The Grassroots of Hope

Democracy has historically linked us to the essential tools needed for survival within diverse cultures and societies. An active citizenry in the United States is meant to protect us from government control and corporate excess. But those that speak up have been labeled as “fringe” and “naive.” Our ideas poisoned with the rationale that our worldviews are skewed by airy hopes and empty realities.

Dissent no longer is viewed as a necessary action in the world of like-minded capitalists. Our corporations influence on education, on the food we eat, the private water we will all one day drink, the dirty air we now breath, and the health care we don’t have; you’d think would wake dreamy Americans. But our corporate culture muddles these essential debates. News pundits rattle over minor differences. Children wash their brains in re-runs of Southpark and video games of war. Grown boys ejaculate over touchdowns and slam-dunks. And the rest simply don’t have the time or the energy, they are too busy fighting for their next meal.

Lack of voters in the United States comes less from uninterest than from the perception that one cannot make a difference. It is perceived that our politicians are so a-like that a vote can’t break the strangle hold monotony. It is more a lack of candidates with differences, than an ignorant populous, or what Chomsky would refer to as “the bewildered herd.” But see, that is where we all come in.

Our concerns over the direction of the world can’t be intrinsic qualities. Rather they must be branding tattoos that label us as humans with purpose, with ambitions for the betterment of life on earth. With pre-emptive war, toothless lawgivers, and corporate greed; democracy is left in the hands of the people. We are those people, the people with the power to make change. If you’ve ever felt alone in your thinking, you are not. Dissenting voices exist, and we aren’t anti-American, or unpatriotic either. In fact we are the epitome of democratic virtue.

As anarchistic and feminist Emma Goldman once wrote, “the most unpardonable sin in society is independence of thought. That this should be so terribly apparent in a country whose symbol is democracy, is very significant of the tremendous power of the majority.” Our only protection from the majority now may be our rusted shield of democracy. But it is the only hope we have if we want future inhabitants of earth to enjoy the many qualities life still possesses. We must start at home; talk to our children, our parents, our colleagues and friends. We are the grass roots of hope, the only hope that still may be ushered.

JOSH FRANK lives in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached at: frank_joshua@hotmail.com


More articles by:

JOSHUA FRANK is managing editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, co-edited with Jeffrey St. Clair and published by AK Press. He can be reached at joshua@counterpunch.org. You can troll him on Twitter @joshua__frank

March 22, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Italy, Germany and the EU’s Future
David Rosen
The Further Adventures of the President and the Porn Star
Gary Leupp
Trump, the Crown Prince and the Whole Ugly Big Picture
The Hudson Report
Modern-Day Debtors’ Prisons and Debt in Antiquity
Steve Martinot
The Properties of Property
Binoy Kampmark
Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and Surveillance Capitalism
Jeff Berg
Russian to Judgment
Gregory Barrett
POSSESSED! Europe’s American Demon Must Be Exorcised
Robby Sherwin
What Do We Do About Facebook?
Sam Husseini
Trump Spokesperson Commemorates Invading Iraq by Claiming U.S. Doesn’t Dictate to Other Countries; State Dept. Defends Invasion
Rob Okun
Students: Time is Ripe to Add Gender to Gun Debate
Michael Barker
Tory Profiteering in Russia and Putin’s Debt of Gratitude
March 21, 2018
Paul Street
Time is Running Out: Who Will Protect Our Wrecked Democracy from the American Oligarchy?
Mel Goodman
The Great Myth of the So-Called “Adults in the Room”
Chris Floyd
Stumbling Blocks: Tim Kaine and the Bipartisan Abettors of Atrocity
Eric Draitser
The Political Repression of the Radical Left in Crimea
Patrick Cockburn
Erdogan Threatens Wider War Against the Kurds
John Steppling
It is Us
Thomas Knapp
Death Penalty for Drug Dealers? Be Careful What You Wish for, President Trump
Manuel García, Jr.
Why I Am a Leftist (Vietnam War)
Isaac Christiansen
A Left Critique of Russiagate
Howard Gregory
The Unemployment Rate is an Inadequate Reporter of U.S. Economic Health
Ramzy Baroud
Who Wants to Kill Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah?
Roy Morrison
Trouble Ahead: The Trump Administration at Home and Abroad
Roger Hayden
Too Many Dead Grizzlies
George Wuerthner
The Lessons of the Battle to Save the Ancient Forests of French Pete
Binoy Kampmark
Fictional Free Trade and Permanent Protectionism: Donald Trump’s Economic Orthodoxy
Rivera Sun
Think Outside the Protest Box
March 20, 2018
Jonathan Cook
US Smooths Israel’s Path to Annexing West Bank
Jeffrey St. Clair
How They Sold the Iraq War
Chris Busby
Cancer, George Monbiot and Nuclear Weapons Test Fallout
Nick Alexandrov
Washington’s Invasion of Iraq at Fifteen
David Mattson
Wyoming Plans to Slaughter Grizzly Bears
Paul Edwards
My Lai and the Bad Apples Scam
Julian Vigo
The Privatization of Water and the Impoverishment of the Global South
Mir Alikhan
Trump and Pompeo on Three Issues: Paris, Iran and North Korea
Seiji Yamada
Preparing For Nuclear War is Useless
Gary Leupp
Brennan, Venality and Turpitude
Martha Rosenberg
Why There’s a Boycott of Ben & Jerry’s on World Water Day, March 22
John Pilger
Skripal Case: a Carefully-Constructed Drama?
March 19, 2018
Henry Heller
The Moment of Trump
John Davis
Pristine Buildings, Tarnished Architect
Uri Avnery
The Fake Enemy
Patrick Cockburn
The Fall of Afrin and the Next Phase of the Syrian War
Nick Pemberton
The Democrats Can’t Save Us