for seceding prior to his Republican bid for President. The irony seemed lost on him. Governor Perry is obviously not a viable option to lead the cause. He hardly put up a fight against a weak group seeking his party’s nomination. I also question...
The Country Moved to the Left Last Night

The Country Moved to the Left Last Night

The whole campaign season did not just depend upon the presidential race that finally came to an end last night. Yes, the country voted clearly to give Barack Obama another four years in the White House. He received more than 50 percent of the vote and won handily in the electoral college. Yet, it is what happened down the ballot that shows the nation’s move toward progressive values. It appears that Democrats will pick up a couple seats in the lower chamber but the real change happened on the senatorial level. Voters said no way to Republicans Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock after they attempted to scapegoat women and downplay the trauma of rape and sexual abuse. Furthermore, women won in Massachusetts, North Dakota, Hawaii, and Wisconsin for their first terms. All four of them will be more progressive legislators than their predecessors. In Wisconsin Tammy Baldwin will be the...
Republicans, Rape, Life, and Control of Women

Republicans, Rape, Life, and Control of Women

Oct 24, 2012 Aaron Krager No Comments
During last night’s Indiana Senate debate the Republican candidate, Richard Mourdock, did more than stick his foot in his mouth. I believe life begins at conception. The only exception I have for to have an abortion is in the case of the life of the mother. I struggled with myself for a long time but I came to realize life is that gift from God, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape. It is something that God intended to happen. Mourdock joined a club made exclusively of Republicans but a club that seems to be growing as the November election nears. Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh made a reprehensible comment about exceptions for the life of the mother following his debate. “There is no such exception. With modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance.” Complete crap as this woman explains. Of course who can forget Missouri...

The Political is Personal

Jul 27, 2011 Aaron Krager 7 Comments

Apathy. Despair. Anger. Confusion.

Maybe we should throw our hands up in the air and walk away from it all. Politicians in our state capitols and in D.C. simply do not listen nor do they empathize with the everyday working American.

I was speaking with a neighbor recently who voiced his complete displeasure at Washington. His emotions and his disgust forced his hand. He is ready to call it day and give up.

It might be easier for us all to not pay attention or dig deep for the truth in the face of all of the public relations spin. The sheer amount of energy needed for political change is taxing on the mind and body. All of the beltway talk mixes together to form a fog of information – sifting through the half-truths and lies of omission is beyond frustrating.

We could rehash the 2008 Obama campaign promise of change and its subsequent failure. But we all know the severity of our own disappointment and doing so is only good in academic settings. In life we have to live and learn. Thus, if we can takeaway one lesson from the entire event; it must be the campaign’s slogan, “Yes We Can.” It was not “Yes I Can.” It was the we in the slogan that mattered and still does today. We really are the change we have been waiting for… yes another slogan quotation. A single person like Barack Obama cannot and will never be the vehicle for massive change. Only the people can do it.

With so much riding on the election we put all our eggs into one basket. Yet, when that basket fell to earth the eggs broke and we were surprised and more than upset. We have to diversify our movements because no one person is enough – human beings are flawed through personalities, temptations or sheer blindness to another ideal.

The Civil Rights movement was not won by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. alone. There was Medgar Evers, Rosa Parks, Ralph Abernathy, Malcolm X and many others including bus loads of protesters coming together.

Collective action… collective voices… collective ideas… a collective movement. The we is the focal point and the only way to do that is to overcome the apathy, despair, anger and confusion.

See through the fog, take a deep breath, find a little happiness inside and stop sitting on the sidelines.

Everything that happens in your state capitol and in D.C. impacts you. There is no escaping it. For my neighbor and I am sure others, it is tough realization. Politicians make laws and pass legislation affecting the ability for us to get a loan, workers’ safety, subsidies for massive oil companies, overtime pay, medical care and tons more. If you believe tax dollars taken out of your check is your money… these politicians decide how that money is being spent. Wouldn’t you rather have it going towards your child’s education rather than it being funneled back to Wall Street?

Have you ever been to a conference and noticed how groups tend to seek out a leader or a person to represent them? It is because we are inherently political creatures. We seek out leadership and voices to listen to. The political implications of it cannot be lost.

In that same group the representative is not always the one who has the best idea or spoke the most. The same is true in larger settings. Americans, like yourself, have better ideas than those elected to lead. It is why all of us must realize the political fights can have our voices in it as well. While both sides duke it out in D.C. – our dog may not be in the fight itself. We need to make it happen ourselves.

The personal stake involved is greater than most of us realize. It is about access and opportunity to pursue our dreams, our goals and our passions.

If we do not take political matters personally than all is for naught. Our jobs will have been done in vain and our lives will not be remotely close to living out the American Dream nor the pursuit of happiness promised to us when this great country declared independence.

Take it personally. Feel the anger, despair, confusion and yes even the occasional bout of apathy but do not allow it to hinder your ability to make the very same decision makers feel the same emotions and pain as you do. Take it personally. Take time out of your day to at the very least follow the news, learn the issues, volunteer in your community, talk to the people in your legislators’ offices, talk to friends, family and neighbors.

Do not just get involved or get active. Become an activist at heart. It matters greatly because the political is personal.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Aaronjphillips Aaron Phillips

    REALLY great piece Krager!

  • http://www.aaronkrager.com AaronKrager

    Thanks AP. Appreciate it.

  • Lava

    I think even I needed to hear that. :)

  • ACH

    As someone recovering from a decade-plus bout of apathy, I really enjoyed this post.  I am working on turning all of my opinions into more action and a belief that one person CAN make a difference.  And I am trying to remember that this isn’t about one issue/dispute, this is something that I will be working on for the rest of my life.  So patience is in order. 

  • http://www.aaronkrager.com AaronKrager

    Thanks. I hope you can turn it into some positive action. Please let me know what happens. Communities of support are important as well – find other like-minded people to be active with!

  • Pingback: The Political Is Personal (Important Reading) » Florida Progressive Coalition Blog -

  • Jason Coulter

    I like it.  As someone who has been a part of several movements (peace, Central American solidarity, labor movement) I have learned that our leaders have power only when they represent masses of people who give them that power.  And no, elections, are not movements.  They are elections.

    When faith communities and block clubs, local unions and community organizations can get together and start turning out people en masse to support a jobs program or progressive taxation, or political reform that reduces the influence of money on the system, THEN, we will see some change we can believe in.

    Thanks for adding your voice to the mix, Aaron.  Now, are you ready to put some of your talents to work with the Community Renewal Society?

    –Rev. Jason Coulter

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