The State of PanicManic
September 16, 2008, by Melissa Howden
I am in a STATE!
I intended to write about praise houses because they are about transcendence—something I am in dire need of, and I may still—but for the moment I am completely worked up, alternating between immobilizing anxiety and manic activity. I call it PanicManic. The onset of PanicManic started with the polls stating Obama and McCain were neck and neck. It was then I began gasping for breath.
Despite all evidence to the contrary I am still stunned by the fact that I live in a country that actually believes someone such as Sarah Palin is worthy of consideration to perhaps run this country. And I have been overwhelmed with email from great thinkers and people of note—people for whom I have great respect, focusing on the Sarah Palin issue: “What do we do about Sarah Palin?”
The more urgent question is what do we do about a culture that would allow a woman such as Sarah Palin to become a legitimate question in the first place?
PEOPLE! This woman got her first passport last year! Yes Alaska borders Russia, but that does not a foreign policy expert make. We are talking GLOBAL politics, GLOBAL economies, GLOBAL warfare. We are not separate from the rest of the world. The issues we confront (global warming, violence, war, poverty, religious extremism, racism, education, national security, equal rights, healthcare for all—to name a few) are not separate from one another rather, interwoven—an ecosystem of moral imperatives and humanity. Our place in the world is influenced by how we treat the world and everything and everybody in it.
It is easy, far too easy in an election year for things to look black and white, red and blue, one sound bite after another. What I am concerned with here is LIFE. The life of the planet not just in terms of ecology, but also in terms of it’s health and vibrancy of spirit.
I walked precincts in Florida four years ago which surprised even me because when the Supreme Court ruled not to count every vote cast in Florida in 2000, I was done. I may be in PanicManic mode but I am not yet dead. This election is “the fight of a lifetime.” And when I go to local fundraisers, as I did the other night, and see young men and women who could be my children stepping in and stepping up, I am reassured and I am renewed. I know I must do more. I am going to Obama Camp and will work in a contested state for three to four weeks preceding the election to Get Out The Vote. I continue to write checks for the campaign and related efforts. I am organizing in my neighborhood to raise money and get the vote out because red state/blue state, donkey/elephant, I believe it is imperative to the world that we have inclusive representation and governance. Taking action eliminates the need for escapist pharmaceuticals and My So Called Life reruns.
Take the challenge; do three things toward putting “inclusivity” in the White House and pass it on. Do something to take hold of this situation and affirm life—the life and survival of the planet.
And by the way, life is not a right, it’s a gift—
not to be squandered.