The motto of our local progressives group in DeForest, Wisconsin is: “We Care”, but we have a second one equally important: “Step In: Be There”. So, here’s the challenge: We need to Step UP our Stepping In and Caring.
It is a labor of love to support a candidate, go to hearings, study issues, provide educational workshops, contact our legislators until we are on a first name basis, put up signs, register people to vote, (after becoming deputy voter registrars), dialing at phone banks, participating in rallies and protests, writing letters to editors, posting on Facebook, tweeting the news, Voting on election day, isn’t it? That is what our group does, we are very unique.
Or let’s begin by asking what, if any of the above have you done recently?
Most people we encounter on the street, in the grocery store, shopping in malls, commuting, walking their dogs, over the dinner table, at sports events, attending spiritual gatherings, will probably answer: What? I don’t do those things. I barely vote, I don’t know who to vote for, haven’t any idea on the issues, why bother?
My answer is, who do you think ‘the government’ is?
Their answer: Well, maybe we get to be when we vote, but then the guys we elect ‘go bad’ when they get to D.C., they get corrupted, they in-fight, they succumb to greed, our votes get miscounted, elections are stolen. So, why bother?
We entrap ourselves in this apathy, and we have done this so long, we have build a culture of separateness from our potential power in our own government. In the last few decades a sad identity has developed: We are absentee owners awash in disengagement. We are almost a driverless population misunderstanding how much we are needed.
Raising a nation is a labor of love, a ‘birthing’ process that, as parents soon discover, remains a process. For our national and local governments to work in our interests, they need nurturing input and require patience! We must “Be There” for the long haul to accomplish what is best for us all.
We have an obligation to one another across the nation to Step UP and Step In wherever and whatever way we can, as constantly as Bernie has. Our nation needs us, our planet needs us, future generations need us. We must initiate a renewed and renewable energy force whose most powerful element is people-power: we must be active citizens as the ‘pilots’ of our government, insisting on ethical representation by those we elect.Imagine if even one third of the previously inactive voters stepped in and voted this year, and in future years: We would breathe new life into our nation’s governance, and make the national structure work in our best interests. Every little bit of energy helps push us forward. I urge all I meet to Step Up, Step In, keep on Stepping Up, You are needed!
You are more important than you can possibly imagine. We must have confidence, as Bernie has, that if we keep at it, a movement will catch on, we will be part of what really matters, we will grow our voices, our power. Our nation needs us to do this, so do our communities, so I must thank my local DeForest Area Progressives for steadily continuing to Step in and Step UP, we are a great role model in a small town, we are connecting to other progressive groups across the state and nation, and we are part of the change we wish! You, too can Step Up and Step In! We need you!