Someone I knew peripherally three decades ago I got to know much better in 2021. They said he thought I was less political now than I was back in the day. I’m not quite sure about the definition of the word in this context. This, of course, got me thinking about my love/hate thing with all things involving politics.
I grew up in the 1960s and went to some civil rights actions. But from 1968 through 1974 I was more involved in opposition to the war in Vietnam, even getting arrested in 1972.
Meanwhile, I went to college in New Paltz in 1971. I was a political science major, so I’ve always paid attention to politics, sometimes with stunned disbelief. I joined the New Paltz Democratic Club c. 1973. There was an open seat in the U.S. House of Representatives for the massive reapportioned district of Howard Robison (R-Owego). I described my petitioning here.
I carried petitions again in 1980 for a guy running against a solid incumbent in Albany, which was almost impossible. And I was involved in some social justice activities. I know I went to the anti-nuke rally in June 1982 in NYCNY.
During the 1990s, I befriended my city councilperson and carried petitions. Also, I was involved with some anti-racism activities.
For the six months prior to the water in Iraq in March 2003, I participated in more than two dozen protests, including the big one on 15 February 2003.
Later that decade, I carried petitions for someone I had known for over 25 years. Did I mention that I really HATE carrying petitions, yet I’ve done it at least four times?
Since then, my public participation has been spotty. A rally for freeing falsely imprisoned persons here, a women’s empowerment march there. My daughter was heavily involved in Black Lives Matter rallies in 2020; I went to one, on Juneteenth.
But I do write about it, sometimes
I don’t know if blogging about inequity is DOING anything about it. Regardless, almost every January 15 and April 4 in the past decade, I’ve written about some of the less familiar works of MLK Jr. or tried to recontextualize Martin for the 21st century.
During the orange years, going back at least to 2015, I wrote about him. A LOT, actually, more often than I wanted to because he was so toxic. If you go to my blog and search for trump, you’ll see I probably wrote about him at least 400 times, such as here and here and here and here and here. And those are just some of the ones for 2016. Frankly, I grew tired of even thinking about him. But the process was cathartic, at least for me.
And occasionally, I’ve addressed a wide range of issues from global warming to voting rights.
I write about politics less so now because it’s a more normal, albeit dysfunctional time, your usual sausage-making. But just this summer, I got to suggest to my mayor, who knows me by name, to check out this video about inequality.
So I still pay attention, reading scads of information from differing POVs. If I have something to say, I have the pulpit of my own design. But I’ve never been that motivated to write/talk about politics all the time.