You know, as I get older, I get more political, and more liberal. It's funny, because in my early 20s, I contended that grassroots upswells were for 'little people' who couldn't affect change. And now, I'm a believer.
Why? Because it's become clearer to me how far we have to go.
Here's what I believe.
It's really easy to say that health insurance or housing isn't a right when you have no worries of losing either.
It's really easy to say that the poor should pull themselves up by their bootstraps when you've never been poor, never had to dodge a gang on the way to work, never had to wonder if you'd have dinner on the table, and never had to work 3 jobs to keep a roof over your kids head.
It's really easy to say that women's rights don't need to be protected by the courts, as that jackass to end all jackasses, Antonin Scalia recently said, when you don't make less than your male counterparts just because you happen to wear a bra instead of a jockstrap.
It's really easy to say that we shouldn't extend unemployment benefits when you have a job.
It's really easy to say that extended unemployment keeps people from looking for a job when you don't have to worry about whether you are going to lose your house tomorrow morning, and have to live in your car.
It's really easy to say that the free market solves problems when deregulation over the last 20 years has benefited you and yours, and you aren't one of the millions who it hurt.
It's really easy to say that federal social programs are too expensive when you don't need them.
It's really easy to pretend that their aren't kids who are going hungry, without immunizations and medical care, and without basic needs when you don't see them every day.
It's really easy to say that people want to get a handout, when you don't have to see the shame on their faces when taking it.
These things are all cop outs. They are all said from positions of relative power, education, and well being. They are rarely said by the people that truly need the services and the help. Our government doesn't always do the best job, that's true. But human need is never so simple as 'get it together and get a job' or 'survival of the fittest'.
We're a society, we Americans. We're not just consumers, we're citizens. I was a US Marine. The one thing you know about your fellow Marines - whether you are BFFs or not - is that they have your back.
Somewhere along the way we've forgotten what it means to have our fellow American's backs. I pray that the current trend of selfishness takes a turn for the better. Because more people fell into poverty over the last 24 months than at any time since the depression. And if we don't have those people's backs, who is going to have ours if something bad happens to us?