Some of my friends think I've lost my mind. They don't understand why I'm so concerned about what has been going on in politics and in the life of our nation. Some folks have even accused me of being a bit angry about what's been going on around us. Let me explain my anger.
When 25 hedge fund managers make as much as 685,000 school teachers, I'm outraged and I want you to be outraged with me. All we have to sell to one another is our lives, an hour at a time, and nobody's time is worth that much more than another's.
When half of my tax dollars are spent subjugating and killing others -- including innocents -- who pose no threat to us whatsoever, I'm outraged and I want you to be outraged with me. We spend as much on "defense" as the next ten nations combined, and in the meantime, our country is rotting from the inside out due to the lack of reinvestment in our infrastructure and in one another.
When we have the infrastructure in place to kill anyone anywhere in the world, yet a low-income worker in our land can't afford medical care, I'm outraged and I want you to be outraged with me. Let's join virtually every other industrialized country and begin viewing basic health care as a human right so that when Americans get sick, instead of worrying about car washes and bake sales and about losing their savings, house and car, they'll only have to worry about getting better.
When virtually everything I say or do is recorded and I'm tracked wherever I go, I'm outraged and I want you to be outraged with me. In the name of security, we have forfeited our freedom. We demand the return of our privacy.
Now that the gloves are off and our government is up for sale to the highest bidder, I'm outraged and I want you to be outraged with me. For the love of God, please, let's join the fight for publicly funded elections. If we look down the road a ways, surely you can see where it will lead us when wealthy, powerful interests not only control our sources of information but also the levers of government -- totalitarianism and grinding poverty for all but the insiders.
My race is almost done ... I can see the finish line from here. Nelma and I are financially secure and these things that terrify us probably won't have much of an impact on us. I'm just worried about my children and their children. I just want our kids to be able to live peaceful, secure, healthy, private lives governed by a system that is responsive to their needs, not their checkbooks.
Isn't that something worth fighting for? And it's going to be a struggle because nobody in power ever relinquishes power simply because it's the right thing to do.
Eric Treider is an oil-field worker, gold miner and Christian social activist. He and his wife Nelma make their home on the Kenai Peninsula. Email, email@example.com.
By ERIC TREIDER