The Price of Admission

English: Stamp from Deutsche Post AG from 1996...

English: Stamp from Deutsche Post AG from 1996, 150th anniversary of Deutscher Bühnenverein; stage curtain and admission ticket Deutsch: Briefmarke der Deutschen Post AG aus dem Jahre 1996, 150 Jahre Deutscher Bühnenverein; Bühnenvorhang und Eintrittskarte (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I know things look bleak now.  We are three weeks into a government shutdown that threatens our health and safety and will have long-term repercussions for our economy. The forces of bigotry and fear seem more determined than ever to keep us divided and to abuse the downtrodden. Our elected officials are ever more brazen in their disregard for the well-being of their constituents. It looks bad. The good news, however, is that we can do something about it.

The first thing we could do is vote, but we have been hearing that advice forever. It is good advice, though. If less than half of us who are eligible show up, why should the politicos care what we have to say? Related to that, of course, is being an informed voter. Again, why would our elected employees do anything but what they want if they know that the people voting for them are doing so out of reflexive party loyalty or because theirs was the last flyer they saw? Finally, and possibly most important, is putting our money where our mouth is.

So many of us say we want change yet when those offering a chance to effect real change come asking for the funds to do so, we balk. We let the economic elite buy influence, but refuse when given the opportunity to give less a year than we spend on impulse buys each week. It is too much, you tell the young people at your doors and over your phones as they tell you how urgent the situation is. You want these people out there doing their work, but you do not want to deny them the resources to do so.

They do need those resources. So many of the organizations out there fighting to make your world safer and saner, the people struggling to win back your democracy, rely on the support they garner door to door in order to keep their hands clean for you. They need that money to train people, to organize events, to make the trips to your state capitals and our nation’s capitals to remind your representatives just who they work for. Even doing it on the cheap (and having done the couch surfing thing as part of the community, I know many do that) the funds are needed. Before you turn these folks away think of what that means.

Because the price of admission to our participatory democracy, whether its thirty dollars a year, sixty, one hundred, or a dollar a day, is way less than the cost of not ponying up and doing your part. Obviously this message is targeted at my fellow progressives and I don’t need to tell you how outgunned we are in the money department. On the plus side we have shown we can do a lot with very little. We do, however, need that very little if we are to do anything, otherwise the plutocrats are going to grind us into dust. So the next time some kid shows up at your door, calls your phone, or sends you an e-mail, rather than slamming the door in their face, hanging up, or deleting that e-mail take a moment to think. Think about how badly you want to see that change you keep going on about. Think about the forces we re going up against. I have said it before, and I will say it now: we will be David standing in front of Goliath for you, we just need you to put that stone in our sling.

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4 thoughts on “The Price of Admission

  1. If your health and safety requires government funding, you must lead a sheltered, controlled, dictated life. The fear Democrats might have if the shutdown lasts long enough is, the American people may realize not all the government is necessary, so don’t fund it.

    • “If your health and safety requires government funding, you must lead a sheltered, controlled, dictated life” or maybe you work two jobs at minimum wage. Unless you live in a community where the only options housing-wise for the poor, working or otherwise, are run by slumlords. Unless you live in Appalachia where the fossil fuel industry has wrecked the environment, the economy and public health. And of course, I am sure Michael that since you are so against government funding for our health and safety you would do away with police forces and fire departments.

      • In response to your reply, I’ll add to mine. Unless you live in Federal land, your police and fire departments are primarily locally funded. Most of the services you use – libraries, schools, transportation – are locally funded. I’m not waiting for the federal government to fund everything to live my life.

        • All of those things receive federal funding. Almost no municipalities cover all of their budget on their own. Also, even if that were the case, I suppose you would be OK with ditching the military, FDA, CDC, air traffic controllers (I could go on…)

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