- Ellen, I realize that you were awake quite a bit last night. Why is that?
- I think I was worrying about stuff.
- What's all this "stuff" that you're chasing after?
- I'm worried and discouraged about the election and I'm concerned (very) about this country and where it's been for the last number of years and where it's headed.
- Are you afraid things will change?
- No, I am afraid that things will not change.
- I also noticed that yesterday you raced to turn off the discussion about the election and the comments about the parrying of insults going on between the candidates.
- I did. I often race to turn off the radio.
- Why is that?
- Because I find it upsetting. I find it depressing. I get angry, I get terribly sad and feel helpless.
- Do you think it's a good thing to ignore what's going on?
- No, I think we should all know what is going on in our country and in the world to the best of our abilities. It's just that some days it is just too much.
- What are you going to do about it?
- I don't know.
- Well, come on now, surely you can do something.
- I think that that's a big part of it. Surely I can do something, but I've lost that feeling and trust that I can. I mean, who is listening to us? Do they, as those in power, really care? I just don't think they do. Do you remember the email I sent to George Bush last year?
- Yes, I do. I think that you acknowledged what a terribly difficult job being President is. I think that you even mentioned that you felt that George truly believed that his policies and actions were good. I also remember that you accused him of just plowing ahead without sage counsel and consideration. You also called him a bull dog; one who grabbed hold and never let go no matter the consequences or questionable prudence of his bulldozing, holier than thou actions.
- I did say all of those things and more.
- What did you expect to happen after you sent that email?
- Well, I did feel better. It felt good to express my concerns. But, you remember what happened when I sent the letter, don't you?
- Yes, I remember. Your finger wasn't even off of the send button when you got a canned reply. I think you felt as if you had been slammed into a adamant brick wall.
- I did feel that way. I wasn't so naive to think that George Bush would actually read my letter. I did hope that there would be some thoughtful acknowledgment, maybe something along the lines of: "Thank you for your letter of concern. It is important that we at the White House know what people are thinking and what their concerns are so that we can better serve our country. Your letter and all letters are given careful consideration. Please know that every effort is being made to keep Mr. President informed and in as close a connection with the citizens of our country as possible."
- So, we still are at the same place: What can you do to make a difference? How do you keep informed and keep yourself from being overwhelmed and discouraged?
- I don't know. I will vote. I always do. I'll keep running to the radio to hit the off button, but I'll keep talking to you and others. I'll keep asking questions and making an effort. I'll keep my tinder dry to light that little flame of hope.
Friday, September 12, 2008
In Which I Carry On A Conversation With......