We have our work cut out for the foreseeable future, getting involved in politics to make a difference, from the ground up. So what does personal involvement entail, apart from spending hours of your spare time at committee meetings, supervisor hearings, village association board meetings? It entails joining those boards, attending meetings, acting locally to affect broader issues and nurturing the next generation of political activists who will shape the national future.
Granted, the wheels of local and state politics grind enthusiasm into dust. When one witnesses the disdain in which the public and even the elected board members are held by the staff of the California Coastal Commission, for example, one sees how warped a world vision is formed by behemoth bureaucracy. It’s dispiriting to see something founded on good intentions become so draconian. We will all be victims of that vision, and that of our country’s rulers, if we do not raise our voices in confrontation. Yes, that’s right, West Marin: it’s time to confront, to argue, to state one’s case clearly and with angry passion. Marching in protests is the fun side of that, but it’s no longer effective. Assuaging our self-pitying frustrations with calming, culturally appropriated rituals lulls us into withdrawal and dismisses the actions of those now passed who believed in our potential and would be outraged right now.
Anger is a motivational emotion. Channel its passion, use it, write, make phone calls, attend meetings, confront overbearing authority with spirited protest, express it in activism, or else we shall be silenced.