Occasionally I take a long weekend. It’s a chance to take a break from the profession, and the campaign. Last weekend I travelled to New York City. What started as a getaway ended in an exhilarating glimpse of democracy in action.
It reminded me of why I am running to unseat Eric Cantor in Virginia’s 7th District. While the right wing talking heads use the same quasi-hippie explanations for the behavior of the young people of “occupy wall street,” I met the young people, up close, and I saw students, the unemployed, the disillusioned but with a belief in our system, our democracy, and hope.
It is easy to understand the frustration of the youth, with a stagnant economy, high unemployment, thousands of students out of school with slim prospects for a job. And where are the elected leaders in Congress? They're returning from a break over several weeks following Labor Day--how ironic.
While the President urges Congress to debate the American Jobs Act, Cantor refuses to bring it to the floor. He instead promoted reducing regulations by the EPA and rolling back taxes on corporations. On September 30, 2011, while the several hundred demonstrators on Wall Street chanted: “give us justice, give us peace,” Cantor didn’t bother to clean the wax out of his tin ear to listen. But I heard the voices loud and clear on that brisk afternoon. It sounded like America to me.
So while I was walking to Wall Street, looking for some inspiration for another Daily Kos diary, I stumbled into reality, a reminder on the very street where so many stole so much from so many of us, that it is time to hold the worst of Wall Street accountable for the economic disaster that occurred in 2008 and is still taking place. It was theft, pure and simple, from the middle class, the old, the retired, and those who hoped to retire.
And the youth, as always, remind us of what we may lose to the special interests, the corporations who pretend to be “people,” the hedge fund managers and investment tycoons: that if we don’t act, and act now we may lose our democracy. The youth know what many of the older generation knew, but didn’t articulate well sometimes, it is time for action, and it is time now to clean out the old, time to take back control of our country.
Part of this is to hold the worst of Wall Street accountable. They are among those who bought politicians like Eric Cantor, and even the political system. It is time now to turn them out on their ears, and likewise politicians like Cantor, who serve them as puppets. It’s time for the real people to take control of the country back.
The young people were chanting what I had been saying, in so many words, in my stump speeches before last weekend. I had felt it before the 30th, but it never felt quite like this. I think about one bearded young man who looked over at me and my wife as he passed. We exchanged a “thumbs up” sign: we both knew the truth: whether you are middle aged, or a youth bursting with energy, we all are demanding change, honesty, justice and peace.
After all, it's what lies at the base of all that is good and right about our country, and all that I represent in this campaign against Eric Cantor, the embodiment of what is wrong in our country.
Link to original article from Daily Kos