The past three weeks I have been involved in a project that is irrelevant to this discussion save the fact that it gave me time to think. The work I was doing allowed me time to clear my thoughts and to allow a stream of consciousness that maybe I didn’t realize I needed, but I did.
We are a few weeks out of the election, which was a disaster for Democrats in Michigan and around the country. It is what it is. It won’t change, so get over it.
What I am about to propose to you is easy. I mean very easy. It is not about Democrats or Republicans. It is not about anything but pure, unadulterated effort and bodies.
OK, so here’s the formula to curing the common cause, and by common cause I mean anything, issue or idea, that have become part of the agenda of the activist crowd here in Michigan. You pick the topic, and that is your cause. Get it? Good!
Here’s the recipe. Take you and how many other people it will take to make a difference. That’s it. I said it was easy, but not simple. Let’s, as an example, look at two ingredients. Water and sugar. In the right combinations that mixture makes something called a simple syrup. Easy and simple, unless you get the ratios wrong. Another example of simple but not easy. Take water and salt. It just makes salt water, and I guess you could use it as a brine, but not much else and in the wrong ratios it can be downright nasty, right?
Here is what I am saying: Simply, if you have passion for a cause and want to find a remedy for it, get off your ass, recruit how ever many people it will take to make a difference and do it. That is not simple. In fact, it is very hard work. But it is the only path we currently have.
This idea that politicians can solve our problems may work, but only if the Party you believe aligns closely with you is in majority party. For most of us, that is the Democratic Party. They also happen to not be in the majority, so expecting them to solve the problems we are most passionate for is lunacy. They can be helpful. They can drive legislation. They can do a lot of things to help us. But they cannot solve these problems. We can.
Last night’s Presidential address and the ensuing Executive Order on immigration did not happen because of the lawmakers who have been elected to represent us. It happened because many alike and aligned groups decided to build an army of activists across the great divide and did not give up until they got the President to do something, something that he promised to do anyway, six years ago. The army of activists came from all corners of the country and the world. It took time, money, energy, patience, and fortitude. It was a simple solution that was hard to accomplish, but they got it done and they owe no one for anything because they did it on their own.
The squeaky wheel does get the grease and I plan to be a squeaky wheel for my causes, which I will define in a moment. All I am telling you is stop looking for your elected leadership for the answers and be the answer yourself, or join someone or a group of someones who believe as you do. We saw that in the Right to Work battle, that even with 20,000 people showing up it wasn’t enough to stop it. But what if 200,000 people showed up? I believe that would have made a difference. But that didn’t happen.
I have made a few decisions that I am sharing with you for the sake of you knowing where I stand. As much as social media is an incredibly helpful tool, it has also become a safe place to hide in plain sight. We are not going to win our causes by an army of great typists, are we? How many shares or likes we get will not solve a single problem, no matter how simple. How many times something gets retweeted will not feed one hungry child or pay the heat bill for a struggling mom. It is a PART of an overall strategy, but not the entire game plan and preaching to the choir is more about satisfying our own sense of self-importance than really doing anything real to help someone who needs it.
My causes, and there will be four for sure, and possibly one or two more, but for now I will share two. I have joined forces with Save Michigan Public Schools and their founders to demand the right and just corrective actions be taken to ensure that our children and the teachers who have fought so valiantly have the protection, money and paths to educate those they dreamed of when they made the career and life choice to become teachers. Our state constitution guarantees a free and quality education and, had I been elected to the State House, that was going to be my number one priority. I wasn’t elected, but it is still my number one priority and I am starting to build my army now.
The second cause is women’s rights. I am not fully ready to share details of this writing, but the war on women stops in Michigan now. No more religious bigots and self-centered white men with bullshit priorities telling the women in my state how to live their lives. We don’t need them and their point of view and I am once and for all divulging that I am a proud feminist and I will fight for my sisters in any way I can.
The other two issues will come in time, but let me make this completely and utterly clear: I am doing this with other like-minded people, not elected politicians. There may come a time when we need them, but that time is not now. What we need are each other and if you want to join, let me know. If not, that’s fine too.
I am also making this declaration as well: From this point forward I am no longer allowing contrarian points of view on my Facebook pages. I am doing this because I want to, because I don’t have the energy to waste on people who hate who I am and what I stand for, and there are plenty, I assure you. I will ban at my discretion anyone who I feel represents hate and opposes what I am working toward because I can and for no other reason, and I make no apologies for that at all. If you don’t like it, tough shit.
I am also dedicating myself to writing here three times a week and to bring to light issues and ideas that will help the causes we choose to fight for and improve. If you want to join me, do so. If you want me to join you, ask. But, for God’s sake, let’s stop whining and complaining and do something already. Get off the couch or desk chair and show up at something and actually recruit someone in that process. The timid will never win, and I am a fucking winner! If there is anything about that you don’t understand, let me know at [email protected] or call me at 313-820-6432.
I am red-hot pissed off and sick of waiting for the world to get better. It isn’t coming so I best get off my own ass and do something about it. No more excuses. No surrender.
With that said, I am focused on a few things that must happen for me to be most effective. I need a job, a good job, so if anyone knows of something, please let me know. I am going to drown myself in reading and research and will be networking with people from all over the country to find solutions to Public Education and the ongoing harassment of women in this country, and finally, I am going to start living out loud, more than I ever have and since I am already a target, I might as well douse myself in fluorescent paint and scream through the streets that here I am.
It’s time to fight and it’s time to win!