Letter from the Publisher
Oct 01, 2015 09:15PM
It feels like only a few months ago, we were all wrapped up in the 2012 election, “enjoying” the nonstop television and radio commercials on every candidate and issue that was set before us—but it wasn’t a few months ago. Unbelievably, it was nearly three years ago, and we are already well into the next election cycle. The debates have started. There has been a good bit of hand shaking, baby kissing, barbecue eating and good old fashioned campaigning from the longest list of candidates I thought we would ever see.
Like many others here in the D.C. area, I love politics. While my girlfriends were watching soap operas in the afternoon, I was watching televised Cleveland City Council meetings and the drama that was unfolding with then-Mayor Dennis Kucinich. My undergrad and graduate degrees were in political science. I taught freshman classes on American government and state and local politics at a few different universities over my career. I also did a stint on the Hill, with an office strategically placed between the Supreme Court, the Capitol and the Dirksen Senate Office building. It is thrilling to be in the midst of that, because it reminded me (on the good days) that the ultimate goal of our political system is to answer the textbook question, “who gets what, when and how” in a way that is most equitable to all who live collectively here. The problem that we face, again, is that we have an election to live through before the governing can really take place.
Initially, my fascination with U.S. politics was the real-world, high stakes drama of geopolitics and possible nuclear annihilation (this was during the Cold War). As I deepened my understanding of the systems that surround us, I came to realize that it was my idealistic nature to seek justice and equality for those outside of it, often voiceless, that drew me to a vocation in politics. What I learned is that, at times, more can be accomplished by stepping outside of the process and engaging people where they are. My favorite quote of all time remains the words beautifully written by cultural anthropologist, Margaret Mead. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
These musings were stirred up by this month’s feature on Awakening the Global Heart by Linda Sechrist that shares stories about activists throughout the U.S. and across the world, that are building momentum and coalitions to write a new story about our earth and our capacity to live together on it peacefully. It is important to remember, as we drown in political commercials from the candidates and their Super PACs that there is more to the movement of this country and this world than what happens inside the Beltway or on November 8, 2016. So rather than watch that next debate (especially since the highlights will be replayed incessantly the following day), I urge you to invest your energy in finding a cause that stirs your heart and helps to write a new story for you and your community.