By: Jameson Lisak
We use the word “we” a lot, and for good reason. As humans, we’re social; we naturally think in terms of our relationships to others. Our constitution, the document that forms the backbone of all that we are as a country, starts “We the People of the United States…” As a democratic republic our politics are based on the idea that we, the people, should determine the course of our nation. The contemporary political theorist Dr. Tracy Strong writes, in his book Politics without Vision, that politics itself “is the most general response to the simultaneous asking of the two questions, ‘who am I?’ and ‘who are we?’”
Yet today it seems that “we” has been separated from “politics.” Politics has degraded into the realm of ineffective politicians soaked in corruption. Yet politics can, and should be, so much more than that. Politics isn’t just the world of laws, bills, and lobbyists. We are political beings and everyday, without even being aware of it, we engage with and participate in politics.
Sometimes it’s too easy to just answer the questions of “who am I?” We think about how people see us, we edit our Facebook profiles, listen to our ipods, and we go about our daily lives with “I” as our primary concern. The welfare of our nation however, as a whole, as the welfare of “we the people,” depends on us asking the question, “who are we?” The answer to that question is complicated. It’s different for every person who answers it. It involves empathy, ideology, and, yes, the answer to “who am I?” So that’s the question I want to put to everyone reading this post today. Who are we?
Are we a people that will let each others’ lives be risked for the benefit of a few? Are we a people that will allow and encourage the destruction of this country and each others’ property and health? Are we a people that will let hydraulic fracturing occur in this country and not lift a finger? These questions aren’t rhetorical. They’re genuine. So take a moment to think about these questions and then answer them.
If you answered “no” to any of the above, then I have a suggestion: do whatever you can to help and spread awareness of the dangers of fracking. It can be something little like posting/sharing an article about fracking and “Stop the Frack Attack” on your Facebook, Twitter, or blog, or it can be something larger, like coming to Stop the Frack Attack in Washington, D.C. On July 28th. Let’s show everyone that politics isn’t just for the politicians, that “we” are still “the people,” and that we will stop the frack attack.
I hope to see many of you there, and don’t forget to spread the word,