“All this will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the first 1,000 days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.” — JFK
I found this quote today and thought it was perfect for the week before we elect a new Congress into office. I’ve gotten jaded working on Capitol Hill — seeing the inside baseball and knowing what a corrupt process it can all be. Even the things that are not technically corrupt still get dirty changing hands. At coffee meetings and happy hours and between handshakes and whispers in the hallway. Legislation is never completely clean, so it seems — and politicians rarely, if ever, can be completely true to themselves or their constituents — and certainly not simultaneously.
But I always come back to the reality that someone has to do it. If not us, then who? If not now, then when? That, I think, is the calling of so many. I’ve got the calling of obligation to do SOMETHING to keep the good things going, to halt the bad things when they surface. That’s not to say Democrats or Republicans or to call out labels. It’s to say that I can’t NOT care and so, I do my part. And so much of politics is just as JFK says it in that quote. We work for the next generations — for policies that will affect people long after we’ve gone. And there’s something noble about that, something transcendent.
I said today that politics did not inspire me much anymore but then I caught myself. Politics isn’t about the bill numbers or the arguing or the signs or the talking heads. It’s about our individual lives and the issues we care deeply about. It’s so often blurred by the beauracracy of government, of the process to make anything actually happen. People who say they don’t care about politics are mistaken. Everyone cares about politics because everyone cares about the things that affect their lives on a daily basis and essentially, this comes back to politics on many levels.
I think everyone has a bit of an obligation to care — and when you care, to do something about it. I believe in civic duties and in our ability to shape America by these actions. This blog post, I suppose, is to say this: VOTE. And then do more.