We. The People?
The other day on the road I passed a bumper sticker stuck to the back of a road sign:
“We the People
Means Nothing, Anymore.”
It got me to wondering if there is any truth to that. As I considered society, split as it is politically, I wasn’t convinced. I am not sure there was ever a time Americans weren’t split politically and socially by their values. There have always been moneyed conservatives, poor conservatives, cultural liberals, artists – that tension has, in large part, I think, driven this country.
But it’s true we’re much bigger and there’s a certain lack of involvement on the part of “average” people in local government, bigger government, the things that affect us.
In the end though, I decided the writer and sticker-onto-the-sign of the bumper sticker is wrong. It’s not true. Here’s why: my friends (admittedly mostly of an artistic bend) are very aware, very opinionated, and usually relatively outspoken and willing to share their ideas, their opinions, their energy and time, and their art – for the things they believe in, invest in, feel for, they *do* gather and organize: Local farming communities, conservation societies, women’s gatherings, political protests, writer’s conventions, comic conventions, church services, pagan rituals, local art openings and, yes, political rallies and canvassing in this last election.
I’m imagining that this last election cycle, with it’s divisiveness and the very strong opinions held by both sides, isn’t such a long way from the opinions held by both sides before the civil war and the revolutionary war. We still fight for individual rights, racial equality, women’s rights, social well-being.
And we still meet each other in that fight.
I think it comes down to what touches us and what we trust enough to stand behind.