Is reform needed? is it through you?
The greater the reform needed, the greater the Personality
you need to accomplish it.
--Walt Whitman, "To a Pupil"
Well, it's a doggone good thing Walt Whitman is safe in the Summerlands, reading his poetry to the Gentry. No one was quite so giddy about the bustle of America, its workers and its thinkers, as Walt Whitman. He was a defender of democracy, even when it led to a civil war. Even after that war, he could still see fit to re-publish this poem, which was written prior to the conflict.
Today, some reforms are in dire need of Personalities to accomplish them. It seems like all the Personality lies with moron blowhards like Rush Limbaugh. The "reforms" are enacted not through Personality, but through committee, through political donation, through backroom deals, through public inertia.
I emphasize the latter. Voter turnout was abysmally low in New Jersey's last gubernatorial election. Just look what that wrought. The Chris Christie menace, elected by the lowest voter turnout ever when the governor's mansion was the prize.
Where are the Personalities we need? Who is standing up for the workers? Who is guarding the land?
I would love to see the Occupy movement survey its most dynamic members and choose a few to give old-fashioned speeches. Not bytes for Olbermann or CNN. Real speeches. Not canned political nonsense spewed from a teleprompter, penned by a hired hack. Real words. Stuff from the heart, not the pocketbook.
Mr. J says that if politics stays as it is now, we will truly have class warfare, because the one percent will corner so much that the rest of us will literally begin to starve. Before that happens, could someone please speak up? Isn't there anyone with Personality?
If things are still like this four years from now, I'm going to pat my daughter The Spare on the head and send her out there to accomplish some reform. She has abundant Personality, and she cares about the land.
Of course, she could be killed for her passion. Ain't that America?
(From Anne, wrapping up MLK week with her students.)