Why should it take a disaster to make this confluence of values so evident -- for me, for any of us? Why, since we share so much at a deep and personal level, is it so hard to share much of anything at a political level?
It is evident that the problems of inflation, scarcity, crime and violence are issues that affect all Venezuelans equally, regardless of their political affiliation or ideologies. Why, then, is the population still divided?
For many of us, Pete Seeger symbolized all that was great and noble in our country. Many of us were disaffected as the young of all generations tend to be. Here was a man born of our parents generation who "got us." If you were one of the lucky ones like me, your parents got him as well.
That's when I found the progressive movement: the informal network of people and organizations working across race, class, sexuality, and origin to hold America to its best values, to the vision that all of us are created equal, and with inalienable rights
The key here is that more often than not, controversy sells. Precedent seems to have been set. Expect more of these public 'us vs. them' stances being made by corporate CEOs and an equally decisive reaction from activists.
Many of us are "different" in one way or another, yet we often tell the stories and put forth the selves that will receive social privilege. I wish we did less of that. Be brave. Be bold. Be yourself. That's how we each come to remember that human diversity is really pretty wonderful.
People often think that activism is one-sided. That one must focus on a single issue and charge ahead. But true activism involves being able to tackle all the issues of the day -- both inside and outside of our own communities.
When you consider the impact climate change will have on our collective future, it is instructive to remember what Martin Luther King had to say about the power of non-violent civil disobedience in that letter in 1958.
His paintings leave an indelible mark on anyone who has the opportunity to stand before them, not only because of his mastery of the medium, but for the compelling political, social, and environmental content and context of his work.
I bet you, like me, rarely talk to anyone about your dreams, even if you spend nearly all your time among politically active people working to improve the planet. Perhaps these days it feels somehow just too naïve, too unrealistic, too embarrassing.
Do I really believe that Limbaugh has evolved beyond partisanship? No, the sun still rises in the East. But I'm grinning because I've learned that at the end of the day America only works when it represents its people, and it's fun to see Rush learn that lesson too.