I do not think of this move as a career change. Rather, I feel I’m further expanding my work by taking the transformational principles to which I have dedicated myself for the last thirty years into another area where they are sorely needed. While a new paradigm, holistic, relational perspective now saturates many areas of our society — from education to business to medicine to spirituality — our politics seem to be outside its reach. And we cannot afford to turn away from politics. We might not touch it, but it certainly touches us. And the increasingly calcified thought forms that dominate U.S. politics today — based more on the past than the present, more on fear than on love, and more on economic than humanitarian values — threaten to sabotage our collective good and undermine our democracy.
To me, the critical crisis that looms today is a crisis of democracy itself. For with every challenge that confronts us now — from economic disparity, to the clear and present danger of climate change, to our high incidence of child poverty, to the corruption of America’s food supply, to our high incarceration rate, to our over-reliance on military force and the need to develop more enlightened methods of peace-building –the most important issue of all, like a disease underlying all the other diseases, is the undue influence of money on our politics.
We have developed, over the last few decades, a system of legalized corruption in the United States, in which those with money are accorded much more political influence than those who are without. And that is not democracy. If only those with financial leverage can wield political influence, then those without such leverage – children, for instance – too easily see their interests sidelined.
Lincoln’s government “of the people, by the people and for the people” is becoming for all practical purposes a government “of a few of the people, by a few of the people and for a few of the people.” Citizens of the United States should not be always on the defense, fighting for the biggest pile of crumbs left over after moneyed interests have feasted on the public purse. Adding additional and an equally critical injustice, the gerrymandering policies in the vast majority of our states — in which the dominant political party in each state redraws Congressional districts to protect their own party or incumbents — allows candidates to pick their voters rather than allowing the voters to pick their candidates! Yet these situations will not be corrected unless “we the people” correct them.
Those who have sought inner wisdom and spiritual understanding are the last people who should be sitting out the political process, for those who see into the cause of a problem know better than to simply address its symptoms. And those who have a clue as to what changes one heart have a clue as to what will change the world. Humanitarian values are democratic values, and those who are most committed to them must find our political voice.
We cannot allow our government to continue drifting in a blind and heartless direction, and expect to bequeath to our children the blessings of liberty that were bequeathed to us. There is need for a politics of conscience, a new era of public discourse in which love is not minimized, the voices of women and children are not marginalized, and the future is not bartered for a pot of unrighteous gold.
Martin Luther King Jr. said we needed a quantitative change in our circumstances as well as a qualitative change in our souls. Now, as then, we must bring the fullness of our internal selves to the task of changing our country. Cynicism, complacency, disengagement and anger have no place in the politics that are called for now.
The people of the United States have been faced with serious problems before, and we’re faced with serious problems again. But generations before us have risen to the task of correcting America’s course when it needed to be corrected, and today it’s our turn.
I ask for your support, that this campaign might be more than simply an effort to send one woman to Congress. May it be a vessel for revitalized citizenship for those who participate, and a new possibility for love in action.
Thank you very much for reading this and for sharing it with others. God bless you, God bless America, and God bless the world.