Thank you, Mr. Olbermann, for this:
It occurs to me that people have become so used to thinking and talking about what they are against that they have forgotten how to organize around what they are for… and that this curious conditioning of focusing upon differences rather than similarities, caring more for cultivating apartness and polarizing over the differences rather than gathering around the similarities has contributed in large part to the inability of “we the people” overall to accomplish much of anything before the unified front of political lobby, corporate interest, and the near collusion of government therewith.
(I say “near” because, even now, I believe in granting benefit of the doubt, albeit it more for hoping it will be taken as an opening to correct things than as an excuse for past choices.)
There are many things contained in that declaration that I do not personally and in particular agree with, but despite this, it remains that I overwhelmingly agree on the one point that we should all agree upon as citizens of a representative republic claiming to operate upon the ideals of pluralism and democracy:
The people should be heard, their voice(s) should be genuinely attended, their interests and needs should be gravely contemplated and considered, and, regardless any differences between them, there should never be a time when the preferences of corporate interest, political lobby, or government should overshadow or supersede them.
This is not the case in this moment. It has not been the case for some time. And for this reason above any and all others, I give my agreement to and support of the protests. For this reason more than any other, I find the differences less important than the similarities we share as citizens who are no longer attended by our government.
While it is true that we have, in large part, a shared responsibility for this miserable state of affairs, with every day that passes in which these voices are ignored, derided, misconstrued, and otherwise unattended there is emphasis upon both the degree to which our government has lost interest in representing us and the degree to which the aforementioned interests have become ascendant motivation in the minds and thoughts of those who claim to lead us.
Attend to us, oh would be leaders, oh would be government; bend your ear and mind to these pesky whispers now, while there is yet a degree of belief in your capacity to manage it. Heed us now, you who would be called “statespersons” and “representatives”; long have we slumbered in the careful cradle of cultured conditioning, but the veneer has been cracked in these years and, between the fissures, the conflicts of your interest are in plain sight; ugly with personal, political, and profitable motivations they are, stained and draped with usury they are, far less pristine and ethical are they than when you first flew them upon your electoral platforms.
We have never been blind, you see, merely distracted. But distraction is not so easily maintained when the balance tips this far and finally we do more than note the flash in the pan of complicity and more readily does the stench of collusion seem to waft over it all.
Still, we believe more than we disbelieve… and because of this, we write, we gather, we protest, and we demand. Are we wrong to be this forgiving of you? Are we in error to think that, even now, you deserve the chance to prove us right?
Oh, carefully attend, you who would govern and lead; you should know better than any that we are never so willing to rise as when you have yourselves let us down. Remember it now, as we peacefully protest, remember it now, while peaceful protest may yet turn the tide.