Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dear Chelsea

I got one of those e-blasts from the Democratic Party. You know the ones; they usually go straight into the recycle bin. But the sender ID caught my eye: Chelsea Clinton. That was new and different. So I opened it and was surprised to be asked only for ideas for the Clinton Global Initiative. No money ask; no voter support solicitation. Just ideas.
Naturally, I was suspicious.
But I did write back. Here's what I said.
Wow! A note from the Democrats that didn't ask me for my money or my vote. Maybe y'all are learning something.
I spent several hours this week with the young adults -- Chelsea's cohort -- who are occupying K St. in DC these days. I'm closer to Bill's age than to most of them, and I hope that the grey heads who still wield some much power will wonder around the various occupations across the country these days and simply listen. Listen to a generation that feels left out, powerless, and betrayed by those of us who came before them and left them with broken systems. They went to schools that didn't work well. They've graduated in massive debt into a jobless economy. The see the global climate changing and they witness an American democracy that is completely dysfunctional in the face of all the rest of it.
As a pastor in a Mainline Protestant church, I also know that the systems of faith -- Christian, Jewish, Islamic, and the rest -- have also failed them.
So first: listen. Then listen some more. And when you've finished with that, then listen some more. After all that listening, check your ideological and party lenses, and then listen even more.
I'd go on about listening if I believed for an instant that anybody on the other end of this e-blast was actually listening. Then I'd go on about some actual ideas, but I don't believe you're listening. That's the biggest challenge we face: learning to listen to each other.

PS: feel free to call, if you're up for an actual conversation. But don't ask for my money or my vote because I'm among the tens of thousands of pissed off liberals who don't believe that anyone in the Democratic Party is listening to anyone who doesn't control millions of dollars.

1 comment:

The Beck's said...

Love it. Thanks!