The conversation of regular people are very different from the one going on in Congress, Beacon Hill, City Council chambers - or the pages of the T&G. What we're saying around our kitchen tables, barbecue pits, lunchrooms and locker-rooms is not getting heard.
What we actually think about the core issues that affect our lives rarely finds its way into the circles of power. Our views about bank bailouts, foreclosures and student debt, foreign wars, their plans to cut Social Security and Medicare, Medicaid, the Post Office, about how to fix health-care and the urgent need to create more jobs and put the people back to work, and about how bad things out here really are - those views are not getting heard and are having little effect.
We elect people who promise change - good people or phonies, Republicans or Democrats - and it never seems to make much difference. Issue politics doesn't seem to work anymore. Everyone is stretched to the limit on their own issue, no one has time or money or energy for solidarity on other issues. But they're all linked, because we're all up against the same juggernaut. The billionaire corporations and banks, with their almost unlimited ability to lobby, spread propaganda and buy influence, have overwhelmed our democratic system.
The young people who are trying to stake out a place in our Commons have their own issues and grievances - especially jobs and their crushing student debt. But, these are their piece of what we're all up against. The kids on the Commons understand that! They're trying to create a space where we can all come together, where we can all share the conversations we've all been having around our kitchen tables, where we can find each other and join together.
It is said that if you throw a pebble in the pond the ripples keep spreading, but so what? They're still just ripples. If we all throw pebbles in the pond, so what? They're still just pebbles and the ripples just cancel each other. But if we could all get together and throw in one huge rock ...