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Blue Sky

How I Learned To Stop Worrying & Love America

Updated: Sep 27, 2023

Last night, sitting on the couch with friends and family, glued to the television screen in between leaping up to check one of eight websites or listen to the radio, I felt the kind of elation I only knew decades ago, when I made my living as a political organizer (mostly working with labor unions), and occasionally, I would stand with labor bosses in some dingy basement hall, singing out “Solidarity Forever.” I was young, told often I was naive, and totally in love with doing something to change the world, even if it mostly entailed taking many notes and sorting bulk mailings. At the same time, I knew the labor movement was an ambling, often-falling-down old soul, someone most people outside the movement (which is to say, most people) looked at as some nonsense-filled kook.

Over the years, like many of you, I've been involved in armfuls of campaigns and mailings, event-organizing and putting together testimonies or attending city commission meetings. I've stirred soup for a dozen, and joined a few to do bulk mailings for thousands. Whether the cause was environmental, labor, gender or educational, I've often found the most profound fellowship and meaning in this kind of work. Yet like many of you, I've also felt isolation at times, doubt, and a kind of trembling hope that just a few people (as it was and is often just a few) can make some kind of difference even though the difference is mostly a hundredth of an inch forward.

With this election, it’s the same but different. The fellowship is vast and infinite. I think of the elders in Barack’s father’s village in Kenya, the kids now attending his old elementary s

While I’ve always loved what America could be, now, finally, I love America.

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