August 05, 2010

politics

Many of you probably don't want to hear this, but I feel like venting, and this is my blog. It used to be "our" blog (as in, the whole family), but it's pretty much my blog now, not by design, just by circumstance.

So, I volunteer for NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon. I've been volunteering for them for probably six years now. And of course, it's really hard to find time with kids to volunteer, but there is a gubernatorial election coming up, and progressive groups like NPCO are very concerned that an anti-choice candidate might win, as well as a number of anti-choice state legislators.

On Tuesday night, I went in to phone bank to help recruit more volunteers who will hopefully help us in the fall with calling pro-choice voters, letting them know who the pro-choice candidates are, and pressing them to, please, vote! Well, I recruited two volunteers; and one was someone who was going to volunteer last week, but never showed up, and needed to reschedule anyway. Phone banking, and volunteering for political stuff generally, is so disappointing. I very rarely feel like, for all the work I put into it, I have had any effect. Brady says he's done with political volunteering, although I'm not sure I believe him. Me, I'm going to stop volunteering when this next baby comes, at least for a few years, but until then, I promised my fellow NPCO volunteers I would put any extra time/energy I had into helping out (which is minimal, but is more than I've done the past 18 months).

To bring this all back to parenting, which is more or less the theme of this blog, I still want to help. Even though phone banking on Tuesday night took me away from Eliot all evening and meant I couldn't eat dinner with my family, and meant that I barely saw my son all day because I also worked on Tuesday, I think it's important for me to still work for things I think are important. I want Eliot to grow up in a world I can be proud of. And, mostly, I recognize that's not going to happen; I am not proud of our world/culture/society, of decisions and mistakes our leaders have made over and over again. However, I can show him that I care about him, and other future generations, by doing whatever I can to participate in solutions I believe in. And I will go back to volunteering again, in a few years, not only to try to "make a difference," as cliched as that is, but also to model for Eliot how to be a participatory citizen, not just by voting, but also by working toward the things you believe in. And no, he doesn't have to believe in the same things I do. I just want him to think about what he believes in, and then work for it. And, as I think most parents can attest to, the best way to get kids to do what you want is to model it.

3 comments:

Ria said...

nice blog

Jan said...

I thoroughly agree. Follow my example not do as I say. The proof as they say, is in the pudding.

We have our Federal Election coming up on 21 August 2010 here in Australia and for the first time, we have a choice of electing our first female prime minister so it is all pretty historical.

As her party is the party I think has the best agenda for Australia for the foreseeable future, she will get my vote.

Until both our countries can get rid of capitalist democracy and bring back some real democracy, we will both have a political system that we are unhappy with and have to work towards fixing as best we can.

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